Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Take The Back Rhodes

gary RhodesWe’ve been watching a lot of cookery programmes at the moment as we’ve noticed that the boy is fascinated by them. Karen and I both love cooking ourselves so it’s no hardship to immerse ourselves in a spot of Nigella or Gordon every now and then.

One particular show that we’ve been watching has been UKTV Food’s "Rhodes Across India" which features celebrity chef, Gary Rhodes, hobnobbing around India sampling the wares of various street vendors and top Indian chefs.

The food, I admit, looks amazing but Karen and I are constantly irritated by Gary Rhodes’ arrogant and domineering attitude. He might dress it up under a jovial, easy going, I’m-your-best-mate-I-am manner but his condescension towards everyone he meets is plain.

What annoys me most is that he constantly meddles with the recipes that he’s been privy to. It’s like he can’t resist improving them or applying the smarmy Gary Rhodes stamp to them. On one episode we watched recently you could see the Indian chef visibly gritting his teeth in the background as Gary Rhodes totally trashed the simplicity of the original dish and pointlessly westernized it.

The point is: I’m watching this programme to see dishes and food prepared the Indian way. I want to see how the actual street vendors do it – how they prepare recipes that have been passed down to them through countless generations - and I object strongly to every single ingredient and measurement having to be passed through the crass dictatorial filter that is Mr Rhodes!

I don’t want to see Gary Rhodes’ take on Indian food. I just want to see the Indian food as it is!

Whether he realizes it or not, Gary’s attitude brands him a thief rather than a respectful explorer. And that leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

The British Raj, it seems, is alive and cooking...

17 comments:

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Hit the roads Gary, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more...Hit the roads Gary tra la la, etc, etc.

Chefs Come Dancing would be a goodie. I'm sure it's only a matter of time!

But like interior designers, I suppose we have them to thank for all the better quality produce/products we now find in our stores, if nothing else.

On the subject of telly chefs, Elvis McGonagall's podcast poem -'Jamie Oliver Twist' is worth a listen at
www.elvismcgonagall.co.uk/poems.htm

Old Cheeser said...

And when is Mr Rhodes going to get rid of that horrendously dated mullett?

It was acceptable in the '80s...

Steve said...

Hi Laura,

Alas Windows will not let me open the podcast poem - boo! - but I will have a good rummage around Elvis's site.

Personally I think Chef's Extreme Sports would be great telly. I may have to write the synopsis right now purely for my own enjoyment!

OC - ha ha! I assume your talking about his hair-do and not about a fish dish that Gary is peppering with corny asides...

TimeWarden said...

Telly always has to present factual programmes as just another piece of entertainment these days, unfortunately, fearing nobody will watch otherwise.

As much as I enjoy pop music, I do wonder why it has to be playing in the background of every programme broadcast, whether it's "Horizon" or the "World Snooker Championships"... not that I watch either you understand?!!

MOTHER OF MANY said...

When I was in University I did waitressing at an event where Gary Rhodes created the menu.We waitresses had to place the dessert of mixed fruit on a plate, following a photograph as they all had to look the same,with our bare hands.It may have looked very pretty but the thought of all those unwashed hands messing with the food was too much for me.I have been to many Christmas parties and large corporate meals since and the ones that impressed me most were the ones that served well prepared, traditional food. Last Christmas I went to a meal that served a 'tower' of mash,pork and vegetables in a gravy which had an essence of some fruit or other! The 'tower', the whole meal, was no bigger than a small tin of beans and what the hell is 'essence' of fruit?
I may try and diet all through the year but surely Christmas is not the time for poncey food and very small amounts of poncey food at that.

Steve said...

Hi TimeWarden,

Really nice that you dropped by and I know what you mean. It's as if every programme on TV these days is just an extended pop video. I fully expect to hear Britney Spears playing in the background next time I check into University Challenge!

Hi Ally,

No time of the year is right for poncy food in my opinion but especially not Christmas. To my way of thinking poncy food doesn't always equate with healthy food anyway...

The Sagittarian said...

I am rather fond of cookery programmes too, can't wait for "smellavision", an ol' favourite of ours is Rick Stein. However, I agree that some Chefs really are uppity and even tho' I have been guilty on occasions of adding extras or taking bits out of recipes (usually due to lack of foreward planning and its not in the cupboard!!) you are right about the reason most of us watch these programmes. The chances of getting to see dishes done the "real" way is sadly wasted on some of the big names.

-eve- said...

I know what you mean ... sometimes all the talk and wrapping messes up the original thing...

Steve said...

Yes! The wrapping just gets in the way and is irrelevent. It's what's inside that is the important thing. And I have to say that Gary Rhodes is lousy wrapping!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

You should see the new Gordon Ramsey series. My friend insisted I watched the opening sequence the other week and I couldn't believe it either. He rips off his clothes in the corridor on the way to the studio kitchen (you'd think he could afford a changing room with his money!), ripples his muscles for the camera and then manfully puts on his lifesaving surgeon's, sorry, Chef's doublet. Then he bursts into the kitchen as if he were in a 70's cop show and greets the sycophantic dolly birds waiting for his masterful tuition. Three minutes into the show I couldn't bear to watch any more.
GR certainly gets my vote as biggest telly tosser in the Chef steaks. And have you noticed he looks like a photofit? Well he's sure committing plenty of crimes against good television!

Steve said...

I feel very embarrased, Laura, as I must confess a sneaking liking for Gordy, though I am aware of his darker side and have written about him a few times here.

But you're right about his face resembling a photofit. One of the old 1970's ones that Sean whatsit used to feature on his small evening news slot: "Keep 'em peeled..."

God, what was his name?

TimeWarden said...

Shaw Taylor!

Steve said...

TimeWarsden, you are the living archive of a whole generation... and as such utterly indispensable! Cheers mightily!

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree more with your comments.

At the start of the series he says that he has never cooked Indian food before and introduces us to experts in various regional Indian cuisine.

Without exception he patronises all of them, "are you sure you want to use that much ghee/garlic/chilli/..etc"

He has never cooked the dish before, they have cooked it thousands of times and HE is telling THEM what needs to be done.

Would he have gone to varoius regions of Spain/Italy/France and told the local chefs how to cook THEIR dishes?

I have a great idea for a follow-up series.

Get all the chef's to cooks the dishes they and us want to see, if the ever so important Gary must be there I'm sure that they may allow him to wash the pans!!!

Steve said...

Anonymous - now that is a fabulous idea for a television series! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Not a bad name!!

And I know just the person who should present it.

Bye the way have you seen the UKTV website about the show?

About 70 comments ant not a single one positive.

Steve said...

Ha ha ha! Nice to know. Just desserts indeed!