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TV

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TV morsels: Man Finds Food with Adam Richman

Many foodies – certainly regular readers of this site – will be familiar with Man v. Food, a show made by the USA’s Travel Channel and hosted by the great Adam Richman. In Australia, Man v. Food has its home on Foxtel channel TLC, however since the recent re-shuffle TLC’s food shows have taken a back seat – great for fans of Say Yes to the Dress and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, but not so good for fans of Adam, Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern. Adam Richman is very near the top of my food-hero list, not just because he gets to eat huge amounts of amazing looking and ridiculously spicy food, but you can tell that he is passionate about the ingredients and effort that goes into each mouthful. He comes across as a very likable guy, unlike Guy Fieri who just comes across as a dick. I also admire him for losing a lot of…

Feeling adventurous…let’s try this thing…

So here we have the winner of Recipe to Riches Week 5, a pre-cooked lamb kebab. Hmm. It’s been a bit of a disappointing season so far, although the two products I’ve most wanted to try (pork, apple & cinnamon sausages and sage & macadamia sausage rolls) were out of stock before my shopping arrived. Taking the easy route, I shoved it in the microwave for the prescribed down and it came out like this. Hot and slimy – what is that? Fearing the lack of use-by date on the packaging, I bravely soldiered on, slapping the inclused tzatziki sauce and some coleslaw on it. Surprisingly, it didn’t taste too bad…but one was enough. The judges really seemed to love this, but surely Australia can do better.

The world of competitive cooking TV, part 1: MasterChef

Regular readers will know that I have a particular interest – ok, obsession – with how fast foods differ between countries and cultures. I don’t know why I find it so fascinating, and unfortunately this obsession extends to competitive cooking “reality” TV. Yes, this is my secret shame – I’m currently following three editions of MasterChef, and the Australian one hasn’t even started yet… You will have seen some of these shows on Australian free-to-air and Foxtel, although often well after their original screenings. In this series of articles I’m going to talk about some of the key differences and what I consider to be good (and not so good) about international versions of shows like MasterChef, The Taste, My Kitchen Rules, Come Dine with Me, Top Chef and so on. MasterChef is the obvious place to start as it exists in so many versions around the world – 42, according to the blurb…

TV Review: United States of Bacon

New Discovery-network TV series “United States of Bacon” started its life as the three-part series “United States of Food” in mid-2012 that saw “family man, chef and bacon loving American” Todd Fisher travel across the USA looking for the best and most innovative bacon, burger and steak menus. Now, in celebration of the fact that 53% of American homes keep bacon in their fridge at all times, Todd is travelling to twelve cities looking for the ultimate bacon experiences. The tone and content of the show is nicely summed up in this quote from its press release: “From thick cut and juicy to thin and crispy, this series covers every form of bacon under the sun,” said Marc Etkind, SVP of Content Strategy for Destination America. “It’s no wonder bacon is in high demand – just watching United States of Bacon induces hunger pangs of epic proportions – but whether or…

Back in form: Great British Menu 2011

Great British Menu has been essential viewing for me over the past five years. During the several-month duration of each series, it screens weekdays on BBC2 and features top British chefs competing to prepare four courses for a prestigious themed banquet. Each week is a regional heat, with the competing chefs cooking their starter on Monday, fish course on Tuesday, main course on Wednesday and dessert on Thursday. On Friday, the chefs cook all four courses again and present them to the judging panel of Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton. One chef each week goes through to the finals, and ultimately the four winning dishes are chosen. The themes for the first five series’ – and the concluding banquets – were: series 1 (2006) – cook for the Queen on her 80th birthday series 2 (2007) – cook for the British Ambassador to France at the British Embassy in Paris series 3…

Britain’s cake boss: Choccywoccydoodah

The thing that really annoys me about Charm City Cakes (from Ace of Cakes) is how little cake they actually put into their creations, many of which seem to be made from mostly foam and wood. Every time I see the episode where they make the “non-edible display piece” for Radio City Music Hall, I wonder why they didn’t just make it from papier-mâché, and get the urge to call consumer affairs. The cakes on Cake Boss always seem much more impressive, both artistically and structurally – although of course we’re talking reality TV here so the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Earlier this week I stumbled onto a new 10-part series from the “Good Food” channel that documents the day to day goings-on in Britain’s premiere chocolatier, Choccywoccydoodah.  The name is very British, but it’s not growing on me. I’m certainly glad that I don’t have to…