Dish of the Day: The downsides to cookery shows
When you switch on the TV these days you are never more than a tap away from a cookery show. Sure it gets people interested in the food on their plate and in their mouths. But there is another side to things.
Most of those shows have a highly competitive element to them – there is sometimes that sense cooking is best left to some else, to the pros or wanna-be pros. Which is a shame because cooking shouldn’t be scary or a traumatic clock-counting process.
Home cooking is completely different to working as a chef of course. The hard part about that is quite simple: getting other people to do what you are good at (aside from suppliers, environmental health, business levels, logistics, paperwork). For example, let’s say you make the most perfect of omelettes. Now, you tell someone else how to do that; they make it; and then by necessity I judge them on it. Multiply that by 40 and you have the crux.
At home it is different. I’m not say cooking’s easy but let’s be honest, it’s not the most important task in the world. You make a cake at home, it’s not cooked, make it again next week, and remember what you may have done wrong. Ask advice, use the internet, whatever floats your boat. What cooking needs to be and all-to-often isn’t shown to be is fun. You should be able play around and experiment.
When it works, enjoy boasting to your friends that your shepherd’s pie with sweet potato mash is the best they’ll ever taste. Don’t worry about ingredients, as Fergus Henderson rightly says, they can smell your fear. I’ve seen guys who are like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting but when cooking a steak with the pan smoking and the steak burning, they panic. Turn the heat down, move the pan off the flame, take the steak out. Chill. When it comes to cooking it is really all good.Tagged in: cookery programmes, food, Gordon Ramsay, home cooking, jamie oliver, masterchef, The F Word, The Great British Bakeoff
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