26 February 2009

Food, and a rant

After a very long pause, I will continue with this blog. I was moved almost to tears by the grand final of Masterchef this evening (I can be quite highly strung at times), for many reasons. I really, really love that there is a reality TV show about cooking. It is one of my favourite occupations - planning meals, choosing ingredients, the action of preparing the food, and finally eating your creations. Little in life is more satisfying (mathematics can be, at times). I love watching truly talented chefs cooking their hearts out, which is what all three finalists did.

On top of this, I think we as a nation need to think more about the food that we eat. I know that to anyone who knows anything about health/obesity/nutrition etc. that is not news, but I feel it needs to be restated frequently. We have lost sight of the pleasure of good, fresh ingredients cooked simply and well, in favour of uniformly (mostly orangey brown) fast food.

I am so glad to see a TV show that celebrates real, genuine, talent, as opposed to the facile, shallow 'celebrity' shows favoured by ITV (in particular - other networks are guilty too). It is one of my pet hates that so many people who do important work in this country are so undervalued (teachers, nurses, binmen...). So I'm glad that we are being entertained by people who actually have something to offer us, for once!

Anyway, this brings me neatly onto my next point - the thing I am currently feeling most irritated about. One of my housemates, an Australian gentleman of curious views, said as we watched the penultimate MC show last night that he believed cooking was a 'low level skill', and that he believed this was true because 'chefs don't get paid very much'. This shows a depth of ignorance on two, entirely seperate, levels: firstly, this comes from a guy whose idea of cooking is breaking carrots in half and dropping them in boiling water, so he clearly has no idea whatsoever of the skill involved, and secondly the valuation of everything in monetary terms.

I do not understand the wilful ignorance of people such as him. It is as if he celebrates his ignorance, and endeavours to become more so (is it possible to deepen one's ignorance?). Anyway, as Feministy can surely imagine, I unleashed my feistier side on him, and I hope he rethinks his views.

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