Friday, 25 September 2009

NOT Celebrity Master Chef

Possessing an avid interest in, and passion for, food, eating and cooking (as I do) my internal antennae are always on the alert for any TV program which might feature the same, hence you’ll share my great joy at discovering a few recently which, without the usual fanfare of your bog standard mainline TV commercial channels advertising hype, have quietly commenced with nary a ripple on the TV lake.

Last night I remembered to check out two titles of programs I’d noticed in the TV Guide the week before and forgotten to watch. They were two SBS programs: 7.30 My Family Feast, then 8.00 Costa’s Garden Odyssey. Both were fabulous in their own quiet and unassuming way.

My Family Feast last night featured a Vietnamese family in Sydney chatting about their life, how they had come to settle in Australia and the “flight” from Vietnam, interspersed with them and the genial Pommy host cooking up dishes from their country of origin.

Costa’s Garden Odyssey took us on a bit of an amble through the Collingwood Children’s Farm/Zoo (which I hadn’t known existed before last night, and turned out to be a domestic petting zoo providing kids with a reality check as to the provenance of their eggs and milk!) combined with a community garden complete with 70 allotments, all appearing to be brimming with fabulous produce, where, for the princely sum of $45 per year (allotment rental price), one lovely old Greek guy claims he produces around $1000 worth of savings per year on fresh, organic vegetables for his family.

Costa also visited a Lebanese family in Melbourne and explained to us about a scheme a local council conducts whereby they, realizing that many families miss out on a lot of valuable community information, have some officers who go out to the homes of non English speaking families and assist them with information (in their mother tongue) which will be of benefit to them – like for instance last night we heard about how they can save 50,000 litres of water usage per year simply by exchanging the water filter on their bathroom basin tap, thus halving their usage.

I suppose you could describe Costa’s Garden Odyssey as being an SBS equivalent of ABC’s Gardening Australia except without the many personalities presenting their own separate segments.

On the ABC, at 6.00 on Saturday night, I accidentally “tripped over” something named Planet Food, which was equally as great as the other two, and, as for the other two, totally unheralded by the fanfare we have come to expect on the commercial channels of upcoming sensational programs.

In the way of the Lonely Planet Guides, tripping round the world experiencing all manner of wonders, this program does the same but focusing on food from a specific country. It is truly fascinating. With a lone (Groenwald) cooked chicken maryland left in my fridge a few weeks back, which I had originally planned on preparing in a simple, single serve supper bowl as chicken laksa, after watching mine genial host tripping around Mexico leaving a trail of nachos, enchiladas and the like in his wake, the maryland suddenly got converted into the most delicious chicken tacos imaginable, so inspired was Rita! Lucky I had 3 over ripe (hence cheap), ready to use, avocadoes fresh from Hill St Grocers in the fridge as well!

So – you can see we don’t need Celebrity Master Chef really, when we have programs of the calibre of these three delights hovering quietly in the background!

Posted on by Rita


Victor said...

You are so absolutely right, Rita.

I watched all the 3 programs you mentioned, Costa (golly, he sure has lots of facial hair! Extremely entertaining), Planet Food (what an adventure!) and the more conventional Family Feast. Which one top my list? I have to say Costa! Practical, educational and environmentally sensitive.

Who needs reality TV, eh? But then I did switched to that race program finale (what is it called?). I had such a blast laughing with their race in China, and had to eat all those deep fried scorpion, starfish, grasshopper. Real appetising!

steve said...

Hi Rita-I haven't seen any of them but I did see a promo for the Costa show-I thought it was Demmis Roussos tribute showing us all the places he gets his grub? Silly me!

Miles McClagan said...

I get absolutely terrified anytime I see or hear anything with the word "Celebrity" on the front of it...

In the UK they had "Celebrity Electrocution"...a show where they strapped people to an electric shock machine and made them answer general knowledge bad does your career have to be going...

Anonymous said...

Wow farm gate cafe sold Rita. I thought it had sold ages ago because it was never open when we went past.