Monthly Archives: February 2012

all tuckered out

I feel that part of my dietry requirements must be to watch all programmes on the Good Food channel.  At least once.

So next up, on a chilly Sunday evening, was Justine Schofield’s Everyday Gourmet.  Justine was a popular contestant on the first series of Masterchef Australia and her bright and breezy personality leaps through the echoey kitchen studio into the family homes throughout the country.


This is a fast paced, half hour show with Justine donning a new outfit for each recipe and the odd guest or two for company.  And a tin of tuna.  Many tins of tuna.  It’s kind of subtle at first but soon you’re being smacked round the head with tins of the stuff.  Did you know that tuna and pesto bruschetta is a very quick and cheap snack?  No, me neither.  In fact they love tuna so much that they repeat the quick snack recipes throughout the series.

After each recipe a caption appears giving details on servings, timing and cost.  One thing that intrigued me was that Justine did not sample her final dish.  She only eats when cooking with her guest (the WeightWatchers lady or previous Masterchef contestants).  I like this idea.  In fact, I’m going to write a separate post about it.

Justine also likes to display her wares on wooden chopping boards.  Don’t get me started on THAT ONE!  😉


shouting larder, larder, larder

Anyone familiar with cookery shows will know the phrase “a quick meal made with everyday ingredients from your larder”.  Yeah, right.

Whilst watching Everyday Gourmet I heard this phrase and my groans were cut short by Justine’s mention of tinned tuna.  Yes, a tin of tuna.  I have one of those, I thought.  In my larder.  Bloody hell!  Justine went on to make fish croquettes with wasabi mayo.  I don’t have any wasabi, but you can’t win them all.

This made me think about my own attitude to what constitutes an ‘everyday’ ingredient and my initial snobbishness about using tinned fish.  Justine aims her programme at families, people on a budget or those short on time.  A seemingly far cry from Nigella’s luxurious pantry, the size of a small shed.

Ingredients will no doubt differ depending on: status (single, family, shared accommodation), location (city or rural), what you can afford etc. 

Masterchef Australia has a challenge that involves cooking a fine dining meal using everyday items from an everyday family’s cupboard.  No cinnamon infused sugar a la Nigella or a canister of liquid nitrogen that Heston surely keeps at home.  Frozen food, tinned fruits, biscuits and cereal were their ingredients.  Some successful results but many failures.

So, I wonder, what is the most random item in your larder and what is the most ridiculous thing declared an everyday ingredient by a TV chef?




An acquaintance tweeted that she was late for work after being trapped behind a fellow in Pret ordering a “dry cappuccino” aka JUST THE FOAM. Now that Aki Matsushima is out of Masterchef, she must apply her QUANTUM BRANE to such matters.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Masterchef UK


“i’ve come up with more recipes than you’ve had hot dinners”

NZMasterchef’s Ray McVinnie introduces himself^^^ with an obvious FIB. (Also I think this is a repeat from ages ago…)


Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Masterchef New Zealand


familiar faces

Currently being screened on Good Food is Eating with the Enemy, originally shown on BBC2.  James Martin presents a cook off between two members of the public.  Their judges?  None other than Jay Rayner, Kate Spicer, Toby Young and Family Guy himself, Charles Campion.

Not content with putting the fear of god into our beloved Masterchef contestants they now have a show of their own.  James spends time with each amateur cook discussing their choice of main course and dessert.  The unsuspecting challenger gets a grilling in the Critics’ Chamber as they justify their menu then off to the professional kitchen to cook.

Of course the Enemy are harsh but fair and their final thoughts are given in the form of a restaurant review!

Once again, this doesn’t really warrant a full hour but it was almost worth it to hear Charles exclaim “LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO STUFF A SAUSAGE!”


Quote of the Week

Tom Rennolds’ twitter response to recent backlash: “i threw @hungrymauritian truffle in the bin i turned @akicooks oven down and i stole @GreggAWallace hair ……honest”


1 Comment

Posted by on February 19, 2012 in BBC, Masterchef UK


masterchef 2012


Posted by on February 19, 2012 in BBC, Masterchef UK, Poll


the very french frenchman

I love Raymond.  He’s one of my favourites.  His Kitchen Secrets programme showed him at his best.  Passionate, skillful, knowledgeable and, best of all, a bit silly.

‘Poor Old Adam’, as he was known in Fanny Towers, was forever getting stuff, putting stuff away, making things work and putting them back together again.  Raymond often broke things.  His endearing quality was one of a slightly clumsy, forgetful dad.  You occasionally wondered how he got where he is today.  Ocassionally.

In The Very Hungry Frenchman, BBC2’s five part trip around France, we follow Raymond around markets, vineyards and restaurants.  This really is a 30 minute show stretched to an hour.  The premise is that Raymond has not cooked in France since coming to the UK.  He now returns to places that are dear to him to cook a grand meal in a local restaurant.  In part one we met Maman Blanc, a lovely lady who looked straight to camera and said “he talks a lot”.  Yep.  He also eats a lot of cheese.  Comte, comte, comte!

There’s a clip during the title sequence of Raymond opening a microwave and the door coming away in his hands.  Tsk, the very clumsy Frenchman.



Posted by on February 19, 2012 in BBC, French, Raymond Blanc, Travel Genre



Ever wondered how the completed, slickly edited, television programmes we see differ from what actually happens in the studio?  I do.  I think about it quite a bit.  I cry “nooooooo!” when a Masterchef contestant responds to the question “what will you be cooking for us today?” with “well, Greg, I’ll be making a chocolate fonant” or, even worse, “a souffle, John”.

Think of the heat, the pressure, the time constraints, the oven you’ve never used … and do you normally have a gurning, bald man stood behind you shaking his head, muttering “you’ve only got 5 minutes until Jay Rayner wants his souffle, mate”?

The Daily Mail cried fowl over Tom’s apparent flop in the souffle department with The BBC explaining that more than one can be made and “As time is called at the end of cooking they must put only one up to be filmed, tasted and judged,” the statement added.  “We always cut back to the shot of the food as it was when first plated up as a reminder of how the dish looked before the tasting.”

Pretty straightforward to me.  How often are shots of a half finished meal inter cut with the original clip of the (usually dry rather than) fabulous fondant?  It’s there to remind us of a glorious plate of food before Pudding Face has licked it clean.



come whine with me

Do you love watching cookery shows?  Maybe a little too much?

Well, we do and here is our new blog where we plan to discuss everything culinary on British television.  It will take time to log and blog all the programmes out there (there are a LOT out there) but join us on our journey as we dissect Delia, reflect with Rhodes and salivate with Slater.