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Category Archives: Reality Show Genre

make it thick, make it sticky, make it brown

“In a bar and I’m on TV… this is weird!  So twote Masterchef finalist Tony on the eve of the culinary showdown.

Emma, on the other hand wrote, “‘Twas so fricking difficult, I’m stressed just watching.”  Well, there’s no need for THAT kind of language, young lady.

Pete … oh, sorry, that’s the other one.  Simon?  Yeah, he probably muttered something softly and gave a shy smile.

I have to say I have not been impressed with this year’s series.  There’s been some back and forth on social media with John Torode defending the cooks against comments of ‘this year’s contestants are not that great’ – I agree with John in that the cooks are still up there with the best (certainly better than anything I can do) but I did tell him that I’ve had enough of the tweaking, thank you.  Yup, I went there.   Read the rest of this entry »

 

oh now paula. I think it’s time that you should go

It was a while ago now but in April we took a trip across the pond to NYC.  This was my fourth visit so I’d been up the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building – I’d done the tourist stuff.  This time I meant business.

Staying in Williamsburg, we took in the sights of Bedford Avenue, the High Line and some art by Chelsea Pier.  Of course, I’m married to a beer freak/geek so we drank at some very nice pubs and as a confirmed wine drinker I was slightly fearful of our guided tour of the Brooklyn Brewery.  It was great; I sampled some beer!  I didn’t really like it!  Never mind.  We previously visited the Ginger Man where I consumed a bottle of the only beer I actually DO LIKE.  I really like.  Carsmile tells me “typical that you like Duchesse de Bourgogne – the only beer that is unlike any other beer!”  Unique.  Classy.  That’s me.

Apart from the wrasslin’, it was all about the food for us this year.  Our flat had the Food Network so I got a chance to witness the goddess of fried, sugary, homely food that is Paula Deen in all her glory.  I was familiar with Ms Deen through watching Top Chef and was chuffed to see her in action.  Wow, so much butter, cream, sugar and syrup.  Still, she looked like she was having a lot of fun.  Maybe she was on a sugar rush – I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that she may not have her own full set of gnashers.  That must help in some way with the awesome amount of sweetness and richness of her desserts.  I really think that if Gregg Wallace met her, it might be love.

“we must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”

“we must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”

Read the rest of this entry »

 

food, glorious food, we’re anxious to try it

… or are we?

To much fanfare, ‘Food Glorious Food’ has finally appeared on our ITV screens.  Billed as ‘the Simon Cowell food competition’ you could be forgiven for expecting Masterchef Australia style studio auditions in front of a screaming crowd who’d boo when the judges diss a dessert or poo-poo a potato dauphiniose.  No, Mr Cowell makes no appearance which is for the best I think.  His production company created the show and that’s that.

Our judges for this gastronomic extravaganza are none other than Anne Harrison (WI vice chair and MC legend), Lloyd Grossman (the ULTIMATE MC legend), Tom Parker Bowles and Stacey Stewart (ex-MC contestant and wearer of the biggest bee hive this side of Sunderland).

Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Dopey, Sneezy

Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Dopey, Sneezy

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but this is essentially what happens if the Great British Bake Off producers ran riot in a Cath Kidson warehouse.  There are marquees, bunting – oh my god, the bunting – flowers and general chintz here, there and everywhere.

Each cook/contestant (and there seem to be hundreds) serves up their favourite meal to one of the judges.  The idea is that this caravan of critics travel the country, dishing out rosettes to their favourite cook. Once they whittle it down to five, they cook off and all the dishes are tasted with one overall regional winner.  “What do they win?”, I hear you cry.  They win £20,000 and the chance to have their dish for sale in Marks & Spencer food outlets.  Just before the regional champ is crowned, a M&S buyer lady explains how easy or difficult it would be to mass produce these plates of food; “the Pimms jelly is great but it take a WHOLE BOTTLE per serving!”

I could go on at length but Charlie Brooker took the words right out of my mouth!  Clip is below after his take on the recent horse meat ‘scandal’

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in ITV, Reality Show Genre

 

plato is boring

So said Friedrich Nietzsche.  He also uttered the words: “A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.”  This is certainly a more relevant comment for Masterchef Australia’s Alice, a delightfully kooky teacher looking to move into the culinary world.

In an America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) spin, the final ten are flown to a foreign land to forage for local ingredients, work a shift in a restaurant and cook for a legendary chef or two.  On a recent episode, their first task was to cook in the grounds of the beautiful Villa Aurelia (O RLY?) for non other than Massimo Bottura from the three Michellin starred Osteria Francescana.  Alice, quite frankly, lost it.  Not screaming, wobbly-legged nuts as greeted Jamie Oliver but our gal proper lip trembled her way through the introductions, teary eyed at meeting her food hero.  “There are heroes you meet and it’s a near religious experience.  To meet Massimo … it’s like meeting Nietzche!”  Bless.

Hipster glasses? Check. Ironic t-shirt? Check.

Alice and Wade did very well with their squid ink gnocchi and artichoke (Massimo: “ah, you’re thinking in monochrome – I LOVE IT!”) but Andy and Kylie fared less well with the coratella (Massimo: “hmmm, it’s not touching my soul”).   Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

and finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint

“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

Thank you, sir, and now the check.

So, me and my friends would regularly chatter on about last night’s Masterchef or the merits of Slater over Stein.  Eventually, those who did not care for food-based telly programmes (I know, they do exist!) cried ‘shut up and blog it!’.  So, here we are.  It has taken me some time but, once outside of my Masterchef bubble, I have realised just how many cookery shows there are!  Bloody loads.

It was requested that I compile a list of current shows so my fellow bloggers won’t miss a morsel.  Happy to oblige.  It took me a while and I’m considering posting a permanent weekly/monthly list so our readers can also keep up.   Read the rest of this entry »

 

GREAT

BOOOOOOOM. What a final. Everything. Tears. Drama. Brendan. Cake. Brendan! Fondant. Intrusion into personal living arrangements! (leaving at least *one* question unanswered…) ‘Soggy bottom’ disasters. BRENDAN! John finally nailing it! Contestants coming back! Exclamation marks! Tabloid bullshit!

I’m gonna miss GBBO. This time round they seem to have got the balance perfect, and assembled a finals team of people you could feel warm about and interested in. If Brendan was precise and practiced, James was innovative and seat-of-the-pants, John was quietly… just very good, and he delivered exactly when it mattered. But over the weeks, it was all about Brendan, and the triumph of practice, planning precision and drive over TV-friendly cheer. British values, indeed.

The Guardian summed the final up really well here.

 

HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS

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WE’RE down to the semis in TGBBO, and we all know who the winner is already. That’s right: Paul ‘Inside’ Hollywood. Mel & Sue are fun and sparky and dry. Mary Berry is dotty and posh and particular. John is flustered, Danny is pragmatic, James is coquettish, and Brendan is… well, Laurence Olivier playing Christian Szell in Marathon Man. But it’s The Big Bear that takes it, every week. Alright, I didn’t know he was apparently a gay icon until the Guardian mentioned it today.  He’s the only judge they all fear – you know Mary Berry isn’t going to tear your head off with a look, and she’s going to find something good to say, however pisspoor your St. Honoré. But PH never gives the impression he’s going to say anything other than the absolute, unvarnished truth.

Confident MC contestants can face down the Torode / Wallace blockade, because they know that it’s hokum and that they might well be right or lucky. But no-one dares to gets as much as a langue du chat past Hollywood. In interviews, he appears completely normal, and unaffected or just plain embarrassed by the fame and Twitter nonsense or whatever. In fact, he appears to be that rarest of TV creatures: a completely bullshit-free zone. This is a victory. A victory for rounded personality and unfiltered expertise that’s not been pushed through the dumbed-deeper-and-down TV drool-sieve. And people like that. Five million viewers (apparently) can’t be wrong. Apparently he’s just wrapped a new series for the BBC called – with presumed Liverpudlian irony – ‘Bread’. Which is good, because one thing that is missing from TGBBO is him masterclassing his own hot oven skills.

Anyway, Brendan. (Yeah, I was a bit harsh above. Anything to get a laugh). OK, he’s self-obsessed, aloof, eerie, curiously kitsch, and machine-like – or at least, that is the role the producers and editors have created for him. Yes, he insists on dominating and stamping his individuality on everything, rather than sitting back and letting his talent speak for itself. And yes he takes criticism appallingly, usually accompanied with an ‘I could have you killed’  dagger stare. But strangely, I’m starting to get the impression that he’s actually an extremely warm and genuine man who has just been waiting years to show the world that his pernickity, precise approach to cookery is best. Unselfconscious, nerdy talent FTW. I’m hoping he takes it all the way.

 

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