Thursday, November 23, 2006

Celebrity Chefs

Heston, Jamie and Gordon are probably the A list celebrity chefs right now. I know this will upset Rick, Hugh and the Ready, Steady Cook gang but by and large those guys are the top three.

But how amazingly different they are. Heston's current TV programme is unbelievable as he searches for the thing that makes great dishes greater - black forest gateau, fish and chips, pizza, steak and salad - and then tries to reproduce the result with a modern twist in a way you and I could at home. Not that you and I would ever be able to afford or host a £2000 gizmo to assess the dry matter content of a potato. Nor would we attach the hoover tools to a laundry bag full of chocolate mousse. But Heston takes an inordinately long time and effort to make a great dish greater. Which is why he runs a three starred best restaurant in the world.

Gordon is an entrepreneur. Obviously a fine chef but with a brilliant understanding of 'good enough'. He knows what is good enough for every given commercial opportunity. He knows what will sell and how to source it as cheaply as possible. He swears too much and uses confrontation as a management technique but in narrowing down the people who can work with him he gets some pretty patient co-workers, all anxious to learn.

Jamie is a fidget. If he hasn't thrown together four new combinations of flavours before breakfast he is hell to live with for the rest of the day. He is also a youth worker who wants to see children and young people love food as he does.

I'd love to see a programme simply recording a conversation between them. I think a co-operative exercise would be impossible to arrange.


Matthew P said...

Never heard of Heston. Is he like Gary Rhodes, i.e. great to watch but far too much effort to make it yourself?

Jamie is great though. I like the way he has changed perceptions on various things; the fact that I cook lots is now considered cool rather than strange, and also that celebrity can be used to change government policy (particularly if the politicians are media obsessed).

St said...

Heston is Heston Blumenthal, chef proprietor of the Fat Duck at Bray. Nothing like Gary Rhodes. Doesn't even have hair.