|Food as love|
Delia was the original and her no nonsense domestic science teacher approach told us how to do the basics which is why her 'how to cook' series is still the go to guide for a lot of amateur cooks. She appeared to be in her own kitchen at home and we all rushed out to get the exact same muffin tray or mixing bowl so that we could cook just like her. Who can forget the famous run on limes when she cooked with one and all the supermarkets were caught off guard.
The polar opposite of Delia was the manic outdoor cooking of Keith Floyd that showed us how to prepare food while drinking wine at the same time - a more realistic depiction of cooking for most of us. If Delia was domestic science then Heston is food technology. He does the actual science bit and the food is pretty secondary to it all. Then we have Jamie who's more home 'eck than anything else. I'm willing to believe that he's at home, but we all know how controversial the whole 'meal in 30 minutes' offering turned out to be. He's far too heavy handed with the olive oil for my liking and when will he give the oven settings in gas marks please ? Also, stop telling us how good it smells eh Jamie ? It's just not on.
I've always given a wide berth to Nigella (no pun intended), but having watched her newest show I can vouch for her being so gorgeous that the cooking is pretty irrelevant. I don't want to watch someone who is so self satisfied with her own cooking that I feel like a voyeur thanks. Nigel Slater is more my thing. His recipes are unfathomable, with a pinch of this and a handful of that, but his soft spoken delivery and clear enjoyment of food are bewitching. I am baffled at the concept of a 'leftover duck breast,' which he cooked this week, but that aside his kitchen garden approach is a winner for me.
This brings me onto the one sticking point I have with TV chefs - eating on camera. I noticed watching Gordon that he doesn't eat his own food. It's refreshing to not have a chef scoff what they've just cooked on screen. If I have to shout 'don't talk with your mouth full !' at Lorraine Pascale again I swear I will get very cross. I realise that part of the Nigella factor is watching her stuff her face, but I don't go to a restaurant to watch the chef eat his own cooking - why would I do that with TV ?
I cook to make people happy. Whether it's a cake for my boys or to thank the neighbours for babysitting. Indian food for Mother-in-law and Brother-in-law when they visit us. Or flapjacks for my friend SJ to stop her having low blood sugar in the afternoons on the way home from work (well that's more a public service really - you don't want to have a crazed hungry woman on your bus home do you ?)
I may not get a TV show out of it, but that's ok… for now.