The latest series of the BBC’s Great British Menu ended over the weekend, with Sat Bains, Mark Hix and Richard Corrigan combining to create a four-course meal showcasing the best of British ingredients at a banquet at the British Ambassador’s residence in Paris.
The success of the show – and the seismic news that Delia Smith is about to re-enter the fray with a new series – got me thinking about my favourite foodie shows on the box. Here they are, in no particular order. Agree? Disagree? Either way, let us know.
Rick Stein’s French Odyssey. Rick’s slow-boat trip down the waterways of southern France was a joy rendered incomplete only by his inability to secure a passport to travel for Chalky the dog.
Jamie’s School Dinners By highlighting the difficulties schools face feeding kids nutritious food on 37p a day, Jamie sparked a national debate on the food we feed our children – and persuaded the government to commit £280m to raising standards. Respect.
Galloping Gourmet Along with Mr Benn and the Sullivans, my favourite school holiday viewing fodder.
Return to River Cottage – the only TV show ever to tempt me to chop out a chunk of my chimney and install a salmon smokery.
Nancy Lam – because she was bonkers and you could almost smell her delicious dishes through the screen of the telly.
Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection, because the nation’s favourite molecular chef wasn’t afraid to don white coat and goggles and send himself up.
Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, for bringing a whole new lexicon to management consultancy.
Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. No list would be complete without a nod to Saint Delia, without whom many Brits would remain unable to boil an egg to this day.
Saturday Kitchen – for complementing the coffee and croissants at the start of the weekend.
Masterchef – so good, we’ve commissioned a feature on it for the forthcoming issue of Caterer and Hotelkeeper.