Move over Nigella, here's Proper Pub Food and The Incredible Spice Men, the BBC’s next wave of TV cookery shows
Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.
Sunday 02 June 2013
We’re tiring of Masterchef in all its incarnations, aren’t we? We’re exhausted by Gordon Ramsay shouting at Yanks in Kitchen Nightmares; we’ve been charmed by Lorraine Pascal’s brownies and Levi Roots’s chilli sauce and Mary Berry’s tarts and Paul Hollywood’s kneading skills – but don’t you wish someone had the courage to say: “That’s enough cookery shows for now, thanks!” What culinary niche can possibly still be unexplored? Which gastro-territory remains uncharted? Don’t ask. The BBC always has an answer – or, two.
The first is Pub Food. If you want your Sunday lunch to resemble the one in the Pig and Whistle, now’s your chance. Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food will bring the secrets of the chalkboard to BBC2. Bald, beaming and bouncy, Kerridge cooks at the Hand and Flowers in Marlow, where he’s picked up two Michelin stars. He promises to introduce us to “treacle-cured” roast beef and “ultimate” Yorkshire puddings, treats that practically scream for Michael Roux Jnr to come in and do his both-eyebrows-raised-in-consternation routine.
The same commissioning team (Alison Kirkham and BBC2 Controller Janice Hadlow) will launch a second show, whose niche or USP is Exotic Flavouring. Based on the proposition that there’s no traditional British dish that can’t be improved by “the versatility of spices and exotic ingredients,” The Incredible Spice Men: Todiwala and Singh aims to “reinvent” British home cooking.
Madhur Jaffrey was the first Indian to front a UK cookery show, in the 1980s, and the Nigella-esque Anjum Anand put in hours of saucy instruction on Anjum’s New Indian, but this is the first time Indian men have fronted a cookery show.
The co-hosts aren’t, however, that “exotic”. Cyrus Todiwala has run Café Spice Namaste (near Tower Bridge) for years and cooked a Anglo-Indian Raj dish called “Country Captain” for the Royal Jubilee last year.
Tony Singh is a fourth-generation Scot who’s run three restaurants in Edinburgh and picked up the Scottish Chef of the Year Award. Their brief isn’t to teach us Indian cooking, merely ways to use tamarind or fenugreek to make food more exciting. So – Pub Food and Indian Seasoning. Is either sufficiently niche to persuade you to stay home and watch TV?
Or would you enjoy yourself more at the Queen’s Head or the Star of Delhi?
Life & Style blogs
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
Coachella Festival 2015: from Kendall Jenner to Alexa Chung, stars and festival-goers parade their boho best
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
iJobs Food & Drink
£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...
Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...
£25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...