When I was a kid, there was very little evidence of food on TV - Delia Smith was about as good as it got. Fanny Craddock was, quite frankly, terrifying and our family was posh enough to possess a set of Robert Carrier cookery cards (complete with white plastic holder!) which were hauled out for my parent's dinner parties. We even had a Hostess Trolley which was used for these occasions and muggins here was bribed to wash up those gargantuan glass serving dishes. The dessert speciality was Ginger Log - nothing more fancy than a packet of Ginger Nuts, a lot of sherry, a vat of whipped cream and a couple of Flakes. It was the height of sophistication back in the early '80's but you'd probably pass out now if presented with this stodgy goo!!!
Image copyright Daily Mail
Thankfully things have changed and we've gone from famine to feast. I love cookery and food programmes, and The Hubs nearly cried on the day that Food Network started on Sky... he knew I'd be obsessed and he was right! I have a huge love of Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa. She is casual but precise and has a lovely manner when explaining how to cook dishes. I would KILL for her house and especially her kitchen and all her equipment - it's top of my Lotto Wish List.
The much maligned Jamie Oliver is also top of my viewing list. He's done so much to revolutionise how people think about food and his recent Food Revolution show was both frightening and inspiring. It's crazy that some people in the US consider chips/fries as a healthy vegetable. Holy Mother of God. I have most of his books and I love his recipes.
I've just finished watching Masterchef New Zealand, something I originally obtained for my friend Chris who is married to a Kiwi and I reckoned they'd love it as a reminder of home for him. Then I started to watch it - utterly addictive and the finale was so pressurised for the final two contestants. The poor sods were put through 4 different challenges... I don't know how they did it!
Another firm favourite in our house is the homegrown The Restaurant. Tom Doorley would have you believe that we watch it strictly because of himself & Paolo Tullio, but that's a lie! We love the innate snobbery of all the public diners who claim to know everything about food but just make eejits out of themselves with their comments!!
So that's just a very small sample of my TV food guilty pleasures - I'd love to hear about yours...