Sunday, October 02, 2005

UK Food TV: Slow Food

One of the benefits of having cable tv is the UKtv Food channel: all Food, all the time. Unfortunately they tend to bunch up all the chefs, so it will be either Rick Stein and his multitudinuous Seafood Odyssey incarnations, or a wincing Gary Rhodes for 3 hours on end.

They also have a segment called Great Food Live where this middle-aged posh lady who wears too much purple and speaks with half-lidded and gold-rimmed eyes in an off-handed casual (slightly drunk) manner interviews the audience or brings in chefs for themed events. This is live TV gone wrong. Whose stupid idea was it to have a cooking show live? Don't the channel execs know that there are lots of boring bits in cooking? Why-ever do you think cooking on TV popularised the phrase "And here's one I prepared earlier..." Anyway, the funniest segment I ever saw was when purple-woman introduced the Slow Food movement chefs.

Now, I admire the Slow Food movement. I agree with many of their principles, in principle. However, I do think that these people that have the freedom to participate in a Slow Food lifestyle, also don't have careers to build, laundry to wash or tasks like cleaning the house. They have people do that for them. Anyway, Great Food Live is showcasing the Slow Food movement and three slow food chefs have to prepare and serve their favourite dish in 45 mins. Does anyone else see the irony in a Slow Food chef being forced to work to a TV deadline? I mean, these chefs are all about growing the vegetables, nursing them slowly, picking off each leaf from the watercress one by one over a long leisurely afternoon whilst nibbling on homemade brine-soaked olives and bread.

Of course each one decides to do a stew - and none of them would use a pressure cooker as that's against the Slow Food philosophy. One even attempts a rabbit confit to be cooked in 30 mins - HA - foolhardy for I have cooked rabbit and you need at least an hour (preferably two) to render the flesh tender.

I didn't watch to see how the segment ended. I didn't want to see proponents of Slow Food rushing to cook food - it wouldn't have been natural.

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