I think I have to stop watching television.
Based on my extensive research, if you turn on the telly there is now a 103% chance that you will come across some kind of cookery show.
I used to like cookery shows. I used to like it when they cooked something that I might one day eat myself, like chicken doused in curry powder or something involving fish fingers. I didn’t even mind when it got a bit fancy; aspiration is good. As long as it was vaguely humble or realistic, and there was at least a tacit acknowledgement that they what they were actually making was food and not a recreation of the happy tears of God, that was pretty much fine.
I’ve been drawn into Great British Menu recently. In much the same way a bear trap draws you in – whenever I encounter it I end up swearing, shouting and missing a leg.
Again, the first series, fine. This series, however, has disappeared so far up its own arse that it’s trying to serve it’s own kidneys as a delicious amuse bouche with some duck’s milk creme fraiche.
Last week I watched a man, who is paid to professionally cook food, that he was going to create a witty deconstruction of a kebab.
He then proceeded to just make a kebab. A regular doner kebab. He then served it in a kebab box. He then put it in a bag.
Today another man made a salad, then put it in a box with a barcode on it. Like they do in exclusive shops like Tesco. The voiceover described it as ‘quirky’ at least nine times and then his fellow contestants fawned over how quirky it was to serve a salad in a box.
They ought to come to my work cafe, they’ll have a fit.
I know food has a propensity to get a bit wanky, but we’ve now reached new heights in self-aggrandising bollocks. This isn’t just restricted to the tellybox. In London you can’t move without walking into the next hot Japanese-Ethiopian fusion indie new popup inside a functioning crack den where everything is cooked by trained pianists using irons and served by people who hate you.
And the language! I won’t go into a restaurant any more unless the grub has been described as orgasmic, groundbreaking, edgy, clever and overtly sexual – anything less suggests that somebody may have shat in the fairtrade peas. Even if you want something simple as sausage and mash in even a mediocre pub restaurant you now have to read a brief statement indicating the pig’s breed, name and marital status. This vital information also appears to lead to a £4 surcharge on your dish. I do not care whether the pork was rare breed or found wandering drunk along the M4. It’s now in a sausage.
Don’t get me wrong, I love food. I’m an eater. But please, please can we get over this bullshit?
I had toast for dinner. It was brilliant.