Thursday, 24 November 2011

TV Food Programs

I have to admit it. They are my guilty pleasures. I simply love them. Apart from a selected few that I dislike, I generally enjoy watching TV food programs and documentaries. I like learning new cooking techniques, watching cooking competitions or learning about diets and how to beat obesity etc.

One of my all-time favourites is ‘Come Dine with me’. I’m not sure about the exact concept in other countries, but the British narrator is simply the person responsible for making the show such a hit. His sense of humour is so caustic that it’s amazing how he can get away with it. It’s borderline insulting but utterly hilarious. Also, some of the contestants are simply unbelievable. The comments heard on people judging other contestants food are hilarious. I can’t forget a guy judging the green Thai curry he had for being too green! Or a girl mentioning that she didn’t like the fish she was served because it was very ‘fishy’! Also, I find quite funny that people enter cooking contests without too much knowledge on how to cook or having a very limited range of things they like. For example, how can a forty year old British woman never tried soup before?

My addiction to food shows goes to documentaries regarding diets, anorexia or weight battles. I sometimes even watch ‘The biggest loser’. I’m not too fond of the meaningless challenges they go through but I do enjoy during the weight-ins to look at the way these people looked like at the beginning of the show and how they look now. It’s inspirational in a way to see what they’ve achieved, even if the whole concept is controversial. You can’t make these people radically change their lives like that. Most likely after the show they do go back to how they were before, even worse.

There are quite a few celebrity chefs I like, like Ching-He Huang. I’ve also recently discovered Lorraine Pascalle. I like her style. By looking at her show, it’s obvious how much she loves what she’s doing. She’s trying to create nice and easy recipes for everyday people.

There are of course some shows I don’t enjoy. On the top of my list are ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and masterchef. Both shows simply make me tense.  I know lots of people who like masterchef, however, I personally can’t watch it. It makes me anxious for the contestants and stressed. I like watching calmer programs. Gordon Ramsay made a name of himself by simply being loud, rude and vulgar.

There are quite a few TV programs trying to promote refined or home cooking and good health. However, there’s an American show called ‘Man versus food’ which does exactly the opposite. During the show, the presenter takes up a food challenge. In most cases the challenge is about finishing a ridiculous amount of unhealthy food or food with a distinctive twist. For example it could be the US biggest hamburger or the spicier sauce etc. I haven’t seen many episodes. My stomach physically reacts badly to some of the food presented. It’s no wonder however that all episodes I’ve seen were filmed in Texas, one of the fattest States. Maybe it was a coincidence.


  1. Come dine with me is great TV. Always worth a watch.

  2. The fattest state turns out to be Mississippi, not Texas. You are correct, the southern states tend to have plumper people than the northern ones. It's the fried foods that does it.

  3. I love cooking shows and fortunately here in Boston we have a network dedicated to nothing but cooking (aptly called the Cooking Channel).

    The Food Network in the US always seems to have cooking competitions and I find those tend to stress me out so I stick to the shows that leave me salivating with the tempting treats and savory foods they cook.

  4. @Stephen_Chapman I totally agree

    @Ur-Spo Is it? I didn't know that. I hope I haven't offended anyone...

    @BosGuy Yes, cooking competitions are extra stressing for no real reason...