TV Chefs

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  • smoothpete 11 Jan 2006 12:15:05 31,361 posts
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    I was watching a video of The Two Fat Ladies the other week who I'd say were my favourite TV chefs. I love it that they appreciate unhealthy foods, almost every recipe in the whole series could give you a heart attack. There was a laugh out loud moment where one of them was greasing a pan with about half a pound of butter, she said to camera "you have to get the pan thoroughly greased up. If you've seen Last Tango in Pairs you'll know what I mean"

    I also have a lot of respect for Rick Stein, he has a real passion for good fresh food, and he's just so enthusiastic about the most vile looking sea creatures that I believe him when he says they taste nice. His series about travelling through France was excellent, as was his Food Heroes one

    Not a great fan of Jamie Oliver, but I'm not really into Italian food. All that "pukka-lavely-jubbly-gor-blimey-lav-a-duck-guvnor" shit gets on my tits too. And Gordon Ramsey is a fuckwit IMO, he's not a proper cook, he's a "celebrity" swearing machine

    Just wondered who you like really
  • kalel 11 Jan 2006 12:18:33 86,417 posts
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    I like Hugh Fernley-Whitingstall (sp?).
  • GrandTheftApu 11 Jan 2006 12:18:37 6,119 posts
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    Rick Stein is starting to annoy me, he's so gushing, everything is 'wonderful' or 'fantastic'. Every once in a while he could say stuff is crap if only for some variation.
  • bivith 11 Jan 2006 12:19:00 2,466 posts
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    One of Jamie Oliver's worst traits is his constant moaning about press intrusion into his private life, yet every fucking series he makes has his wife and kids in it!
  • Pike 11 Jan 2006 12:19:03 13,448 posts
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    I'm fond of Nigella Lawson.

    Jamie Oliver is a no talent twat.

    Edit: Although it must be said that the idea of a brit teaching non-brits about food is more than a little silly.

    Edited by Pike at 12:20:49 11-01-2006
  • Polyphonic 11 Jan 2006 12:20:58 94 posts
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    Good topic :D

    I'd say my current favourites are Gino D'Acampo, James Tanner and James Martin. Oh and Frank..Frank, er, Frank something; my memory fails me :(

    If you're into celebrity chefs etc, watch Great Food Live on UK Food (Sky); I think it's on daily and they have a good selection of chefs. Well worth watching..

    /Great Food Live fanboy



    Edit: Oh and Floyd! That guy's a master...




    Edited by Polyphonic at 12:26:42 11-01-2006
  • Fat-Boy 11 Jan 2006 12:21:30 4,300 posts
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    Jesus, you guys actually have favourite TV chefs???

    They'd be first against the wall come the revolution if I had my way. Standing next to Phil Collins,
  • IMO 11 Jan 2006 12:21:46 5,583 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    I like Hugh Fernley-Whitingstall (sp?).

    He is the funniest chef alive, he will eat ANYTHING!
  • Pike 11 Jan 2006 12:24:40 13,448 posts
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    Fat Boy wrote:
    Jesus, you guys actually have favourite TV chefs???

    They'd be first against the wall come the revolution if I had my way. Standing next to Phil Collins,

    Why?
  • ssuellid 11 Jan 2006 12:25:00 19,141 posts
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    Normally watch Saturday Kitchen and AWT usually cooks some nice sounding stuff. For passion about food nobody beats Keith Floyd. Only person that comes close is the bloke I used to think was a total twat - his name I cannot remember - long spiky hair when he was younger. James Martin makes some nice stuff on his deli program. I hate food thats been pissed about with too much.
  • sam_spade 11 Jan 2006 12:26:15 15,745 posts
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    Has anyone watched Anthony Bourdain's TV series as he goes around the world? Some of the stuff he eats looks absolutely foul.
  • Fat-Boy 11 Jan 2006 12:26:23 4,300 posts
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    Pike wrote:
    Fat Boy wrote:
    Jesus, you guys actually have favourite TV chefs???

    They'd be first against the wall come the revolution if I had my way. Standing next to Phil Collins,

    Why?

    They all annoy me intensely and I despise food programmes almost as much as home makeover shows.
  • smoothpete 11 Jan 2006 12:26:24 31,361 posts
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    I forgot about Hugh Fernley-Wittingstall, he's good. I get the impression that if it moves he'll eat it. I miss out on lots of shows by not having Sky

    I saw one where H F-W had gone out and found a big puffball, he chopped the top off and scooped out the gubbins, then made a stew inside the thing with rabbot and red wine. Looked totally yummy, if you like that kind of thing. And his 10 (?) bird roast for Christmas was mental
  • quedex 11 Jan 2006 12:26:42 3,135 posts
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    Gary Rhodes for me. I don't like his presenting style much, but his food always makes me hungry.

    Oh, and if you've got UKTV Food, Ching's Kitchen is worth checking out :-)
  • ssuellid 11 Jan 2006 12:27:02 19,141 posts
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    IMO wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    I like Hugh Fernley-Whitingstall (sp?).

    He is the funniest chef alive, he will eat ANYTHING!

    Apparently its all set up. He has a huge crew that ship off to the country to film a few episodes. Hugh drags himself out of his posh London pad to turn up in the country and buggers off asap - alledgedly. The size of the crew on the credits is exceptional.
  • Pike 11 Jan 2006 12:27:10 13,448 posts
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    Keith Floyd is fun to watch, but he really isn't much of a cook. But it's always fun to watch him get plastered.
  • Dougs 11 Jan 2006 12:31:25 66,722 posts
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    Fat Boy wrote:
    Pike wrote:
    Fat Boy wrote:
    Jesus, you guys actually have favourite TV chefs???

    They'd be first against the wall come the revolution if I had my way. Standing next to Phil Collins,

    Why?

    They all annoy me intensely and I despise food programmes almost as much as home makeover shows.

    I'm with Fat Boy in all of this. I don't cook, and therefore have no interest in cooking progs. And I can't stand that mockney twat. Although to be fair, he is the only TV chef that my brother (as a chef) has any time for. Mind you, this was before the rest of them came onto the scene.
  • Shinji 11 Jan 2006 12:32:29 5,903 posts
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    I take issue with a lot of TV chefs. I don't think it's any coincidence that a country as obsessed with watching cooking on television as Britain is is also a country where the vast majority of people can't or won't cook.

    There's a massive preponderance of TV chefs, and their recipe books, which present individual recipes without ever explaining why they're doing what they're doing, or using the ingredients they're using. They aim to teach people to cook by showing them a few individual complex recipes with no attempt at actually explaining the fundamentals of how cooking works, what spices work with what ingredients, how to balance flavours, prepare really basic sauces, and so on.

    As such, you end up with a generation of people who know the theory behind making a souffle, but can't make a pasta sauce. Or who know how to make a complex centrepiece fish dish, but have no idea how to rescue it if the flavours go wrong; in essence, a bunch of ponies who know a few tricks but can't walk or gallop. What good is it being able to make an authentic Thai green curry, right down to preparing your own shrimp paste with a Jamie Oliver branded pestle and mortar, if you don't have the knowledge of the basics that allows you to throw some noodles, whatever veg you've got and a couple of chicken breasts into a tasty stir fry, or turn a pack of mince and the contents of the back of your cupboard into a healthy pasta sauce?

    I'm not saying that cooking shows aren't entertaining - I find them very much so, but then again, I can cook. I'm no celebrity chef, but I cooked regularly for a family of five for six years, and have been cooking for myself and friends several days a week for a further six years. Nobody's died yet ;)

    The problem is that you get people who genuinely can't boil an egg (or a pot of spaghetti), but who watch celebrity chefs and set off to create incredibly complex dishes with no idea what they're really doing. It's like driving around a city with a set of directions but no map - fine if everything stays on course, but you're fucked if you take a wrong turn. They inevitably screw up (because without taking it from the basics, how do you know what consistency your white sauce should be? How do you know how exactly to fold in an egg white? How do you know what spice to add to an almost completed pot of meat sauce that has developed a slightly sour aftertaste?), and they get disillusioned; or they come home and realise that they don't have anything in their cupboards that they know how to cook - and it's back down to the Tescos Ready Meals section for them.

    Sorry, slightly undirected rant that's at a bit of a tangent to the thread, I know... Just wanted to get that one off my chest :)
  • ssuellid 11 Jan 2006 12:37:10 19,141 posts
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    following on from what Shinji said its pretty much true from my experiences at college and shared houses. First day at university and someone on the same floor as me was boiling milk in a kettle and I had to show him how to use the toaster.
  • Pike 11 Jan 2006 12:38:31 13,448 posts
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    You should read Nigel Slater Shinji. He's reallt good when it comes to simple and straightforward recipies. His book Real Fast Food is brilliant.
  • Shinji 11 Jan 2006 12:50:11 5,903 posts
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    Funny, I was about to mention him and then decided that my rant was long enough. Nigel Slater is great; he actually talks about making stuff out of normal ingredients, preparing things in a hurry, and how to get the basics right before trying complex stuff. "The Kitchen Diaries" is absolutely brilliant - entertaining to read, full of good ideas and very human.

    I love the entries where he basically says he couldn't be arsed cooking anything complex so he just makes something quick with baked beans, or whatever - the kind of idea that really makes you warm to a chef who's actually in the same position as you are, in terms of not always having time, ingredients or inclination to cook, but who has more know-how and bright ideas about making nice stuff from everyday items in a matter of minutes.
  • tincanrocket 11 Jan 2006 12:53:47 2,905 posts
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    Fat Boy wrote:
    Jesus, you guys actually have favourite TV chefs???

    They'd be first against the wall come the revolution if I had my way. Standing next to Phil Collins,

    Have to agree, by and large - I'd also line up all the celebrities who release fitness DVDs next to Phil Collins and the chefs (if there's enough space!)

    Edit: oh, and we'd have to leave enough space for Bono and Geldof

    Edited by tincanrocket at 12:54:51 11-01-2006
  • Dougs 11 Jan 2006 12:54:15 66,722 posts
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    ssuellid wrote:
    following on from what Shinji said its pretty much true from my experiences at college and shared houses. First day at university and someone on the same floor as me was boiling milk in a kettle and I had to show him how to use the toaster.

    LOL. It doesn't surprise me. One of mates had to be shown how to wash up. He had no idea that you had to use washing up liquid.
  • Tricky 11 Jan 2006 12:54:46 4,362 posts
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    Say what you like about Jamie Oliver, it matters not to me. Ever since he did the school dinners thing, I've had nothing but respect for him. Yeah, sure, his manner may get on your tits but he took it upon himself to sort out the shite that kids are eating in our schools and proved that it could be done.

    Got a lot of respect for Gordon Ramsey too. His own cooking is a bit too fancy but you can't say that he's a shite chef because he knows his stuff; he's proven time and again that he can "do simple" because that's inevitably his advice on his Kitchen Nightmares shows. The result is usually a business that improves its custom massively.
  • smoothpete 11 Jan 2006 12:55:54 31,361 posts
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    Fair comment Shinji, I love to cook anyway so I like to pick up ideas for things from the TV cookery shows. Like, I dunno, dill goes well with an aniseed flavoured dish, that kind of thing. I think it's best to get ideas then make stuff up based on them (I've got a truly fantastic recipe for mackerel with dill cooked in a pernod saude if anyone wants it :D ).

    Delia's How to Cook was interesting, proper right back to basics stuff.
  • President_Weasel 11 Jan 2006 12:56:02 8,984 posts
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    Shinji wrote: How do you know what spice to add to an almost completed pot of meat sauce that has developed a slightly sour aftertaste?

    I know this one! Is it...


    ...sugar?
  • Dougs 11 Jan 2006 12:57:01 66,722 posts
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    Tricky wrote:
    Say what you like about Jamie Oliver, it matters not to me. Ever since he did the school dinners thing, I've had nothing but respect for him. Yeah, sure, his manner may get on your tits but he took it upon himself to sort out the shite that kids are eating in our schools and proved that it could be done.


    Its a fair point. Plus he told Clinton (I think) to shove it after his entourage changed their order last minute
  • Pike 11 Jan 2006 12:57:03 13,448 posts
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    The best thing with Nigel Slater, apart from his simple and usually tasy recepies, is that he gives the impression that he really cares about food and he is great at communicating that enthusiasm to his readers.
  • mwtb 11 Jan 2006 13:02:34 2,381 posts
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    Keith Floyd and Anthony Bourdain for the travelogue/cookery stuff.

    Alton Brown and Heston Blumenthal for actually explaining and exploring the underlying science of cooking and how to apply it.

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Rick Stein for properly championing the need to recognise what food actually is and where it comes from.

    I would mention Nigella Lawson except that I don't recall ever watching her stuff and paying much attention to the food.
  • smoothpete 11 Jan 2006 13:09:13 31,361 posts
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    mwtb wrote:
    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Rick Stein for properly championing the need to recognise what food actually is and where it comes from.

    This is key IMO. There's some statistic that 1 in 4 children under 14 didn't know where milk came from, or answered "supermarket". Shocking.

    And yeah I do have to give Jamie Oliver kudos for School Dinners. And then immediately remove them for the Sainsbirys ads (I don't mind him doing ads in general, but not for a supermarket. He sould be seen to be backing farmers markets)
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