JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A little righteous indignation ... sorry!

The BBC's got a lot to answer for. Last night, half-watching cookery programmes while fiddling around in the kitchen, I heard John Torrode on Masterchef say that parsnip and cherry made a really good sauce. Really???? How can that be? SO decadent, destructive even. We really have to get out of the habit of flying ingredients around just so's we can have an interesting sauce on our plates.

This morning, same scenario, another cookery presenter, James Martin, was explaining salade nicoise. He gave a list of correct ingredients, then: you don't have to use those, it's just a salad, you can use anything you'd usually put in a salad. Huh??? Why would it still be a salade nicoise, with different ingredients.

That's the joy of having the house to myself: tv cookery programmes with added righteous indignation - only possible on my own ... and the joy's already wearing off.

Thank you to everyone who's sent good wishes to Lucius - I've been really touched by all your concern. He's doing well after a slight problem with his drugs, and is hoping to be allowed to get out of bed today. I'm just off to see him now.


Toffeeapple said...

I don't know how you can watch Masterchef - the presenters truly irritate me with their pretentious statements. I saw part of a recent episode and wonder how the contestants are chosen; some of them served half-cooked chicken, why then do they think they can cook?

Joanna said...

I know what you mean ... I have it on in the background when I'm cooking, half watching. It would be better, I think, to have a competition that wasn't restaurant oriented, & that didn't seek constant new combinations ... there are reasons that the classics are classic.

On the other hand, I am a pretty good cook, but I don't think I'd be able to perform well in that kind of atmosphere, so I take my hat off to those that can. And have you read David or Hannah's blogs? They can both cook ... actually, now that I come to think about it, neither of them is opening a restaurant, either ;)


Toffeeapple said...

I agree that I would never want to be in the position of having to perform on TV; and, as you say classics are classic.

I think the restaurant 'placings' are too unreal for the early part of the competition. I know I1'd never manage to operate in one!

I don't know David or Hannah, could you point me in the right direction to read them please?

Joanna said...

Yes: Hannah is at

She makes exquisitely decorated cakes, amongst other things.

David is a Geordie with a young family, who teaches cooking, cooks privately, and makes good robust food which he blogs about pretty frequently. It's at

You're absolutely right about the first round .. and then the judging seems to disregard the results. I think it's there to inject a little variety, and some vitality into the programme. Guest judges might work just as well. The other thing that irritates me is that it's a programme for short-order cooking ... so many of the very best things take longer than half an hour or an hour to cook, and they don't get a look in.

But these two blogs by 2 of last year's Masterchef high flyers are really worth a look. 2 of the others started blogs, but I didn't take to them - I expect you could find links to those on one of these if you were interested