Hoovering – Episode 12: Hal Branson

Welcome to HOOVERING, the podcast about eating. Host, Jessica Fostekew (Guilty Feminist, Motherland) has a frank conversation with an interesting person about gobbling; guzzling; nibbling; scoffing; devouring and wolfing all up… or if you will, hoovering.

This week I’m joined by comedian with a self-confessed ‘absolute-wanker-level’ love of all things food related – Hal Branson. He brings me a huge rucksack full of incredible treats which we plough through like it’s Christmas, whilst, to both of our surprise, opening our hearts right up about binging, mental health and some pretty ripe stuff about our parents.


Butternut Squash, aubergine and red lentil sambhar from ‘Fresh India’ by Meera Sodha. I’ve since bought it because it’s brilliant but if you’re really strapped and want this recipe pop me an email and I’ll send you a picture of it. And here’s a link to the totally gorgeous pear, rye and cardamom cake which Hal made, via Ruby Tandoh. Prettily easy made vegan using flax eggs I reckon and maybe a sweetened and spiced cashew cheese instead of the butter? But it was delicious even without the butter – so good.

Honorable Mentions

There are so many of these this week! The vegan wotsits are called Hippeas and you can defo get them in Sainsbury’s and Boots. The swanky coffee he brought was from  Ouseborn. The filmore and union pistachio and chocolate log thing was totally sublime, beyond any health food treat I’d ever found.

Hal raves about a restaurant in Newcastle called ‘Al Bayak‘ or ‘The Bake’ and his friend’s brewing company Northern Alchemy sounds pretty wicked too. And if you’re interest was peaked by the prospect of wine that looks like piss but hasn’t any chemicals in then look up Naked Wines.

The Cake


The Curry


Hal's Haul