Episode from the podcastThe Big Travel Podcast

104. Loyd Grossman CBE; 1960s New York, Ecclesiastical Sock Makers and How Food Completes Travel

Released Monday, 31st August 2020
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Loyd Grossman, entrepreneur, author and broadcaster is well-known for presenting MasterChef, Through the Keyhole and much more. His lifelong passion for history and the arts has led to leading roles in cultural institutions from English Heritage, to The Arts Society, the Royal Parks and the Royal Historical Society and several impeccably researched books. Loyd and Lisa talk food – as you’d expect from the man behind one of the UK’s most successful celebrity sauces, growing up in a US seaside haven, hippy days in late 60s New York, playing with Jethro Tull and how an elephant in Rome led to his new book about one of Europe’s greatest artists.

On this episode we cover:

The curious elephant statue in Rome that piqued his interest
His new book An Elephant in Rome: Bernini, The Pope and The Ma…
Bernini a contemporary of Rembrandt, Reubens, Velazquez
The most famous artist in Europe in his lifetime
Usually concentrating on 18th century historical research
So finding going back to the 17h century quite challenging
Always wanting to be learning something
Nuns on motorbikes eating ice creams
‘Ecclesiastical socks’ made by the Pope’s tailor
Growing up in Boston and we would visit New York at least twice a year
Rome being a ‘tossed salad’ of history
Being hooked on Roman ice cream
The rather confusing Italian breastfeeding wolves statues
(about the infants Romulus and Remus)
His commercial TV work being what he is well known for
Feeling lucky he has had a portfolio career
Growing up with a strong public service ethos
Arriving in the UK in 1974
Growing up in the sailing town of Marblehead ‘one of the most beautiful towns in America
Having a very typical seaside New England upbringing
Boston and its amazing culture 
Being involved in a big music scene
Playing at Glastonbury (8 times, no less)
Teaming up with Jethro Tull to raise money for British cathedrals
His low-key, understate, musical parents
Taking his first plane trip at 3 months old
Regular trips on the Yankee Clipper train to New York as a child
The excitement of arriving at Grand Central Station
Difference; travel, interacting with different people and backgrounds, being really important for him
Catching amazing bands like the Velvet Underground
Longhaired and covered in tie-dye
Finding the UK an exceptional and exciting place
Feeling London is the greatest city in the world
But that it also can overshadow other cities
Liverpool’s cultural, musical and sporting history
Food and travel and culture going hand in hand
Catch 22 author Joseph Heller ‘perpetually hungry from the neck up’
‘The most intense experience of another country is eating their food they eat’
Always wanting to arrive in a country in time for lunch
Loving the rustic food and quality of produce in Spain
The best Swedish food in Stockholm
London’s Royal Parks being the greatest collection of parks in the world
Greenwich Park being established in 1433
Originally hunting grounds for the Royal Family
Travelling to experience the different thing
Cuban refugee musicians on 1950s Miami Beach

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