About the Show
Spice Bags is a fortnightly podcast that is part of the HeadStuff Podcast Network, Ireland's largest podcast network.
Named after everyone’s favourite Chinese-Irish drunk snack, Spice Bags is about Ireland’s relationship with food from the outside world.
Illustration by Miguel Ángel Valencia.
Blanca Valencia &
Mei, Blanca and Dee are three multicultural women living in Ireland, who love to chat about the food they love, and sometimes hate, interviewing people in Ireland and abroad who are helping to shape the culture of food here, and always asking questions like – How have Chinese restaurants changed not just the dining options in Ireland but the communities where they exist? Why are so many Irish cheeses made by women? Why has Dee earned the nickname “Cold Ribena”?
Mei is a writer who has contributed to Saveur, Gourmet, Gilt Taste, Lucky Peach, The New York Times, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Fiction, and Bomb.
She was the 2005 winner of the James Beard MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, as well as the recipient of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Bert Greene journalism award for Best Culinary Writing in 2010 and 2013.
Her essays have been anthologized in Cornbread Nation and Best Food Writing, and she has taught food writing at Yale University, New Haven.
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Mei is a native of Connecticut and a longtime resident of New York City. She currently spends her time between Dublin and New York.
Born in Spain, Blanca Valencia grew up in Central America and has lived in London, China, France and the U.S. She is a cook, teacher and speaker and a former management consultant. She has a Grand Diplome from London’s Le Cordon Bleu and her experience includes running the test kitchen Books For Cooks (London), a stage at elBullihotel (Seville, Spain), and
running the school at Alambique (Madrid). She collaborates regularly with the Spanish Commercial Offices and Cervantes Institutes in the U.S. and Ireland.
Blanca loves to help others, especially teaching young children to cook. Her volunteer experience includes Common Threads, Purple Asparagus, the City of Madrid, and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Currently, she is doing a Masters in Gastronomy and Food Studies at TUD.
Originally from Tipperary, Dee has been editor of Food & Wine Ireland, Easy Food Magazine, Yes Chef! Magazine and Publishing Director of fft. Magazine. She has written for the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Irish Times and The Sunday Times. She is producer and host of Dee's BiteSize Chats (IGTV series) and is a food contributor on Ireland AM morning TV show.
Her passion for Irish food has led her to many roles in the industry: a member of Irish Food Writers’ Guild, chair of Slow Food Dublin, host of the BasteCamp stage at The Big Grill Festival, a member of the crew with Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic & Latitude Festivals (UK), and a judge of the annual Blas na hÉireann – Irish Food Awards.