News is that model Joey Mathews is all set to become desi Nigella Lawson on a cookery show called ‘Love Bites with Joey’. We get the hint. The show is aimed at tantalizing taste buds among other things. Women have that edge when it comes to cookery shows. If men indulge in some suggestive cooking, the show has all the chances of becoming vulgar.
Sample this: “Aww, look at this…! Absolutely amazing! Wow! “I simply love this…splendid…hmm…heavenly! Yes, Yes!!”
What do you think?
Well, this is a male chef exulting on a television cookery show (NDTV Good Times).
And guess what was cooking?
‘Doodhi Halwa’ (Bottle gourd pudding).
Sorry chef, but the halwa looked yucky! The finger licking was a waste. And the generous sprinkling of pistachios didn’t help either!
A delicious tele-tyranny is the unabashed self-admiration by the chefs. Agreed, that all the ‘Ahhs’ and the ‘Oohs’ help the viewer to salivate and to come back asking for more!
But for me, there are other serious issues. For starters, the irony of my cooking is that I have been accused of watching too many cookery shows and the outcome has never been worth the effort.
“It’s nice. But not like the one they showed on TV,” says my son. “Ma…why can’t you cook like them?”
I am tempted to ask, “And when did you taste the one cooked on TV?”
As I look towards the husband for some generous helping, “Well tried,” is all I get.
I recognize he’s winging it. The consequence is evident when no one opts for a second helping. Insist, and both complain of flatulence.
Worse! The pot luck lunches have become my nemesis. The ladies have sensed my dilemma. Now they refrain from assigning me the task of cooking any exotic dish. Almost invariably, I get to cook rice. No peach puddings or avocado dumplings for me.
Why am I sulking? I can very well, stick to dal, roti and forget all about exotic cooking. Well, since food continues to have a visceral hold on most of us and with my social reputation at stake, my Clouseau-ish culinary clumsiness hurts.
What irks me is the fact that the recipes churned by the celebrity chefs’ on television are always delectable - never over-cooked, never over-salted and never over-fried. Unlike the celebrity chefs, I am unable dress my culinary creations in hyperbole. Also when I am about to add those dollops of butter or a generous spoon of cashew paste, the high triglyceride levels restrain my hand. What is with these damn triglycerides? Like inflation, they refuse to go down.
Another advantage that the television chefs have is that they don’t have to answer doorbells, update status messages or attend phone calls while they are in the midst of cooking sessions. With all the ingredients washed, diced and chopped already, it is easy to waltz in the kitchen and finish preparing three dishes in thirty minutes flat - including the commercial breaks. I would love to watch these chefs straddle their cooking with the maid, the kids, the husband, the electrician and the courier guy - all vying for attention at the same time. Their boast is sure to be deflated like my chocolate cakes.
Despite odds, my struggle to dish out absolutely divine food continues. I will continue to stew in my misery, than trim expectations. Perhaps watching the lovely Joey Mathews will pump up the jam.
A word of advice for Joey Mathews - Do your own thing. Don’t copy Nigella. She isn’t referred to as the British Goddess of cookery for nothing. And ‘Oohing’ and ‘Aahhing’ is not the only recipe for success.
(I had written this article long ago.Posting it with some changes.)