My Addiction to Cooking Programmes

I first started watching cooking programmes in college. I had a timetable which meant I was spending some time at home watching television during the day and food programmes were the only ones I could watch without loosing my soul.

My mum, don’t get me wrong is a brilliant cook, but cursed by a fussy family of eaters and very little time we would rotate the same core dishes every week. With my love of all things food developing fast, I started taking over some of the cooking in the house.
By the first year of University I was cooking 3-4 times a week and really enjoying using my family as guinea pigs to test my cooking skills on. I wasn’t cooking anything big or exciting, or really anything new but I really enjoyed it.
Now that I live in halls during term time I use those skills I learnt to feed me, and more importantly the baking skills I learnt from my mum to bribe flatmates.
But I love nothing more than coming home on a Friday afternoon and cooking a big pot of chilli for the family. A recipe given to me by best friend Sam, it never fails to please. And as of yet no one else has learned to make it just like me!
Now if I was to try and condense my favourite cooking programmes to just a list of 3 it would take a lot of time and pain to choose. But most of these shows come from 3 core cooking personalities: Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Rachel Allen. So instead I will do a quick run down of cooking personalities!

Nigella Lawson

Famous for her curvaceous figure and lavish menus I think she should be a role model for most women. Certain groups may argue she is accepting a role of objectified house wife but I can’t help but feel that it’s completely the opposite. “Its about feeling like a domestic goddess” (Lawson in her book How to be a Domestic Goddess). It’s about enjoying food and enjoying feeding your family and I love the whole idea.
I am a not-so undercover mother hen, and I love to know people are eating well and treating people to the smell of freshly baked cakes when they walk in to a kitchen, and Nigella is the personification of that super woman for me. Who we look up to for doing everything, but accomplishes it all with the least amount of effort, and a lot of style.
Her sensual manner of enjoying food and glamour shots between recipes also means my boyfriend doesn’t mind snuggling up on the sofa with me to watch a double bill on television. Even though many shows are repeated (many if not all of them made by the BBC and now repeated on Good Food Channel) I will still watch them over and over.
Because who doesn’t steal a midnight snack in their silky night wear while the camera men are still looking?

Jamie Oliver
Now this TV chef holds a whole different appeal to me. Although he is not a bad looking chap, he is no sensual Nigella. It is casual chatty style and easy dishes are the real pull for me.
I remember picking up my first copy of a Jamie Oliver book from a charity shop many years ago for just £2.50 and I fell in love! Since then I have received most of his books as gifts from family and friends – with 30 Minute Meals being my favourite.
Since receiving the book as a gift I go on to Channel’s 4 YouTube channel and watch any potential dinner dish being made by the man himself, before jumping into the kitchen with the book for further references. To be fair I have not made 1 full menu out of the book, but many aspects of this dish have made it into my personal cook book.
I still feel the pain of knowing one kitchen he claimed as his own in my favourite series (although the name eludes even my most keen research now) was later passed on as a TV studio to Ching-He Huang. But I like to think he sold her the whole apartment – right….

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen is another domestic goddess of the Lawson variety, but with a very different style. Think more posh and proper with pretty plates to serve delicately decorated cupcakes on.

But her baking shows have taught me a lot, and although I can’t remember replicating one of her recipes I remember her tips and tricks on how to make the best short crust pastry and how to test a cake to see if it is fully cooked.
Although I have looked at her books with some awe, I have never splashed put and purchased one, as I don’t think any of her recipes are anything that I haven’t seen else where.
But I do watch her as a regular on the Good Food Channel. She has many saying that always make me giggle, for example when tasting for seasoning she often says “mmm perfect”, as there could never be anything wrong with her own cooking!!
Well worth a watch just for that!
Well congratulations for making it to the end! I hope you have enjoyed reading about my TV cooking personality favourites.
Please comment below and let me know what you think of these 3 cooks, and who your favourites are? Can you even watch cooking programmes without getting too hungry??
Love Rie xxxx

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