When Alex James (bass player with Blur and renowned cheese farmer) was on the Breakfast Show a couple of weeks ago, he opined the view that, with the amount of food programmes on our television nowadays, cooking is the new rock and roll.
Now, I can’t quite imaging Mary Berry throwing a microwave out of a hotel bedroom window or Raymond Blanc driving a vegetable delivery van into a swimming pool, but it’s true that the nation loves a foodie.
Take Jamie Oliver, for example, a brilliant chef and businessman with a net worth of over £150million who captured the nation’s salivating imagination with his easy going ‘pukka’ style of presentation which translated so easily to television, books and restaurants. It’s fair to say that TV cooks have moved on since the days of Fanny Craddock, when the viewer was made to feel that they should sit up straight and pay attention, lest they incur the wrath of the host.
But as most of us discover, the joy of watching a mouth-watering dish being created on the box doesn’t always translate with equal success to our own kitchens. We all become engrossed in their skills but as we know trying to emulate our heroes’ ‘simple’ recipes doesn’t always go as we imagine, hence the success of the Great British Bake Off – it’s not so easy after all! I have written here before of my failure on Ready Steady Cook where even my bean-stirring skills weren’t enough for me and Ainsley Harriot to win the prize. Earlier this week, I was joined on the show by the delightful and award-winning TV chef Tom Kerridge, who encouraged us to always have a go at stretching our culinary skills as the eventual prize is always something yummy. Described by the press as the ‘people’s chef’ he told me that he sees himself more as a ‘Michelin starred white van man’.
• Kevin King presents the breakfast show on Splash FM 107.7 Monday to Friday, 6am to 10am