French cuisine for the holidays? These 4 podcasts in English and French will help you get by

The holiday season is upon us and I’m struggling to find an exciting and somewhat traditional meal for Christmas Eve. I will be welcoming my parents for the first time in a long time. On top of that, Christmas is the easy part! My household goes from a family of 3 to 6 (my parents are traveling with one of my sisters) for two whole weeks. So I need serious help in the form of inspiration for menus that are as tasty and healthy as they are festive. So I did what I usually do when looking for ideas and information: I opened my podcast app and searched.

What I like about collecting information this way is that I am able to consider many options at my own pace while listening to a story at the same time. There isn’t a huge pile of books to lean on; just me and my headphones. I have selected for you my four favorite podcasts: three in French and one in English. We will talk about gastronomy, and since we are Francophiles, I added a podcast dedicated to wine.

Prepare yourself, you are going to be hungry!

As a reminder, here is what the headphones mean next to the titles: a headset, like this one: 🎧 is for French shorter and more manageable and up to three headphones like this one: 🎧 🎧 🎧 for the longer ones and more complex.

The tower of the ears, Olivier Gee ??

What is it about

Finally a podcast in English? Yes! And one that I really like. Oliver Gee is an Australian expatriate in Paris who has been taking his audience through France and Paris with his “Earful Tower” for 5 years. He talks about everything with his guests, people who make the City of Lights shine. It’s both a fun and very informative podcast.

What I like about this show

I love Oliver Gee’s sense of humor. He lived in Paris for a while and incorporates jokes and more from his native Australian and French cultures.

An episode not to be missed

There are tons of must-see episodes here but since we’re on the subject of food and wine you should definitely listen “Le Meurice: Inside the kitchen.”Oliver Gee stayed at the iconic hotel Le Meurice in central Paris and asked to interview the chef, Amaury Bouhours. Not only is the interview really fascinating to speak only to the chef alone, but half of it is recorded in the kitchen of this legendary place itself. You will discover what it is like to run a two Michelin star restaurant, its experience in the kitchen and of course, French cuisine.

Rue de Rivoli, rue du Meurice, the emblematic palace in central Paris.

Gudden Appetite (RTL Originals), Mathieu Lopez 🎧

What is it about

This podcast is the most direct tool you will find for putting together exciting recipes from French classics. In less than four minutes, Mathieu Lopez will share a recipe with you to concoct delicious dishes for your guests… without having to take a day off!

What I like about this show

I love the variety of foods this show covers: it’s about entrees, desserts and everything in between. The host also covers different types of food and offers options for vegetarians as well as meat lovers. Gudden Appetit is released weekly on Sundays and already has over 30 episodes brimming with 30 possibilities, with each show focusing on a specific dish. Mathieu Lopez also offers the recipe in the descriptive notes of each episode so there is no need to stress about taking notes while listening.

An episode not to be missed

I’m a French woman living in the United States, and as cliché as it sounds, I miss a lot of the foods I grew up on. Especially the foie gras and the smelly cheeses. Some of my favorite recent episodes are all about that: French foods I crave: foie gras, christmas cookies, orange and ginger bread, as well as my favorite pasta, which is not so French, but nevertheless, alla Genovese.

Foie Gras, a French holiday tradition

Hands in the Grape, Julien 🎧

What is it about

The name of this podcast literally means “hands in the grapes” which is kind of a pun to be caught red-handed. “Les Mains dans le Raisin” is a wine podcast. We follow Julien, a young Beaujolais winegrower, and Julien introduces us to wine personalities, scientists and other wine enthusiasts and aims to better understand his profession. This podcast is somewhat immersive, and you’ll hear winemakers cutting grapes as well as people clinging to glasses and cheering, like you’re there with Julien. Lexicon can be a bit more complex than the other podcasts in this selection, so if you decide to give it a try look for things like yeasts (Yeast), tannins (tannins), AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), or even dressing gown (Color).

What I like about this show

I love this podcast because it doesn’t have a specific agenda and instead follows real questions from a new winemaker asking how it’s done and done right. In “Les Mains dans le Raisin”, you will hear as much about the impact of climate change on grapes and you will also learn how to taste wine… which is more difficult than you think!

An episode not to be missed

This podcast is fairly new and only four episodes have been released to date. My favorite episode is this one where Julien explores the impact of global warming on winemaking. It is really fascinating.

Grapes and winemaking in Burgundy, France.

Home made, Celine Ghelardi ??

Full disclosure, I looked up for Celine while she was working on her concept.

What is it about

Céline Ghelardi is a French expatriate who lives in Ohio. A pediatric nurse by day, she has a passion for cooking and baking. Her passion is so strong that she passed the CAP Pâtisserie, a French certification that all bakers must obtain to sell their products. A few years ago, she became a kitchen consultant for an e-commerce platform, Guy Demarles (the French equivalent of Bon Cook) and had a revelation: this is what she wanted to do, cook and help people to cook what they really want. His podcast is very recent (the first episode was released this week) but I think it’s very promising. In less than 15 minutes, Céline presents French classics, such as salty and sweet pies (pies) or Christmas aperitif dinner (There’s no real English word for it: it’s an appetizer turned into a meal. Sort of.) and delves deep into step-by-step instructions for recipes with real chef advice. The idea is that homemade food always tastes better and is better for your health. She told me that she wanted to mislead people into the idea that homemade food takes a long time or is harder to achieve.

What I like about this show

I nourished the fantasy of becoming a cook and welcoming guests to a small cafe. While that will probably never happen, I also worked on my CAP (the degree I mentioned above) and listening to Celine’s passion is truly inspiring. I really enjoyed that she digs deep into sharing a simple recipe and also shares some very accessible tips for making recipe results stand out.

An episode not to be missed

The first episode focuses on the pies, and guides you in the making of a Bourdaloue tart, a pear and almond delight. I defy you not to make one this holiday season after listening to this!

Anne-Fleur Andrle is a Boston-based company Franco-American podcast producer. It hosts a French morning called show, French expatriate, where she documents the journeys of French-speaking expatriates around the world. She is so passionate about podcasts that she created a podcast about it called Generation Podcast, and has a weekly newsletter organized with French podcasts that she thinks are not to be missed. She also consults with various organizations to help them increase their podcast footprint.


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