Everybody has their favourite feel-good TV. For some people it’s soaps, for others it’s period dramas or comedy sketch shows – me? I have three: cooking programmes, nature programmes and quiz shows.
They’re what I want to watch when I’ve had a long day and I want something easy and entertaining. They’re easy to watch, they make me happy and they leave me feeling like I’ve learned something new.
This week I’m bringing you my TOP 5 COOKERY SHOWS. The shows that inspire me to try new stuff in my kitchen at home and help me keep my weekly meal plans a little less dull!
5. Ready, Steady, Cook!
Sadly now only to be found on YouTube and the like, Ready Steady Cook was probably my first cooking programme love. Ainsley Harriott was hilariously hyperactive and the variety of guests they had in to cook with the TV chefs was always entertaining. From celebrities to estate agents and everything in between – the challenges they were given were fun to watch and usually involved ‘normal’ ingredients and produced meals you might actually want to eat.
I watched and rewatched full series of this online at university – often in the background whilst I was doing coursework – and it was a big help in coming up with ideas for the nights it was my turn to cook for the house (in our second year, the four of us housesharing all cooked for everyone one night a week. It was nice to all sit down together and also good because it meant nobody got stuck in a rut of eating the same thing every single day. We did eat a lot of pasta bakes though, don’t be illusioned that we were always adventurous!)
4. The Great British Bake Off
The BBC version. I have no opinion on the C4 version because I never actually got around to watching it.
I mostly loved this because of the Blogger’s Bake Off that we did alongside it. It took me out of my comfort zone and got me trying new things and I enjoyed the adventure of it. I even got Star Baker once and I’m still proud of it! (Vodka & Coke Drizzle Cake – here’s the recipe!)
3. Ace Of Cakes
More cake. This is an American show and, as such, is very much larger than life. Following a cake company that makes amazing and enormous cake creations – they made a cake of Hogwarts for Warner Bros for example – this programme is really funny and incredible to watch. (It is also sometimes really stressful when things go wrong because they all care so much about their work that you can’t help but be stressed along with them!!)
2. Great British Menu
Another university discovery, but this one is still going. Each year, professional chefs from up and down the UK compete to win the opportunity to design and serve a course at an enormous banquet celebrating something significant that year. It’s been for a Wimbledon anniversary, army veterans – all sorts of different things. The chefs are from all different places and have so many different styles, I just find it fascinating seeing what dishes they come up with from the exact same brief.
And my one true cookery show love. Normal Masterchef, Professional Masterchef, Celebrity Masterchef – I love them all.
I don’t know what it is about the show but I just find it highly addictive. I think John Torode and Gregg Wallace are ace and I have a bit of a crush on Marcus Wareing even though he terrifies me. (I do miss Michele Roux though.)
I own two Masterchef cookbooks and have read them both cover to cover more than once. I have used them for cooking as well, honest. Though my presentation skills leave an awful lot to be desired – and I should probably get to a point where I set things on fire less frequently before trying some of the more challenging dishes. (My record for ‘number of individual fires started cooking a single meal’ currently stands at 3. The last of which involved me running out of my back door wielding a flaming saucepan. Chicken Katsu is dangerous stuff!)