If there’s one thing I miss dearly about being home (aside from cooking, of course), it’s have my very own TV and being able to watch whatever I want. TVs in hostels are lacking, to say the least (if you even get one). They rarely have English channels and if they do it is likely to be the one English news channels, which repeats itself all day. When I cooked I would play movies, TV shows, and at times; The Food Network. Why not cook along side with some of the greats, even if it is from my measly simple counter-topped (aka not marble or granite) kitchen.
Cooking has been receiving a healthy dose of media attention for many years now, with some chefs earning celebrity status. From Jamie Oliver trying to change school dinners to Gordon Ramsey solving nightmares in kitchens here and across the pond, we have been spoiled with choices of chefs to inspire us. Here’s a look at the top five to grace our fair screens in recent months:
This restaurateur, presenter and chef is so well loved for his contributions to cooking that he holds an OBE. Best known for his love of seafood, he pops up quite often on television and the celebrity chef has created many a series about everything from Mediterranean Escapes to the Far Eastern Odyssey. His love for food and business brain has almost single handedly made the local economy at Padstow tick in recent years. If you want to learn more about his cooking then try trading in any of your old DVDs for cash at musicMagpie.com to earn money to replace them with Rick Stein and his cooking secrets.
Michel Roux Jr
The nephew of the great Michel Roux, who created the first restaurant in Britain to get three Michelin stars, and son of another Michelin starred chef, Albert Roux, it wasn’t surprising that he found his way to food. The French-English chef has an immediately loveable persona and his switch from a strong French accent to a strong English one is part of his charisma that shows his love for the kitchen and French classics. A great mentor for those on Masterchef: The Professionals, he’s published books and DVDs but none in recent times.
We’re not sure that a sous chef has ever been so popular, but Monica’s strong, no nonsense approach to cooking has always brought an extra dimension to the Master Chef series. As she said in a Telegraph interview last month; “if it is wrong, it is wrong” and she certainly went by that motto in the last series. The skills tests put to the professionals were tough but she separated the wheat from the chaff to send the best through to the aforementioned Michel Roux Jr. Her first book, ‘Monica’s Kitchen’ was released in October and shares some fine recipes for people to create at home.
The daughter of a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigella Lawson has been on TV for many years. Her chat show might not have made the grade but her food writing and broadcasting has made her, arguable, the most prominent female chef in the UK. Having never been trained as a cook or a chef, it’s odd for her to get so much attention but her perceived relaxed and flirtatious manner have made her an easy watch. More of an aspirational concept, Lawson has made many fans while many of her previous DVDs and books have seen five-star ratings.
From one end of the spectrum we go to the other. Ramsey’s brash and sometimes aggressive manner – mixed with his profanities – is what has made him popular. Undoubtedly a top chef, his Savoy restaurant has long been a top restaurant in London. Having collected 13 Michelin stars during his career, he is a competitor and a regular staple of TV. His latest DVD of ‘Cookalong Live’ may be an American import but it is well worth a watch.