When I re-kick started this blog, i was determined-ish to make it more high brow, more intellectual, more refined, with less cursing and ranting. I don't think that decision should preclude me from the odd rant though. So a subject dear to my heart will be getting "Muled" today.
Food, or more to the point, the cooking of.......
I don't think that anybody who watches television, can deny that over the last decade or so there has been an acceleration in the number of "How to cook stuff" programmes that adorn our screens. On the whole, if you are a sensitive soul like me, I think it would be fair to say that they are maddening.
What's even more maddening, is that I frequently find myself watching them. The event that has inspired me to put fingers to keyboard is the impending 'Masterchef'.
This is a program that I love to hate, this is a program that encompasses just about every bloody irritating, annoying, infuriating, petty, incredulous thing that winds me up about cooking on TV. Don't get me wrong, there are many others, but this one takes the biscuit.
It is hosted by an Australian chef and a sort of mockney green grocer! possibly two of the most irritating men on our screens today. For those of you out there with a sense of purpose in life I will sum up the premise of the programme. Members of the public turn up and cook stuff, and the Aussy chef and the green grocer then tell them that they haven't seasoned it properly. Yep, that's about it. It's a knockout competition, and at the end of what seems like a life time, one contestant is crowned 'Masterchef'. Of course as is the way these days, there is a celebrity version as well. This is for celebrities who's careers have faltered, and were not famous enough to get onto 'I am a celebrity, get me out of here'. Then to top it all off, we have 'Masterchef, the professionals' This is where Professional chefs turn up and cook stuff, and the Aussy chef and the green grocer tell them that they haven't seasoned it properly.
I could go on and on and list every little nuance that makes my blood curdle, but what's the point. I am not going to single out 'Masterchef' for a muling, they are all just as bad, and they all know who they are.
I think the best way to do this is just to simply do a list of "Why's"
Why do chefs have to have their nose's 2 inches from the plate when they are assembling their creations?
While i am at it, why does all the food have to piled on top of one another?
Why is it so important that some sort of schedule is adhered to? It's all rush rush rush isn't it, shout shout shout. Ok, people don't want to hang around for hours on end when dining out, but i don't understand why such a strict time line is so critical. A fine example of this is thus: If a contestant on 'Masterchef' reaches the dizzy heights of whatever round it is blah blah blah, they have the "Privilege" of cooking for some food critics. This is a job I have never understood what so ever. It largely entails men that resemble Jabba the Hut sitting around stuffing themselves, and musing about things not being seasoned properly. Anyway, if one of the contestants is failing to adhere to the schedule all hell breaks loose!
The Aussy chef and the grocer cast evil glances at the offender, and sometimes if they're really late (Two minutes seems to be the breaking point) they have to embrace each other for support. The tension becomes so great, that a good hard physical embrace is the only thing that can stop them from crumbling.
Then it happens, the moment that every contestant throughout the history of 'Masterchef' fears, They are told to go and tell the waiting guests that their main course is going to be two minutes late. I say tell them, actually they usually spit the words at them. It's usually the Aussy chef that does the dirty deed. You can see the hatred in his eyes, you can detect that this cardinal sin, this heinous crime has clawed at his chefy soul with such vigour, that the only way to vent his anger is to glare at the perpetrator with a look of pure disgust and tell him or her to "Go and tell them, go and tell them what a disgusting creature you are. Bow down before them, prostrate yourself, and throw yourself upon their mercy. Tell them that their food will be two minutes late. GO!.......GO NOW YOU HIDEOUS FIEND"
So off the poor little soul trots, his head hung in shame. Trembling and sweating he gulps before he enters the sacred chamber of the eating Gods. An uneasy silence falls upon the room as the contestant stands before them head bowed. His mouth dry, his voice cracking, he speaks......."I am so sorry, your main course is going to be two minutes late."
These aresholes look at him as if he has just said "I have cut out your children's livers, and fried them with some fava beans!"
For fuck's sake.......IT'S ONLY COOKING.
I fully expect that one day a hapless contestant will enter the room to find the critics covered in cobwebs, their appearance akin to that of an Auschwitz Jew!
Why is this pedantic punctuality so critical? When real people go out for dinner in the real world, I am pretty confident that they don't sit at the table spitting at their wife "This main course is thirty eight seconds later than I thought it was going to be, what is the world coming to Margeret?"
When did we start accepting huge plates and tiny portions?
Why do chefs bang on about "Pan frying" things? what else are you going to fry it in?
Why do they drizzle and not just pour?
Why do I hate the phrase "Fine dining" so much? Is it because they expect plebs like me to be happy with "Average dining?"
Why does some wine go with some food? This REALLY gets up my arse. On some cooking shows, the God like chef will "Give birth" to a masterful creation, and then a wine "Expert" will be dispatched to find the relevant wine to accompany it. WHAT??? What does this mean? There will be some tweed suit wearing, cravat adorned cock standing in an off license, waxing lyrical about a "Fruity little white, that is just cheeky enough to bring out the best in the dish." I will say it, i will say it now, and i will be bold enough to say it on behalf of the nation......."FUCK RIGHT OFF!"
In the real world real people don't think like this. Yes there will be some pretentious tossers that think they know all there is to know about wine (There is nothing to know. It's grapes!) but on the whole, we all just want a glass of nice tasting plonk that helps the steak go down.
But in TV land, they are all in the pretend kitchen in the studio marvelling at how the lemony zinginess of the white, brings out something blah blah blah in the whatever.......In the real world I don't think George is spitting out wine all over the restaurant floor, coughing and saying "Dear God Margeret, this wine is in no way complimenting my chicken dippers"
Oh look, it's lunch time. Well I'm off to have sausage roll chips and beans. I may even have a glass of wine out of a box! That will show them.
It is at this point in the proceedings that i give the cue to Mr McAdam to enter stage right with a list of facts figures and corrections! I am fully expecting to see my next blog covered in red ink! E- see me boy. (Private joke, sorry ;) )