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The Kitchen Is On Fire


Food writer James Ramsden and musician Sam Herlihy dish up a weekly offering of food-related nonsense, exploring the complex and often confusing world of modern gastronomy. One minute they might be discussing the qualities of rice vinegar, the next asking whether or not Cher actually enjoys sharing plates. With special guests and even more special games, The Kitchen Is On Fire is a essential listening for anyone with ears. Follow them on Twitter @Kitchen_On_Fire.


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Food writer James Ramsden and musician Sam Herlihy dish up a weekly offering of food-related nonsense, exploring the complex and often confusing world of modern gastronomy. One minute they might be discussing the qualities of rice vinegar, the next asking whether or not Cher actually enjoys sharing plates. With special guests and even more special games, The Kitchen Is On Fire is a essential listening for anyone with ears. Follow them on Twitter @Kitchen_On_Fire.



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Ep262: The End Part Three | Featuring The TickyOff Titans

It’s the 2020 TickyOff Christmas special and once more it looks like The Tickyoff Boyz could be flat out bading you farewell. Is Zoom podcasting the way to go? Should they hang up their podcasting spurs? Is there anywhere left for these two podcasting titans to go? It remains unclear. Before that though there are topics. These topics are vast, as ever. They are dissected with the skills of a back room vet paid for his shoddy scalpel work with equally as cut rate narcotics. Speaking of dodgy veterinarian education, they also wonder a while, perhaps for the second time, on whether or not horses lay eggs. Other animal chat topics include vertical whales, James’s capon and Sam sees a dead wolf by the side of the road. Moving away from the animal kingdom they answer a bunch of questions from listeners, share some good news about Manny from Pidgin, are very touched by the success of the Pidgin Gofundme, and James asks an incredible question about living your life on Uranus. All the above diamond caper content plus 'The Sopranos' vs 'The Wire', Sam wears pyjamas, a coda where they basically worship Jimi Famurewa for a while and James tells all about the night Fay Maschler came to Pidgin. It’s TickyOff and if this is farewell, just be grateful, for the rest of your lives on Planet Earth, that you were lucky enough to hear it. This episode is sponsored by wine titans


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Ep261: The Problem With Passion | featuring journalist Rebecca Seal

Vibes are mixed up this week on the damn TickyOff. We begin with a solo intro by Sam which is as magnificent, insightful and flat out vibey as you’d expect without that heavy horse shaped vibe anchor weighing his vibe down. This is followed by a secretly recorded meeting between The Pidgin Boyz and Pidgin GM and Head chef Jack and Hamish. They discuss reopening Pidgin, the potential for London to move into Tier 3 and some thoughts on the current hospitality vibe in London. So many vibes. We thought a little honest peek behind a Pidgin shaped curtain might be of interest. We then move into the real vibe of the podcast with a brilliant guest, Rebecca Seal is here talking up a goddamn storm about her new book ‘Solo: How To Work Alone’. She also gets into poisonous printers, fractal patterns, why the 8 hour work day is a nonsense and why she carries a pot plant around with her at all times. It’s some darn fascinating chat right here and as ever, you are at least somewhat, welcome. Here is a link to the Pidgin GoFundMe campaign: Anything you can chip in would be greatly, vastly, mightily, appreciated. Rebecca’s book ‘Solo: How To Work Alone’ is available via a hidden portal in the trunk of an old ash tree somewhere due east of here, also from bookshops both real, online, and probably imagined. This episode is sponsored by wine tinsel dancers


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Ep260: It Takes Two To TickyOff | Featuring The TickyOff Two

This week it’s TickyOff with The TickyOff Boyz. And no one else. It’s been a tricky old week so James and Sam sit down late on Friday night to discuss said tricky old week. There’s beating a joke to death chat, James’s life in the 10 Cases kitchen discussion and a fair whack of Latin banter. They wonder on whether or not cooks can actually cook, Sam bakes his ragus now and there’s a weird detour into a priest parking an ocean liner. They also discuss this week’s last minute closure of Pidgin, their hopes for reopening this week, some sad news about a long term member of the Pidgin team, and try and find some positives in the current plight facing many in hospitality. There’s also some detail on the upcoming Pidgin GoFundMe which is due to launch any day now including vouchers, wine tastings and a meal cooked by The TickyOff Two….. This episode is sponsored by wine beasts


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Ep259: Left Field Life | Featuring chef Tom Kerridge

It’s unclear whether this week’s guest was named after a drum or a popular sat nav system but ultimately, that is more than a moot point. He’s Tom Kerridge and he’s here flat out talking about the new ‘Hand And Flowers’ cookbook, meeting Miss Marple, how and why his restaurant group has expanded and his deep love for the extremes of life in the kitchen. Before Tom arrives The TickyOff Boyz wonder whether or not their grandmothers actually liked them, whether or not they would ship their children to the police if they committed a crime and whether or not they remember Maradona’s Hand Of God goal. Meanwhile, James tells an incredibly erotic tale involving The Crusades, tagine, and some very frisky elderly folk. All this plus, fun with meat-glue, The Doncaster Grill, St John at Christmas and Tom reveals exactly what Gary Neville eats…. This episode is sponsored by world cup of wine winners Tom’s new book ‘The Hand And Flowers Cookbook’ is available from sheep shearing stations across New Zealand and also probably from a bookshop or two. It’s a beauty. Go get it. Oh and finally, the link to the boiled goose video discussed within the pod:


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Ep258: A Course Called TickyOff | Featuring writer Tom Coyne

This week aural events upon Thee TickyOff kick off with some braised sausage chat from Sam and somewhat more dramatically James has been in a car crash. But don’t worry! Chill out. Sam is fine, the sausages were braised to perfection. Oh and James is alright too. Then things take a unique turn in the grand and hallowed history of the pod….they talk golf. Now hold on to yr equine creatures! I know maybe you’re thinking, golf is gross, I hate golf, I have no interest in golf. However, bear with us here. This pod attempts and achieves the impossible, much as The TickyOff Boyz have done throughout their incredible podcasting career. Fortunately they, and you, have a hell of a sensei on board to yap up a storm about why maybe golf isn’t quite what you think it is. That wise shaman is none other than New York Times bestselling author Tom Coyne calling in from Philadelphia. Tom talks about walking the perimeter of Ireland playing every single golf course and eating many kebabs, finding community and less division than you might expect travelling across America, why he’s anti-mayo in salads and he also explains the wonders of the Burger Dog. There’s discussion as to why golf maybe isn’t just your grandfather’s game these days and he reveals the place he could eat at least ten Georgia peach ice cream sandwiches… Finally, there’s the long awaited return of Who Eats What? and Tom tells the best ghost sighting tale you’ve ever had on TickyOff. It’s TickyOff, it’s golf, it’s one of the loveliest people we’ve ever had on and you need it in yer ears people. Trust us. Wake up. This episode is sponsored by the Gentle Ben of the world of wine Tom’s upcoming book ‘A Course Called America’ is available for preorder from all hardware and fancy dress shops….or just from all places that sell books. I can’t do everything for you. You decide.


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Ep257: The TickyOff Two Return

It’s been a while. Some things have happened on Planet Earth. None of them compare to this event. The mighty return on The TickyOff Two. The TickyOff Boyz. Mankind’s only hope. That’s right. The world may be on fire but so is the goddamn kitchen so wake up and strap yourself the hell in. Since we last met Sam has failed to quit drinking, is in thrall to a fitness tracker, and again professes his love for the world’s finest steakhouse, Aberdeen Angus. James made a foul Halloween soda, is very upbeat and is again taking freebies from a very provincial steakhouse mini-chain called Crowless or Robinfew or something…. Fortunately there is someone else making a return, that person is the incredible Asma Khan who returns to TickyOff to talk Netflix, crummy landlords, hiding from her relatives in her kitchen, the problems with mentor loyalty and the myth of the tortured genius. She also reveals all about the new Darjeeling Express opening this very week. All this plus, Asma says something very nice to the TickyOff Twits, there’s a dead crow in a jar and James’s Dad makes a truly grim sounding ice-cream involving Daim bars, and fish. It’s TickyOff, an interstellar burst, and it’s back to save the world again. This episode is sponsored by lockdown wine gods


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Ep256: Skeletor! | Featuring comedian Alexander Owen

This episode of the greatest podcast series ever features comedian Alexander Owen talking up cruel childhood nicknames, the future of theatre, juggling during a Kafka performance, Zoom humour and his new series for Audible ‘The Special Relationship’. Alexander also reports in on what James was like in school and gives the inside skinny on just how wild the ‘Midsummer Murders’ cast WhatsApp group gets. Before Alexander shows up James is feeling ill, made a terrible salad for some guests in his home and reveals all about staff food at The 10 Cases. Sam meanwhile lies about pate, wonders if anyone actually talks around a watercooler and compares his own restaurant to a dead body in the boot of a Volvo. There’s also time to wonder if a skeleton can be ripped, discuss a musical about Arsene Wenger and ponder what moving house while wearing a giant prosthetic penis might be like. It’s TickyOff and to be perfectly honest, that’s all you’re getting. Wake up. This episode is sponsored by the same wine folk as always


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Ep255: Nosedive | Featuring Harold McGee

This episode of thine TickyOff features food science legend Harold McGee talking his new book all about the wonderful world of smell. Harold also talks Heston, his McDonalds order of choice, the time he whipped some eggs in a prize given to his wife, the most disgusting bit of research he’s ever done and how he cooks at home. Before Harold shows up on the line from San Francisco, James reveals all about his new role in the kitchen at The 10 Cases and how a ramekin of mustard nearly caused a full blown temper tantrum. Sam meanwhile has been to Brat, talks his favourite word and gives a shout out to the new book by friend to the podcast Tim Hayward. There’s also time to diss tomato risotto, congratulate Thom Yorke from Radiohead on his wedding and talk ugly wine bottles. This episode is sponsored by wine bananas


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Ep254: Tactical Urbanism Part 2 | Featuring Petra Barran from Kerb

We’re back with part two of a chat with the wondrous Petra Barran. This week things get even more serious as these three human mouths get properly audible on some flat out VAST topics. Diversity, recalibration, social capital, gatekeeping and the lack of space within capitalist structures. Wowzer…TickyOff gets serious….and anyone who thought that was ever likely has an irregular head. Before Petra arrives there is of course time for some standard TickyOff nonsense. James has a new job and some new trousers. Sam has eaten a pie and had toothache. Oh and they begin what will no doubt be a long running discussion about ‘Tenet’ which predictably moves into another hefty dollop of Tom Hardy chat. All of the above plus Petra and The TickyOff Boyz somehow move from The Ego Triangle into The Love Circle via some other Circles Of Fuckwittery….. This episode is sponsored by love circles of wine delivery


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Ep 253: Tactical Urbanism Part One | Featuring Petra Barran of Kerb

This week’s episode is beamed into yer ear canals from The Garret where James and Sam are reunited upon the microphones in person for the first time since the worldwide covid calamity hellscape we all find ourselves in now, began. Said microphones are actually bust so huge apologies for the shoddy sound this week, and last week. We assure you said garbage sonics will be remedied by next week. Anyway, it’s worth battling the mildly irritating sound to hear about the Ramsden family’s very first visit to Sam’s house. Yep that’s right, James has never ever been to Sam’s house, until a week ago. This summit of the two mighty Families Of TickyOff was quite the affair, involving Sunday Sauce, a vomiting child, a free handbag and a vast Kilner jar full of orange squash. There’s also discussion of another twitter kerfuffle involving an Italian restaurant and the pair ponder whether or not insects drink liquids. After that highest of octane starts finally Petra Barran arrives. Among many other things Petra is the founder of Kerb, the street food facilitator par excellence. Petra discusses moving to New Orleans, being rather than doing, how to grow and surviving the recession. She is also incredibly wise upon some pretty grande topics such as financial empowerment, feeling a part of a place and why food is the canary in the coal mine for landlords and developers. All in all, there was far too much we didn’t get chance to yap about so Petra will be back soon for part two of this pretty goddamn interesting triple mouthed babblefest. This episode is sponsored by wine sellers of wine


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Ep252: Dancing With De Burgh | Featuring author of Which Wine When Claire Strickett

This week’s episode features author of ‘Which Wine When’ Claire Strickett talking publishing a book in lockdown, not drinking alone, demystifying wine and moving house during a pandemic. Claire and The TickyOff Boyz also manage to draw parallels between sweet wine and ‘Breaking Bad’, wonder whether snooty sommeliers exist anywhere other than Paris and ponder one of the greatest questions of our age: When should the cheese course appear? Before Clare arrives upon the scene James discusses his recent conversion to becoming a flat-earther, his hatred for beaches and he mixes butter with tomatoes for a delightful dinner dish for his children. Sam busts out a mean Chris De Burgh and Roxette mashup and they both get into the price of cod if purchased from Will Hunting in Boston in the early 18th century. All this plus Tim Henman as a pirate, Cuban Pete (yet again) and Sam wonders where the undertaker is taking James’s granny. It’s TickyOff and it means a huge amount to humanity that it’s here. This episode is sponsored by wine pirates


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Ep251: Tooty Frooty | Featuring Paul Wilson from Wagamama...and Hope Of The States

On the pod this week James begins proceedings with a hot head, a couple of bream and a wild fact about an ice cream brand. Sam meanwhile is braising some lamb necks, schooling James on ancient farming techniques and helping the aged by giving them his old clothes. The TickyOff Two are considering opening an ice cream shop, reminiscing about an old character from the early days of Pidgin and also wondering about how cool Burial and heroin actually are. Then an old friend of Sam’s arrives. Paul Wilson is a semi-big shot in the Wagamama empire and he’s here to talk lockdown and reopening for a large restaurant chain. We often have independent operators on the pod and we thought it worthwhile to get a take from someone who operates from deep within a vast and probably evil corporate behemoth. JOKE! Oh and also, Paul played bass in Hope Of The States so he’s perfectly placed to reveal all about playing Guitar Hero on a tourbus and letting everyone know just how much of a nightmare it was to be in a band with Sam. There’s also time for inclusion in hiring chat, ‘hail fellow well met’ discussion and hash brownies at the Tower of London yap. This episode is sponsored by wine mamas and papas


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Ep250: The Pidgin Position | Featuring Emma Underwood from Darby's and Selin Kiazim from Oklava

Humanity can rely upon The TickyOff Boyz for many things. Incredible insight, semi-raw sensuality, arguments about vegetables and wraith chat. They can also be relied upon to somehow forget amazing milestones. This week they’ve managed to utterly fail to notice that this is their 250th episode. Therefore, expect nothing more special than the usual unbelievably special high end, top shelf blend of sounds from mouths. This week they’re talking the great reopening of restaurants post-lockdown. To that end The TickyOff Two have brought Emma Underwood, GM of Darby’s and Selin Kiazim chef and owner of Oklava and Oklava Bakery to tell all about their respective reopening experiences and their hopes for the future. Emma talks customer expectations and how their lockdown takeaway business went. Selin talks dropping service charge, luck and the need for a reset of the hospitality business. Before these two wise and wonderful women arrive James has shaved his head again, lost his son (temporarily) again, and is cooking a rubbish vegetable again. Sam meanwhile is about to eat a chicken burger and gives a truly woeful, completely circular answer to a question. It’s appalling and he still feels ashamed of his fence sitting, noncommittal, wishy washy nonsense response. Anyway, 250 episodes in, it’s still TickyOff and you still probably need to wake up. This week’s episode is sponsored by wine gurus


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Ep249: The Stealth Kayak | Featuring ES Magazine restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa

This episode starts off with a song from James. It’s quite the thing. James is here after a day of some quality DIY commitment, Sam is not loving beer, there’s carbonara chat and cannelloni yap too. This is followed up with some ‘reopening of the pubs’ discussion, Sam’s father in law’s digital sea sickness and the sad demise of Cafe Rouge. Before this week’s guest arrives there’s also some No Seat Christopher Nolan verbals and Sam has a weirdly erotic dream….. Praise be that aforementioned guest Jimi Famurewa shows up in the nick of time to talk lockdown, making his mum happy, Kid and Play, what the role of a food critic looks like post-pandemic and what happens when one Googles themselves. There’s also time to discuss the fall of ex-Lucky Peach Editor Peter Meehan*, the hopefully inevitable fall of toxic food world twat energy culture and Jimi discusses what and where he feels his lane is in food writing. *To be clear, which this episode is not, (due to the loss of some audio to Zoom glitching), all three of us stand in complete sympathy and solidarity with anyone who had to deal with the grim sounding Peter Meehan. Listening back maybe it’s not crystal clear but the part where I (Sam) said exactly that, has been lost to the digital ether and I wanted that to be made, if required, abundantly clear. Ta, and apologies for any confusion. This episode is sponsored by wine seat users


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Ep248: Mouth Cookery | Featuring chefs Matthew Scott and Eddy Tejada from Hot 4 U

This episode features Eddy Tejada and Matthew Scott from Hot 4 U creating a vast swathe of mouthsounds all about setting up their food delivery business in the midst of the pandemic. They talk learning on the job, friendly accountants, eight hundred potato bears and cooking from the hip. They also tell all about how they really need to start writing things down and buy a calendar. Before they arrive the weather is hot, the TickyOff Boyz still can’t agree on the future of Pidgin and Sam has parked in a peculiar carpark. Differing vibes for the respective TickyOff Brides this week too as Rosie Ramsden tucks into a healthy week and Abbie Herlihy reveals that she has never ever eaten a chilli con carne. All of the above plus, there’s also more than enough time for Barbara Cartland to jump an egg shaped shark, Sam wonders on exactly what the Catholic Church’s position is on sexual congress and they both create potentially the greatest (or most foul) method of omelette cookery you have ever heard. This is TickyOff, and if it aint broke, then it aint TickyOff. Check out Hot 4 U here: @hot4u_ldn This episode is sponsored by wine churchgoers


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Ep247: Grey Butterflies | Featuring Will Beckett from Hawksmoor

This episode of TickyOff features a third appearance by Will Beckett of the mighty Hawksmoor empire. Said steak and great service empire has, like other lesser empires such as The TickyOff Boyz meagre cut-rate ‘empire’, been shut for ages because of the goddamn coronavirus nightmare. Now however, Will and his bird of prey themed meat house gang are working on how reopen safely into the new world of hospitality. Will talks distancing, Hawksmoor At Home, masks, trying to stay optimistic, trust in operators and why his partner in Hawksmoor, Huw Gott, is very lovely and very persuasive. He also tells all about Today’s Special, a charitable endeavour Huw is in the process of putting together to help charities with covid related shortfalls in funding. So all the above sounds very serious, and it is. Gravitas, intelligent discourse, calm heads prevailing. We know this is not why you come to TickyOff however. Fear not! Before William shows, James is stuck on a hard shoulder for seven hours, has seen elderly folk kissing in the deli aisle and thinks all humankind is a cow in a field or something. Sam meanwhile wonders if body heat alone can cook an egg, in your bed. This episode is sponsored by wine bird of prey Please visit the below to check out Todays Special: Instagram: @_todays.special Twitter: @specials_todays


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Ep246: A Rush Of Blood To The Head Of Hair | Featuring Q Magazine Deputy Editor Niall Doherty

Listen up listeners. This episode of the greatest podcast about food that humankind has ever even dreamed of is here. The gratitude y’all must/should have coursing through yer veins means there may not be room enough within those veins for blood! Be careful. If you feel lightheaded, lay down. If you die, lay down too. I guess you will lay down naturally to be fair, if you die. Anyway, don’t blame us. This episode features a second appearance by (possibly) Sam’s favourite person on earth (Apologetic shout out to his children, wife, family and James) deputy editor of Q Magazine Niall Doherty. Niall yaps up a goddarn storm on his legendary airport beers, spatchcocking chickens and how to approach tough subjects in interviews. There’s also a solid ten minutes of connection issues and bad sound which I left in because it made me laugh. Niall also tells perhaps the greatest celebrity hangtime story you’ve ever heard which somehow manages to include Noel Gallagher, Joe Biden, Peroni beers and a magician in a perspex box. Before Niall drops by Sam has had a huge surprise, an Alex Turner moment and no sausages. James has had a weird skin condition, has a theory about Blue predicting the pandemic and may have had a traybake. All this plus Frank Sinatra, a Coldplay related hair transplant and a decent amount of borscht chat. This is TickyOff and what doesn’t kill you might make you stronger, or might kill you in the end. It’s tough to tell. This episode is sponsored by wine para para paradise


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Ep245: Potato Technology | Featuring restaurateur and author Margot Henderson

‘Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” So asked brother of Guy, Lionel Richie, in his 1964 hit cover of Adele’s ‘lover as ghost’ spooky hit song ‘Hello’. Now, Lionel R raises a more than interesting question here. It’s all a question of perception. Let’s start here: 1. Is the person you are looking for Lionel Richie? 2. Is the person you are looking for Margot Henderson? This gets more than complicated at this stage in that we now must consider whether Lionel is asking this question of humankind itself or merely addressing the globe spanning vastness of the TickyOff listenership direct. It’s tough to tell. I’ll leave you to ponder on that and wonder why Lionel might choose to impersonate Margot Henderson of Rochelle Canteen, Rochelle At The ICA, The French House back in the day, author of ‘You’re All Invited’ and all round legend of London hospitality. Anyway, my train of thought has completely derailed and I'm very sorry for the stupid digression above. Margot Henderson is on the pod! Margot tells all about life in lockdown at the Henderson’s, mould on the march on the Mall (that’s a weird line), her move from New Zealand to London and the perils of skinning eels. She also talks about her favourite cooking utensils, turnip cake disasters, sausages with artist Sarah Lucas and getting a certificate from Pizza Express. Before Margot arrives James is wearing some sort of animal on his head and really digs Michael Bolton but might be less keen on US policy hawk John Bolton. Sam has just woken up from a nap, once made a veloute and has never seen ‘The English Patient’. Who knows what in all hell any of the above means, I feel like I may have hit my head before writing this nonsense. Anyway, it’s TickyOff and if you don’t know what that means by now then you will never ever ever know me.* *Shout out Simply Red. Real talk. This episode is sponsored by wine stars


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Ep244: The Codfather | Featuring Katie and Rick Toogood from Prawn On The Lawn

Hello. This is TickyOff. This is episode two hundred and forty four, If it was a fruit, this episode would be a peach fruit. Peaches are a very rare fruit which I believe is grown in cans. Peaches are also covered in the fur of human people. This fur is not harmless. It is sweet and delicious. Anyway, that’s peaches, this is TickyOff, which is also sweet and delicious and covered in human fur, but is not a fruit. It’s a podcast. Wake up. This episode features Katie and Rick Toogood, the restaurateurs behind the brilliant Prawn on The Lawn in London and also in Padstow. K and R get into buying a restaurant while drunk, having their first child a week before lockdown, fish being in fashion and going up against The Codfather himself, Rick Stein, on his home turf. Before the Toogoods show, James talks for a long time about Adrian Chiles and picks his favourite end of the world scenario. Sam meanwhile bangs on about the theme song from ‘Terminator 2’ and has eaten a cake his daughter baked. All this plus another serious chat about their business. This time whether or not they should change the name of Pidgin. This episode is sponsored by wine duckers and dancers


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Ep243: Open To Being Open | Featuring The TickyOff Two

You weren’t expecting it. Neither were we. But here we are. Listening to a pretty sensible, serious, thoughtful episode of the generally wacky and dumb TickyOff. This episode features two guests, The Goddamn TickyOff Boyz. Said boyz of T’Off basically have a disagreement about the future of their business for forty odd minutes. James thinks Pidgin should be one thing. Sam thinks it should be a thing that is a different thing to the thing that James thinks it should be. Neither of them think that Pidgin should be The Thing. Don’t be silly. Pidgin is a restaurant, not an alien creature in the ice looking to do some serious physical, and emotional, damage to Kurt Russell in a cool parka. Anyway, this episode is for anyone looking to hear two people yap honestly about how their restaurant can hopefully survive, adapt, and possibly thrive in a hostile environment….the more I think about it actually, maybe Pidgin IS The Thing! All this honest disagreement plus: David Foster Wallace, Thai sausages, the death obsessed people of Brittany, thousand year old apple trees and Sam looks like Aslan. It creeps, it crawls, it strikes without warning! It’s TickyOff. This episode is sponsored by the Goldie Hawn of wine delivery services