Telly Is Getting Tubby and Stupid from Serving Up Too Much Food

By Billen, Andrew | New Statesman (1996), August 8, 1997 | Go to article overview

Telly Is Getting Tubby and Stupid from Serving Up Too Much Food


Billen, Andrew, New Statesman (1996)


One day cultural historians will locate the precise moment when cooking became more important than education in this country. The date was 1997, the year the BBC announced the cancellation of Mastermind and grossed out on food programmes.

"I think," said the second of two Julies competing in Sunday's Masterchef final (BBC1), "I've felt every single emotion that there is to feel, from fear and panic to elation."

The asceticism of Mastermind did not allow such pre-game confessionals and they were not in any case needed: Old Britain, sifted and regulated by examinations, was assumed to recognise exam nerves. New Britain, which doesn't actually cook, finding reheating easier, but which binges on cookery programmes, needs to be reminded that a brilliant meal, like a brilliant degree, is the product of labour, experience and nerve. For the chef, every meal is an anxious ritualisation of pleasure deferral.

But is it art? As the Barrie and the two Julies wrapped their oysters and pestoed their lamb, Loyd Grossman conducted a seminar on this very question with his two bow-tied fellow judges.

Anton Edelman of the Savoy held that cooking was a craft, subject to the whims of fashion, although, hold on there, he wasn't about to make a Thai restaurant out of the Savoy just because of Nancy Lain. Given a good recipe and the capacity to follow it exactly, "anybody can actually produce a very good dish".

Lord Gowrie, who with unwonted modesty described himself as a "reasonably good amateur cook" but whose anecdotes ("I visited a very great chef and he does for gras wrapped in cabbage leaf") suggest he is a distinguished professional caterer, disagreed. The Arts Council chairman considered cooking the "tenth muse".

"When I am taken out to the Savoy - I emphasise taken, although no doubt I'll take again when I'm out of the public sector," began the nation's arbiter of taste, figurative and literal, "there is a dish I always try to choose."

Could this halibut and mashed-potato wonder have been Anton's creation? It could. "Then, you are certainly an artist no question."

Triumphant in debate, there was now no stopping Gowrie. Apercus fell like oil drizzling over parmesan.

Barrie from Sunderland's starter, he detected, came from the ancient world.' Julie One's tomato sauce was "A-level". Masticating Julie Two's risotto, he ruled: "You can overdo the al dente: You don't want to break a tooth."

In the face of Gowrie's bid for his job, Grossman, professorial no longer, reverted to type. He played the American hick who favoured peanut-butter ice-cream and had never heard of a roast salad. He punned (the contestants were "hardboiled"). He invented neologisms ("judgely", as in a "judgely huddle"). He pronounced "neologism" neahloogizzum. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Telly Is Getting Tubby and Stupid from Serving Up Too Much Food
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.