Simon Preston

Radio, Talks & Debates


BBC Radio Scotland

Simon is a co-presenter of Kitchen Cafe, BBC Radio Scotland’s weekly food programme.

BBC Radio 4

Simon has presented and co-presented three episodes of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, including an episode about Secret Paladares in June 2009, a feature on EAT! NewcastleGateshead in June 2010 and a profile of the Newcastle food scene broadcast in January 2016.

In 2017 Simon produced and recorded a feature (listen at 43:40) for BBC Radio 4’s PM about The Screen Machine cinema, visiting Arran after 20 years touring the highlands and islands of Scotland.


Simon has delivered lectures at Sunderland, Newcastle, Northumbria and Napier Universities.

His recent talks and panel discussions have included:

  • A talk on ‘Food & Art’ followed by panel discussion at the Lumiere Durham Conference, part of the UK’s largest light festival  (November 2013)
  • A talk and Q&A on ‘Food Innovation – the Future of the Culinary Experience’ at #foodfutures, a Design in Action chiasma (October 2015)
  • Simon devised, curated and chaired the following panel discussion as part of Festival of Thrift (September 2015 and 2016)

What’s For Binner? (2015)

A growing army of urban foragers are dining for free on the food that we throw away or leave unpicked and rotting in fields. Are these dumpster divers and supermarket scrumpers heroically saving the planet? Or is it just plain daylight robbery?

Chaired by Food Guru Simon Preston (Radio 4’s The Town is the Menu, co-founder of NewcastleGateshead’s iconic EAT! Festival and our own iconic Bistro du Van and food programme) this talk will involve food panellists Pia Castleton – Forager and Supper Club Chef; Dr Duika Burges Watson – Food Policy specialist and Beth Rawlins – Co-Director of Newcastle’s Magic Hat Cafe, which upcycles surplus food and invites customers to pay-what-they-feel. Together they will lift the dustbin lid on the rise of freeganism and answer your not-so-trashy questions!

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candy Maker (2016)

After years of decline, is the High Street making a come-back? A new wave of young and young-at-heart entrepreneurs are rediscovering traditional skills like brewing, preserving and fishmongery and risking everything to start small scale businesses.

Find out what it takes to throw in the towel, start over and join a growing army of artisan food and drink makers in 2016.

Panelists Luke Harding – owner of The Waiting Room – who is an artist turned restaurateur and brewer; Bev Stephenson – ex-journalist and now chocolatier; Kirsty Cruikshank who swapped the civil service for fishmongery, and Gareth Kyle who quit a career in banking to train as a chef – all tell their stories and answer your questions.