CELEBRITY CHEF JAUNTS
Three readers letters caught my eye this weekend in the Sunday Times and I agreed with most of the correspondents views. Two concerned the new Nigel Slater BBC TV programme 'Eating Together', transmitted on a Monday evening from 7.30pm. Nigel meets home cooks to sample a range of dishes from around the world.
Derek and Judith Walker wrote: ''We are very surprised that no one has yet commented on the transformation of Nigel Slater from a smart erudite and original chef into an unshaven, hairy, bedraggled and poorly dressed student of years gone by. Very disappointing. Quite what are you trying to prove, Nigel?'
Well, I don't know if I agree with the 'erudite and original chef' bit. I have always found him difficult to watch and listen to and his cooking instructions are far from clear, but as for his 'new' appearance, he does look more like a 60's hippy than a TV chef!
On the same theme, Maureen Keaveney wrote, 'Is anyone else fed up as I am with celebrity cooks enjoying free jaunts around the world, 'revisiting their roots', being fed to excess and telling us how marvellous it all is? Now Nigel Slater is jumping on the gravy train. All right for some.'
I could not agree more. In the last week we have seen Rick Stein in Germany (below), to find the best seafood from the north German coast, Ainsley Harriott in Japan tasting street food and a host of other re-runs of celebrity chefs cooking in the Australian outback or in a Delhi market place. And what's more, they all taste their own cooked food and tell us how good it is. Why not let someone else be the judge of that!
Finally, Stewart Heron summed up what I feel about TV cooking programmes - 'I never watch cooking programmes. My wife is, probably, one of the two best cooks in the world but I do not wish to find out how she does it. It could destroy a perfect relationship: she cooks, I eat.'
Well done Stewart. My wife too creates the perfect food and as I taste it, I can say that!