Cover art for podcast Spice Bags

Spice Bags

55 EpisodesProduced by HeadStuff PodcastsWebsite

Sometimes the clearest way to see yourself is through a foreigner's eyes. Named after everyone's favorite Chinese-Irish deep-fried drunk snack, Spice Bags is a podcast about food in Ireland and beyond. Multi-cultural hosts Blanca, Mei and Dee--a Spanish food researcher, a Chinese American writer, an… read more

55 Episodes | 2020 - 2024


February 22nd, 2024


An important message from RadioPublic

S4 Ep12: Our Swan Song

May 12th, 2023


After four wonderful years of episodes, we at Spice Bags are bowing out. While we do announce this with a heavy heart, we – Blanca, Dee, and Mei – …

S4 Ep11: Fast Food

April 6th, 2023


While Dee and Mei have bonded about their passion about fast food over the years, it was a surprise that our elegant Blanca nurses a passion for White Castle and corn dogs.


What is fast food? Is it simply chains like …

S4 Ep10: Talking Nigeria with Emi and Victory

March 9th, 2023


Nigeria is a complex place, in terms of food, history, geography, and its three hundred

plus ethnicities. Edizemi Onilenla, or Emi, founder of the …

S4 Ep9: Asturias: A conversation with Ali Dunworth and Blanca Valencia.

February 20th, 2023


Journalist Ali Dunworth and Blanca talk about their recent trip to the Asturias region in

Spain, where they were pampered with cider, veal, cheese, and conservas. Oviedo, the

capital, is on the Camino Norte, the famous …

S4 Ep8: Chatting with Kristin Jensen & Blasta Books #5 SOUP

February 1st, 2023


We talk to American-born editor, writer, and publisher, Kristin Jensen, who has had

quite the year. Founder of Blasta Books and Nine Bean Rows Books, as well as the

long-form magazine Scoop magazine (helmed by our own Dee …

S4 Ep7: Welcoming Lunar New Year the K-Way with Gunmoo Kim & Soonie Delap

January 19th, 2023


Welcoming Lunar New Year the K-Way with Gunmoo Kim & Soonie Delap


South Korea is a country that is a pioneer of pop music, cinema, television, fashion, and cuisine. In this episode, we talk to Gunmoo Kim and Soonie …

S4 Ep6: Spice Bags Xmas Special with Chris & Marcus from That’s Bangin’

December 28th, 2022


In our Spice Bags Christmas Special Episode, we celebrate with Marcus O’Laoire, DJ, chef and owner of D8 pubs Anti-Social and Jackie’s, and Chris Mellon of Blackberry Café and creator of Dublin Social. 

Marcus and Chris …

S4 Ep5: Talking Malaysia with Vik Siva Subramaniam and Sham Hanifa

December 14th, 2022


Shamzuri (Sham) Hanifa, is a beloved denizen of the Irish food scene. Based in Leitrim, he is the award-winning chef and owner of the Cottage Restaurant, Buffalo Boy, and Chef Sham Sauces. His new restaurant, My …

S4 Ep4: Let Us Eat Cake!

December 1st, 2022


Cake is more decadent than brioche or stollen, in that it is leavened with eggs, enriched with butter, and sweetened with sugar.

To quote Nicola …

S4 Ep3: LIVE at Samhain Festival 2022 with Allen & Lorena Krause of Killua Castle

November 16th, 2022

Blanca, Dee and Mei recorded this special live episode in Kells Courthouse, Tourism and Cultural Hub at Samhain Festival 2022 – Celebrating 5,000 …

S4 Ep2: In Conversation with Angel & Julien of Miso Izakaya, Sligo

November 2nd, 2022

Hui-Wen Angel Cheng and Julien Thibault, owners of the award-winning Miso Izakaya Sligo restaurant, are not a conventional Irish culinary couple. …

S4 Ep1: Come shopping with us!

October 19th, 2022

In the first episode of our new season we delve into one of our favourite topics: shopping! 

In the shopping trolley: What are our number one food …

S3 Ep11: Season Finale! Smoking Sally: A Conversation with Fish Smoker Sally Barnes

April 6th, 2022

Sally Barnes, the only exclusive smoker of wild salmon in Ireland and a legend in the artisanal food world, was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Food Writers’ Guild.
Born in Scotland, Sally …

S3: (West) Corking Good Food & Chats: A St. Patrick's Minisode from Celtic Ross Hotel: Part 2

March 19th, 2022

For Part 2 of our St. Patrick's special minisode and in celebration of the Celtic Ross Hotel's 25th birthday, we talk to two of the hotel’s local …

S3: (West) Corking Good Food & Chats: A St. Patrick’s Minisode from Celtic Ross Hotel: Part 1

March 17th, 2022

We were honoured to be invited to the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery to record as part of their celebration of their 25th birthday! Like many ventures in West Cork, the hotel is a family-owned business. Operated by …

S3 Ep10: Exploring Moroccan Cuisine with Chef Aziz Krouch

March 9th, 2022

Aziz Krouch has been a chef in La Mamounia in Marrakesh (recently featured in Netflix's show Inventing Anna), La Medina in New York, and now he is the head chef of Marrakesh By Mindo on Capel Street in Dublin. As a …

S3: Minisode: In the Kitchens of Director Pedro Almodóvar

March 3rd, 2022

In this mini-episode, Mei quizzes Blanca on one of her favourite topics – Kitchens in Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar's movies.

From the tenebrous kitchen in What Have I Done to Deserve This? to the airy 90s …

S3 Ep9: Eat Your Words: Food Magazines

February 17th, 2022

It’s a trip down memory lane! As children, Blanca, Dee, and Mei inhaled the glossy pages of food magazines and the promises of far-flung worlds from …

S3: Minisode: Celebrating Lunar New Year at the Guinness Storehouse

February 2nd, 2022

We celebrated the first day of Lunar New Year, on February 1st, in a very special way this year by recording this mini-episode of Spice Bags in the Guinness Storehouse!

We are delighted to have been invited to record …

S3 Ep8: Lunar New Year & Kitchen Talk with Duo

January 26th, 2022

We're back after our mid-season break with a jam-packed episode, which we're delighted to say is sponsored by the Dublin Lunar New Year festival, whose lineup (from 26 January – 6 February) of food, art, music, and …

S3 Ep7: Poland: Beyond Pierogi & Pickles

December 8th, 2021

In this episode, we are joined by Bart Pawlukojc, the chef/owner of Arán artisan bakery and bistro in Kilkenny, and Kamila Bystrzonowska, the chef/owner of award-winning MOMO restaurant in Waterford.
On the table: …

S3 Ep6: Wine not? In Conversation with Sevgi Tüzel-Conghaile

November 25th, 2021

Sevgi Tüzel-Conghaile, founder of the Dublin-based A Wine Idea, is one of the most impressive females in the Irish wine world. Born in Turkey, she is …

S3 Ep5: It's A Wrap

November 10th, 2021

Wrapped foods are the femme fatales of the culinary world in that they exude an irresistible allure. 

From maki and jambon to agnolotti and …

S3 Ep4: Exploring Filipino Cuisine with Richie Castillo

October 27th, 2021


Richie Castillo is founder and chef of the Filipino Dublin pop-up venture Bahay, and  former chef of Clanbrassil House and Bastible. Although Irish, he’s a global guy. Richie’s father is Filipino, his mother is from …

S3 Ep3: Cooking Schools

October 13th, 2021

Blanca, Dee, and Mei have radically different relationships with cooking schools. Dee, always inquisitive, signs up for a cooking class every time …

S3 Ep2: World Food: An Interview with Author James Oseland

September 29th, 2021

James Oseland is a multi-award winning writer, former editor-in-chief of the American food magazines Saveur and Rodale's Organic Life, and one of the …

S3 Ep1: Brasil Delicioso!

September 15th, 2021

Brazil is a vast multicultural food lab where you find a myriad of flours, Amazonian, African and Asian ingredients and Portuguese inspired …

"Food Cravings" Spice Bags Live at Taste of Dublin

September 8th, 2021

Science tells us that we get cravings when our bodies are deprived of salt, sugar, vitamins, and fat, a fact we will remember when we go on our next churros bender.
Food cravings are naughty and nice, sophisticated and …

Food + Fiction

June 13th, 2021

At Spice Bags, we are as much book geeks as food geeks. However, what is the role that food plays in books, and how do words serve to whet our …

S2 Ep12: Malawi with Ellie Kisyombe

April 7th, 2021

Malawi-born Ellie Kisyombe is the founder of Our Table and currently Ellie’s Kitchen, Home Edition. As an activist and a food producer, Ellie is well …

S2 Ep11: Tools of the Trade

March 24th, 2021

It is time now to turn to our sizzling, Covid-era heartthrob, the kitchen, and unpack all its secrets. Going through your kitchen tools is like …

S2 Ep10: We ❤ Venezuela

March 10th, 2021

Who doesn’t? This country is resilient, colourful, and has a reputation for having some of the most beautiful women in the world. Recently we have …

S2 Ep9: Our Daily Bread

February 24th, 2021

Brought to you in the midst of lockdown, Spice Bags delves into bread. Let’s face it, many of us are making it, and most of us are eating far too much of it.

Why can't you make soda bread outside of Ireland? Why does …

S2 Ep8: Lunar New Year & Lord Mayor Hazel Chu

February 10th, 2021

Happy Year of the Ox! We kick off this episode with a crash course on dumplings, but the true highlight is an interview with the Lord Mayor, Hazel Chu. Chu, who is known for her commitment to a diverse Ireland, shares …

S2 Ep7: Talking Turkey with Ahmet Dede

January 27th, 2021

When we interviewed Ahmet Dede, head chef of Dede in Baltimore, none of us (including Dede) were aware that he was about to win another Michelin star. Instead we listened, rapt, to the many stories he had to tell. Among …

S2 Ep6: Tapas v. Pintxos

January 13th, 2021


The Spanish have a tradition of all-day nibbling that the rest of the world has fetishized, adored, and mimicked. Yet what is a tapas and how does it differ from a pintxo? How have these traditions migrated and …

S2 Ep5: Darina Allen & Holidays

December 30th, 2020

With the holidays hovering and some of us feeling a touch homesick, is there a better person to chat with than the legendary Darina Allen? Allen is …

S2 Ep4: Corned Beef & Kennedys

December 2nd, 2020

Hot on the heels of another Irish-American president elect, Joe Biden, Spice Bags delves into the complicated history of the Irish in America. Blanca has mingled with the Irish of Chicago and DC; Mei has lived in …

S2 Ep3: Soup of the Evening, Beautiful Soup!

November 18th, 2020

In Soup, Spice Bags tackles another installment of “Staples” – where we three discuss a food from each of our cultural perspectives. In this episode, …

S2 Ep2: Talking Thai

November 4th, 2020

Nanphun Srakhunthod and Una Lancaster are daughters of two of the oldest Thai families in Ireland, who opened Baan Thai, Ireland’s first Thai owned …

S2 Ep1: Brewing up a Storm

October 21st, 2020

The Irish drink more tea per capita in the world, and yet it goes without saying that their “cuppa” differs from that of other cultures. Follow us as …

S1 Ep12: U$A: American Tourist Dollars and the Irish Food World

August 5th, 2020

Americans have been coming to Ireland in significant numbers for decades, often in a nostalgic search for their own cultural roots.  How has this …

S1 Ep11: Mexico and Ireland: A Love Story

July 22nd, 2020

The Irish adore Mexico, and who can blame them?  In this country, the range of Mexican ingredients has vastly improved, and we can now regularly …

S1 Ep10: Lady Cheese

July 8th, 2020

As compared to Spain or France, for example, cheesemaking in Ireland seems to be dominated by women. How did this come to pass and what does it tell …

S1 Ep9: World Class Indian Food: An Irish Specialty

June 24th, 2020

Ireland has some of the best Indian food we have eaten, compared to big cities like New York and London which have much larger south Asian …

S1 Ep8: Appropriation in a Global Food World

June 10th, 2020

From Australian chefs making Nashville hot chicken to Alison Roman putting coconut milk in her stew, cultural appropriation is a hot-button topic …

S1 Ep7: Food Fight

May 27th, 2020

Everyone loves a food feud. In the wake of the recent Alison Roman-Chrissy Teigen dustup, we take a look at some of our favorite culinary squabbles, …

S1 Ep6: How To Say Pasta In Irish with Manuela Spinelli

May 13th, 2020

Our guest this week is Manuela Spinelli, whose recent Irish Times article celebrating carbonara went viral. Spinelli is the secretary general of Euro-Toques Ireland, and is also beloved by many in this country as the …

S1 Ep5: Ridiculous Books for Cooks

April 29th, 2020

While everyone's become a pioneer wife, turning to the cookbooks that teach pantry cooking and parsimony, in this episode we celebrate the …

S1 Ep4: Crisps! A Biography

April 15th, 2020

This episode is all about Ireland's contribution to the world of crisps. For many Irish, the cheese and onion Tayto crisp is the equivalent of …

S1 Ep3: An Interview with Domini Kemp

April 1st, 2020

In this episode we interview Dublin-based restaurateur, former Irish Times food columnist, and cookbook writer Domini Kemp. “Forty percent of Irish …

S1 Ep2: Slainte, Stone-Age Style: JP McMahon’s The Irish Cookbook

March 18th, 2020

We talk to Irish chef JP McMahon, author of the ambitious, artfully-produced 500-recipe doorstopper The Irish Cookbook, just out from Phaidon. …

S1 Ep1: Beansprouts in Bathtubs: The Chinese Restaurant in Ireland

March 18th, 2020

With many of the Chinese restaurants in Dublin’s unofficial “Chinatown” on Parnell Street shuttered, we‘re talking Chinese.

In this episode, our guest is chef Kwanghi Chan, creator of Chan Chan Spice Bag seasoning and …

Welcome To Spice Bags!

February 27th, 2020


A quick preview of what's to come on Spice Bags: Ireland's relationship with international food and spicy interviews with people from Irish international communities and beyond. With co-hosts Mei Chin, Blanca Valencia …

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