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Category Archives: Good Food Channel

man v food v john catucci

I think most of us are familiar with Adam Richman’s Man v Food but for the uninitiated let me explain a little.

His culinary road trip is divided in two with our enthusiastic host showing us around the weird, wonderful and tasty sights of [insert American town here].  We see diners, dive bars, curry houses and BBQ shacks.  The first half focuses on popular local joints – most have customers who have been tucking into biscuits and gravy, chicken wings or cheesecakes for a long time.  There are regulars who have had the same meal every Friday without fail for 20 years.  Adam tastes the signature dishes, sees how they are made and, of course, shoves it down his cake hole.

‘Mmmmmmm. Donuts/beer/erotic cakes’

I admit to an assumption that MvF was fronted by a chirpy chap who likes to eat, more of a student type who likes nothing more than to chug down a few beers and eat as many kebabs as possible.  But he’s not just that!  Each show begins with a quick intro from the man himself: “I’ve held every position there is the restaurant business” so he has the background but he also has the intelligence and vocabulary to match.  He will explain that, yes, he may be a few mouthfuls into a 25lb steak but it’s SO GOOD because the sharp onion relish cuts through the beautifully rendered fat on the meat and the dusty coating of semolina on the chips gives an incredible crispness that compliments the homemade aioli.  Or something.

After the commercial break?  All hell breaks lose.  Read the rest of this entry »

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greece is the word

With lots of shows cued up on my telly box and the weather waaaay too hot for lil’ ol’ me I decided to have, not quite a marathon, more a fun run of a few of these summery episodes.

One that stood out, initially for good reasons, was ‘Lyndey and Blair’s Taste of Greece’.  One of the myriad Australian shows on the Good Food Channel, this was a 13 part road trip across the Peloponnese for a mother and son.  We are introduced to Blair Milan as an actor and voice-over artist and his mother, Lyndey, a presenter and all round culinary expert.  The moment Blair speaks he is clearly an actor, handsome and confident, appearing in Home and Away among other shows.

They seem to have a great relationship and when they stop in Athens to visit the Agora Market to point at the goat heads, Lyndsey exclaims “having brought him up to be knowledgeable about food I was surprised at how squeamish Blair was – so I decided to make him eat some tripe soup!”  The gelatinous soup is served …

L: “It’s an acquired taste”
B: “Let’s see how acquired … 😦 it’s not the best thing I’ve put in my mouth!” Read the rest of this entry »

 

on the rhode

So, the ever so slightly creepy Gary Rhodes takes us on a trip across China.  I’ve joined him right at the start of his three week culinary journey in Hong Kong and he’s already picked up a couple of lovely ladies along the way.

Two ‘apprentices’ were selected in the UK to join Gary on his travels.  I presume they expressed an interest in accompanying a famous chef across a far away land for nowt, trying some amazing food, meeting lots of nice people and being on the telly … oh, and a bit of obligatory animal cruelty as well.

Melissa and Teresa seem like ideal candidates; enthusiastic with some background knowledge (Teresa’s parents are from China and Melissa recently returned from the Far East on a college trip) they get involved whenever possible.

Rhodes introduces us to the delightful Chef Po and they cook on a waterside set up with the Hong Kong skyline behind them where Gary is told “the Cantonese eat anything that flies except an aeroplane, anything that swims except a submarine and anything with legs except a table”.  We are given a brief masterclass in making soy sauce and how the taste differs between the various types.

Next, Chef Po takes Gary to one of the oldest eateries around where beautiful looking suckling pig is made and Gary has a go at dim sum.  Now, when someone says ‘one of the oldest restaurants in XYZ’ I imagine we’re looking at a Rules-like 150 years minimum but this fabulous local place is a mere baby at 80 years old.  Meanwhile our intrepid Brits are exploring the streets with food bloggers and Gary joins them just in time for some snake soup.  Teresa explains on her UK Food TV blog; “I went for some snake soup at Shia Wong Hip. I have tried it before so the thought didn’t bother me. Hats off to Gary though, because he tasted snake bile. He even drank the pure version, with water rather than rice wine!”   Rather you than me, Gaz!

 

 

drop the boy, drop the boy

Donal Skehan is the actual (not actual) seven year old presenter of Kitchen Hero currently screening on Good Food.  Donal (real age 25) has an interesting past.  He reached the final of Eurosong 2008, Ireland’s contest to find their Eurovision entry.  Yes, that was the year when that bloody turkey won the coveted spot – Johnny Logan would be spinning in his grave if he weren’t still alive.  ANYWAY, a boy band here, a pop group there and with some presenting jobs thrown in Donal got the opportunity to showcase his love of food in his own show, Kitchen Hero.

We start with a title sequence straight out of Grange Hill – a comic strip complete with action words ‘PIE!’ and ‘BAKE!’ and the jangle of indie pop litters the remaining 25 minutes.

The first recipe is for a pavlova and he gets to grips with the meringue whisking the egg whites “so it’s the consistancey of shaving cream”. Aw, bless – I bet he makes meringue more often than he shaves.  Our eager cook is self taught and has the opportunity to be annoying (young, perky, you know the type) but I really like this chap.  His enthusiasm knows no bounds and I love the fact that his show is set in what looks like a real apartment.  The backdrop reveals random jars, mismatched glasses and crockery and lots of utensils that won’t fit in the drawers.  But the highlight for me is his fridge.  A proper, real-life fridge.  While preparing a vibrant coleslaw he grabs carrot and cabbage from the clear vegetable tray and you sneak a peek at the half jar of mayo, a few bendy spring onions and on-the-turn mushrooms – my kinda guy.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Good Food Channel, Irish

 

no messing around

“So, here’s how you make my crab mousse lasagne.”  Oh, blimey, OK – hello, nice to meet you.  We’ve started already have we?  No gentle introduction just straight in there.  Get your crab meat and some other stuff, wack it in the blender – off you go.

Neven Maguire is a ‘celebrity chef’ in Ireland with many awards and books under his belt.  He has a fine array of pullovers too.  He looks like he’s just come from the golf course and decided to rustle up a couple of dishes.  Which he does.  He follows up his lasagne with roasted butternut squash, pancetta and pine nut pasta which doesn’t look the most appetising but maybe that’s me.

Now, this series is called ‘Neven’s Food in the Sun’ and after the commercial break we briefly see him perched by a beautiful bay where he introduces the pasta dish he’s about to make.  This is the only time where we see Nevan outside the snug confines of the kitchen.  The show could have been filmed anywhere – maybe he has just come from the 18th hole?

Just when I thought Nevan was bordering on dull and uncontroversial, I happened upon this 2009 story of a Food and Wine magazine cover which involved recent Celebrity Big Brother inhabitant Georgia Salpa – blimey!  Unfortunately this tale of swimwear and hors d’oeuvres doesn’t make him cool.

 

reader, i mangled him

James Reeson.  WHY?  Why are you relaxing on the sofa of your modern, Australian, open planned apartment in khaki shorts and baseball boots?  “Today I’m gonna make a chocolate filo fruit basket and a lovely oxtail soup – OOOH, they’re all so TASTY!”

The enthusiasm keeps coming, terrible jokes, and boring stories.  Heard the one about his dad living in the UK not being able to sell oxtail soup coz, yuck, oxtail’s GROSS?  He renamed it end of year soup instead and people started to order it!  Y’know, ‘end of year’ – you eat it in the winter and the tail is near the rear of the beast … [sigh] or something.

This is all meat and potato stuff – well, not literally.  This is similarly styled to Justine’s Everyday Gormet; home kitchen style studio, no messing around.  Unfortunately though James likes to mess around.  He flips his leeks in the air like Tom Cruise with a cocktail shaker and, in a particularly embarrassing bit, after peeling a cucumber into pretty ribbons he decides to lay one across his forehead to alleviate a headache then demonstrates how it “looks like a long TONGUE! :)”

FFS, James.  Get on with it.

The food itself (sorry, got a bit sidetracked there) seemed nice enough and not too difficult.  The standout dish was the lamb salad on a bed of cos lettuce (“why is it the best?  COS!”), tomatoes and the ribboned gourd.

It seems James is a local lad afterall, starting off in Bristol then hopping across the Channel to work in Paris.  Look, I’m sure he’s top bloke but I don’t think I can take any more tomfoolery, you dag.

 

 

adj., n. pur-fikt

So, home alone for the night, I decided to start watching my eight hours of cookery nonsense that’s stacking up.  First up is two episodes of ‘Perfect…’

‘Food For Friends’ and ‘Curry Night’ were on my telly menu.  The deal is thus:

  • two chef types duke it out to see who ‘wins’
  • each cook a simple starter, followed by a ‘classic’ and ‘ultimate’ meal
  • a panel of three food writers/presenters blind taste each dish and vote

FFF pitted Paul Merrett against Allegra McEvedy and the starter dishes were so-so (ham and pea croquetas and crab on toast with serano ham/fig ciabatta).  The classic round is where both chefs make the same dish.  It’s quite interesting to see how each chilli con carne, in this case, differs and little vox pops of other chefs tell you their favourite way of cooking it.  I love that chefs have no qualms on things like baked beans being an essential ingredient of chilli!  Now, the ultimate dish was quite interesting too.  Allegra’s rabbit lasagne sounded pretty awesome with Paul’s bouillabaisse also looking exciting if a bit too much fanny dangle. Read the rest of this entry »