Many people will know Jessie Ware as a BRIT-nominated artist, whose hits include ‘Say You Love Me’ and ‘Wildest Moments’. Her fourth album, What’s Your Pleasure?, was released to critical acclaim and reached number 3 in the album charts last year – it even made the top 10 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2020 list.
However, Ware’s career accomplishments do not end there, as in 2017 she launched a podcast called Table Manners alongside her mother Lennie. The premise is simple, yet brilliant: the two invite a famous face over for dinner and cook them a hearty meal. Over the years, they’ve had all kinds of guests, from Sadiq Kahn to Dolly Parton, from Nigella Lawson to David Schwimmer. Each episode of this podcast is different, but all are equally entertaining. The intimacy of the relaxed dinner party setting means you get to hear your favourite celebrities open up about topics they never ordinarily would in interviews. For example, Liam Payne opened up about his experience of fatherhood and his co-parenting relationship with ex-girlfriend Cheryl, while James Bay discussed his time working in Sainsbury’s as a teenager when all he really wanted was a job in the local record shop, owned by the parents of his girlfriend Lucy, who he has been with ever since. These podcasts are also great for any occasion; Alan Carr’s episode left me laughing out loud in the gym with his stories of meeting Celine Dion courtesy of his best mate Adele while dressed head-to-toe in her merchandise, and Charlotte Tilbury’s stories of a childhood in Ibiza made those long Unilink bus journeys go a lot more quickly.
Jessie and Lennie’s family banter puts their guests at ease immediately, and there’s something really comforting – especially at the moment – about feeling like you’re round the table with them. The guest format doesn’t feel like a gimmick, it simply feels like listening to a conversation between friends, particularly as several of these guests are people Jessie has met or worked with throughout her career. However, it isn’t just the chat that has made this podcast a success. The food they make sounds delicious, and often goes down a storm with their guests, such as Lennie’s key lime pie that Cheryl couldn’t get enough of. This led to the publication of Table Manners: The Cookbook last year, which contains recipes divided into different effort levels, accompanied by some baking, special occasion meals and recipes influenced by their Jewish heritage. They were due to take the podcast on tour to celebrate the book’s publication back in March 2020, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re looking for a podcast that combines food, laughter, and your favourite celebrities, look no further: Table Manners is the one for you!
Table Manners is available to stream now via all your usual podcast providers.