Monday, 17 March 2008

This Week’s Cookery Programmes Reviewed

A host of new cookery programmes have recently been airing on various channels, and the Imaginary Review caught a glimpse of several of them at the weekend. Here’s our guide to the forthcoming highlights and low points.

Wednesday sees the third instalment of Delia Phones for a Curry (BBC1, 7.30). Opinion has been divided for the last two episodes; has Delia Smith sold out? Or is she providing a valuable resource for those of us too lazy, stupid or handless to cook a hearty meal every day? This week’s episode is certainly better than the previous two, showing us the best poppadom-to-curry ratio and giving advice on what to do if your order is messed up. The sight of Delia calling the restaurant and requesting that they come back with her Lamb Korma is a wonderful vision of impotent fury.

Delia enjoys the fruit of her labours in Delia Phones for a Curry (BBC1, Wed, 7.30)



Less successful is Gordon Ramsay’s new show. It seems that with all his shouting at chefs and bullying waiters he’s forgotten how to cook. Episode 1 of Gordon Ramsay is Telling You to Cook, So Cook, You Maggot (ITV, Thursday, 10:00), is simply half an hour of the chef staring at the camera and shouting at you, the viewer. Admittedly, the sight of Ramsay telling me to “Get the fuck into the kitchen and beat some bollocking eggs” did make me feel like doing some cooking, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. At the end of the episode I had made a delicious cake, but I was weeping heavily and felt the need to shower afterwards.

Late Night Nigella (C5, Friday, 11:30) is a similar show to Ramsay’s, but is far more enjoyable. Billed as ‘a cooking show to get men into the kitchen’, the show features Nigella Lawson sat at a dinner table dressed in a negligee and slowly intoning the names of the rudest-sounding foods she can think of. After watching Nigella saying “…melon…smoothies…rump steak…cocktail sausage…” and so on for half an hour made me want to have a shower afterwards, only a cold one.

Finally, Jamie Oliver continues his culinary crusade on BBC2, at 7:00 on Monday. Jamie Fixes the Osmond Family sees the fat-tongued star forcing a family in York to eat lettuce and pasta instead of burgers. Next week, Jamie will be visiting the Morrison Family of Troon, and the following week he’ll be at your house.

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