Are Celebrity Chefs No Longer Flavour Of The Month?
Local networks will be hoping that Ros Reines from the Sunday Telegraph is wrong when she wrote that celebrity chefs have gone off the boil and their time as celebrities are over.
Networks are relying heavily on food reality TV shows next year, with Masterchef, My Kitchen Rules being joined by Masterchef Professionals, The Great Australian Bake Off, Recipe To Riches, and possibly The Taste, see previous blog post on these shows coming up in 2013.
This is not the year they will want to see food shows tanking. As usual when their is a glut like this some will be hits and others will tank.
CELEBRITY chefs, get back to your stoves because your time on the red carpet is just about up.
The cult of the A-list chef has lost its sizzle. With most cooking shows shedding viewers almost as rapidly as those devoted to the kilo challenged, it’s time to find a new subgroup to deify.
The exception to the TV ratings slide is My Kitchen Rules, but on MKR the emphasis is on the contestants who are from the ‘burbs and make the sort of mistakes in the kitchen we can all relate to; some of them are just hopeless.
The star chefs have only themselves to blame for losing their sheen because they have treated us with more than a soupcon of pretension along with their exotic ingredients of foraged seaweed, red quinoa and that old favourite – ras el hanout.
Pardon? These are the sort of foods usually not stocked in your local Woolies and Coles – the supermarket chains that the stellar chefs spruik for big bucks.
The problem with our kitchen gods is they love to preen and pose next to mainstream celebrities and sell the stories of their life events to magazines. You’d think they were Academy Award-winning actors, literary divas or rock stars. (I don’t mean you, Matt Moran, you’re a peach.)
From Pete Evans’s now famous activated almonds to Manu Feildel’s OTT Inspector Clouseau accent and the way George Calombaris relentlessly bounces on the soles of his feet, just like Gordon Ramsay – it’s all a bit much.
I’m frankly fed up with seeing star chefs on the screen who grimly taste a dish as if it was a life or death situation.
Yes, we know you are all great artists and what you produce is pure poetry on a plate but guess what, it is demolished in minutes and then you’re only looking at a pile of washing up for your kitchen hands.
The cult of the celebrity chefs reached epic proportions in the Birdcage enclosure during the recent spring racing season where the newest kitchen “tyro” on these shores and in front of the TV cameras was Marco Pierre White (yes the same bloke who is on the small screen spruiking Continental Stock Pot), who was doing the marquee hop with the Mouth from the South Matt Preston.
White, who was once known as the chef with possibly the shortest fuse in London, has pleaded in the press that he is mild mannered.
Still he appeared barely able to bring himself to shake the hands of anyone he deemed not worthy enough to embrace his chilly flesh. Even when a well-known identity who was responsible for his invitation to one of the better marquees, proffered her hand, he seemed very late to reciprocate.
Next year White will host MasterChef: The Professionals, where 18 qualified chefs will vie to see who is the most talented and we can no doubt expect lots of sweat and tears along the way. Then a brand-new celebrity chef will hit our stellar firmament. Oh joy.
I’m not advocating a return to the bad old days when a meal out meant standing around the BBQ pit at the pub and cooking our own steaks.
I don’t think that stellar chefs are a waste of space, I just wish they would get on with their jobs and stop trying to make us care about the latest culinary fad.
Call me a bogan but I think it’s time for someone else to step up to the red carpet.
Of course I’m aware of the repercussions of this column: I’ll never be able to eat out in this town again. Don’t suppose anyone wants a job as my official food taster?