Thursday, 9 February 2012

Chefs, and more chefs

Who is your favourite chef, or celebrity chef?

I was lying in bed this morning, thinking back over my life, and realised I was pacing events in my life with who my current favourite chef at the time was. My thoughts scanned local TV cooking eras of Buffy Godfrey, Wendy Prendergast and Judith Sweet in the 70’s. I reminisced about watching Keith Floyd, the Galloping Gourmet (Graham Kerr) and Peter Russell-Clark in the 60’s.

I remembered various frustrations concerning different chefs habits and methods of delivery! Wendy Prendergast annoyed the crap out of me the way she would break an egg into a bowl, then (on live television, where, presumably, every second counts, especially in regard to value for money for the poor hapless sponsor Four Roses!) proceed to painstakingly and tediously scrape her finger round the inside of both halves of the eggshell in order to extract the maximum amount of egg white from the eggshell! I got to the stage where, if she was intending making a cake, I would instantly turn off the TV, knowing her habit would drive me to despair and frustration, or the cooking equivalent of road rage!

The daring flouting of all previous TV chefs presentations styles, and methods of cookery, were the main drawcard for me with Jamie Oliver, and much was made, before the first series actually started, of the fact that this radical new cooking show was named “The Naked Chef” with everyone naturally assuming Jamie would be cooking naked! Still, I found his style refreshing and believable. In todays context he is merely one of many, and not so different.

Rick Stein is a huge favourite, as well as Nigella Lawson whose sexual posing I detest but whose desire to find shortcuts to produce exciting food I admire. Delia Smith is another favourite. She can be tiresome, but many of her recipes are great standards. Chinese-American chef Ming Tsai is another chef I enjoy watching.

The list could go on, but these are just a few off the top of my head.

For local chefs, I can’t go past old favourites like Paul Foreman, Steve Cumper, Karen Goodwin-Roberts, Don Cameron, Fee Hoskin, Klaa Clements, Iain Todd, and the list goes on. I could list countless people in my roll of honour, but maybe you would like to add/highlight some of your own personal favourites?
Posted on by Rita


Vineyard Paul said...

My favourites have been Jamie Oliver for his flair, and Heston Blumenthal for his "science" and wackiness (particularly loved his "Search for Perfection" series).

But I have been enjoying Adrian Richardson recently: (!/tastysausage). Good recipes, nice guy.

steve said...

My all time fave is the Swedish Chef from the muppets

Rita said...

You ARE a bloody muppet Steve!

sir grumpy said...

We can't watch Nigella, Rita, she seems so fake and posing.
Delia is boring and reminds the missus of ``domestic science'' teachers of her past.
jamie is still okay apart from when he's trying to save the world from junk food. People won't change, give up mate and let them stew in their own juices.
Rick Stein is great but Heston just seems irrelevant to me with all that horseshit.
The Chinese-Aussie cook (can't remember her name) uses more sugar than Coke. She'll often have a sauce, say black bean and ginger beef...we rename it Sugar, black bean and ginger beef.
Don't like maggie Beer, the MasterChef girl now on ABC with the always present toothy grin.
Alive and Cooking bloke has mellowed on me and he often cooks very good and useful dishes.
I like the Zilli bloke from Weekend Kitchen and the new vegetarian geezer on that show is very good too.

Maggie said...

Simon Bryant!

Anonymous said...

You can't go past 'Chef' from South Park - chocolate salty balls anyone!?

Marge said...

My favouritist chef is Homer.

Anonymous said...

Plum Restaurant has gone bankrupt according to today's Mercury. Seems strange!

Rita said...

Yes, I saw the bit about Plum in todays paper. Was meaning to add it to my Gossip sidebar, but you've mentioned it for me Anon! That is indeed sad. I know Mark put a lot of time, effort and money into it.

Anonymous said...

Still trading as at yesterday though -- new management pehaps?

Always good, top quality, high prices and always packed - can't see how they went under?

Anonymous said...

I'm a chef at Plum and it is not bankrupt, i dont know how the mercury came up with such crap..or who told them. Business is fine as far as I know, Mark is no longer the owner.

Rita said...

Plum Chef: it was in the Public Notices of last Saturdays Mercury. That is not the Mercury "coming up with such crap" - those notices are inserted by ITSA or some government or insolvency instrumentality like that, or maybe the receivers. It's a Public Notice, like the announcements of who has been granted a liquor license. We're not gloating or anything here. We're genuinely sad that Mark obviously got into financial difficulty. The fact that he is no longer the owner is good in that it probably means he got a buyer for the business so it could keep on trading, so you guys get to keep your jobs, and the businesses you deal with continue to get paid for services rendered.

Susannah said...

For entertainment, hard to go past the two fat ladies. I agree with the comments about Nigella - she really is a bit over the top most of the time, however her recipes are reliable, workable, and taste pretty good. Going back in time a bit, I used to enjoy Ian Parmentier on the ABC. I have one of his cook books, and while some of the recipes are a bit dated, others are excellent standards. Judging by the number of pages with food splatters, this book yields considerably more than the 3 recipe average of many of the glossies.