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Hugh, Jamie, Gordon – will no one save us from these overweening cooks?

And Nigella and Delia, but at least the gals stick to cooking on their programmes.

Sales of ‘sustainable’ fish are going through the roof at Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets following Channel 4’s Fish Fight series fronted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, my chum Stuart Smith reports.

Meanwhile his ferocious counterpart Gordon Ramsay is picking on someone his own size, the Chinese and others who slaughter millions of sharks annually for shark fin soup (“a bland dish” according to Gordon).

And we are all familiar with Jamie Oliver’s efforts at social engineering through his war on Turkey Twizzlers and their many counterparts on the other side of Atlantic.

But these are all good causes so what’s not to like?

The UK’s lemming-like habit of picking up whatever these characters say and following it. Mainly because UK TV stations long ago figured out that making hero figures of cooks and unleashing them on any topic under the sun they fancy makes cheap, popular telly and provides them with all sorts of profitable spin-offs.

At the moment we’ve even got Michel Roux in BBC prime time teaching us all how to be waiters. Get the lad back to his stove, we might learn something.

My wife has just bought Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, by you know who, apparently the fastest-selling cookery book ever in the UK. And one of the daftest. Who wants to try to create, for example, mustard chicken, quick dauphinoise (dauphinoise are supposed to be slow), greens (well, ok) and Black Forest affogato (don’t ask) in just 30 minutes?

Apart from being a shameless invasion of fellow cook Nigel Slater territory (whose 30 minute recipes are both possible and sensible) and making young Oliver even richer, this just shows the awesome power of these over-mighty people.

Perhaps it’s time to turn again to Hell’s Kitchen star and keen shootist Marco Pierre white, currently reduced to producing turkey recipes for Bernard Matthews Farms.

We could have trigger-happy Marco touring the country slaughtering anything in sight, being as objectionable as possible and turning his Purdey on the credulous public when they annoyed him.

There’s a true chef.

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BBC Bernard Matthews Farms channel 4 fish fight Gordon Ramsay Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Jamie Oliver Marco Pierre White Michel Roux Nigel Slater Sainsburys Stuart Smith

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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