Saturday, 7 November 2009

Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers

Has anyone seen the wankfest that is Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers (BBC One)? I used to love Nigel, and have admired his style of cooking (he's a cook, not a chef, after all). But this programme gets right on my tits. Why?

1. When he says 'leftovers', he means a whole roast chicken that's had two thin slices taken from the breast; or some leftover rhubarb (that's only leftover because he made a cheaters rhubarb tart a few minutes ago)!
2. He plates up REALLY slowly. He spoons food the way he thinks a chef on tv should, slowly and seductively. Sorry Nige, you're not Nigella!
3. Each episode has 27 songs on it. It gets annoying having the first few seconds of a Ting Tings song, only to be replaced with the first few seconds of another song.
4. The bloody allotment section. Nigel goes to a middle class family's allotment, picks their veg, fries it. That's it. Fried veg served up in an allotment for Mummy, Daddy, Tilly and Ollie: “Ooh I've never thought of fried tomatoes before, isn't this lovely Tilly?”
5. Nigel wanking about his garden. Yes, you have a garden; and no, not everybody can have one (the garden of my rented house is all patio slabs, and the nearest allotment has a 2 year wait).

I suppose the reason this programme annoys me so much is that it's such lazy television. Nigel makes four or five things in each episode – and some of them are as easy as chopping up leftover chicken, adding it to cous cous, then adding coriander leaves and orange juice. That's it, and it took about 10 minutes of screen time while Nigel camply explains why he likes using leftovers. Now I consider myself middle class, and I've fought my way here, but I find his manner smug, his middle class allotment owners smug and his food mediocre. Sorry Nigel, you had it once, but sadly no longer.

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