Monday, September 03, 2007
The whole kitchen caboodle
FOOD! Nigella Express, BBC2, 8.30pm/Hell's Kitchen, ITV1, 9.00pm
It's a bumper night for foodies tonight and no mistake, with not one but two (count them! Seriously, get a copy of the listings and count them; we'll wait) new shows launching tonight. This is the televisual equivalent of going out for dinner and ordering everything on the menu and even though you know you'll end up feeling all sick and bloated afterwards, you eat it all anyway because you can, dammit. (Our binging habits are almost as attractive as Hannah's on Hollyoaks.)
First up is Nigella's return to cookery, after her ill-received chat show, with Nigella Express. This is essentially that show that's going to make you feel really bad about picking up a ready meal from the supermarket on the way home from work, even though you know that it accounts for 54% of your daily saturated fat intake, because you'd justified it to yourself by claiming you didn't have the time to cook something properly. Not so, says Nigella, whose new series is dedicated to fast food that you can make by yourself in a ridiculously tiny amount of time, assuming of course that your larder is as well-stocked as hers is. As lovely as mustard pork chops with gnocchi sounds, we just don't imagine we have the raw ingredients for that lying around in amongst the congealing bowls of fruit and the various dented tins here at lowculture towers. Not that it matters, of course; we're not meant to attempt to copy this at home. In fact, we're surprised this show doesn't start with a disclaimer of that nature. Just sit back and enjoy watching someone else being utterly brilliant in the kitchen and try not to think about your own failings.
And when Nigella's lulled you into a nice sense of calm, flick over to ITV1 for the return of Hell's Kitchen, which has decided to erase all of the changes made to the second series from your mind in exactly the same way that we all know that Shannen Doherty was never really on Charmed, and that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. So we're back to celebrity (insert your own inverted commas there if you feel the need) contestants, and since Gordon Ramsey has a golden handcuffs deal with Channel 4, Marco Pierre White will be taking over. We thought he was doing The Restaurant, but apparently that's Raymond Blanc. They all look the same after a while, don't they? Anyway, you all know the format - people try to cope in a kitchen, and get yelled at and probably burn themselves a bit. The list of contestants is a tad uninspiring, but here's hoping Anneka Rice lasts the distance, eh?