DEAR celebrity chefs,
WHILE scraping the remains of burnt-on onion from the bottom of a pan the other day, my mind turned to the years you all spent washing dishes, delivering plates and paying your dues on your way to elite culinary status.
There are certainly a lot of you around these days. You must have your own union by now.
Some of you inspire us to pick up a wooden spoon and head to the kitchen. Others among you inspire us to pick up a wooden spoon and belt ourselves around the head in desperation that our sardine soufflé just won’t rise.
There appear to be a few boxes that need ticking in order to join your club: publish a recipe book or 12 (are they really all your recipes though?); host or make a regular appearance on a television show; open a restaurant with a curious/bizarre name; and lend your name to some form of cookware utensil.
Actually being good at making nice food is probably important as well but then, how would the majority of the population know?
Most won’t ever go into one of your restaurants (it’s a matter of moolah) and everything we eat with our eyes on television automatically tastes good.
So in actual fact, that spring lamb and vanilla custard cous cous macaron tower might taste like horse ointment.
I can’t help wonder if it’s a fine mix of the right looks and right manager/agent. Not everyone can pull off an apron, you know.
For those of you appearing on “reality” television shows, why not inject some actual reality into it?
For instance, instead of being given a time limit to prepare a three-layered salted peach and barramundi cheesecake in a state-of-the-art kitchen, put yourselves in a regular kitchen at about 6pm, add in two primary school-aged children who won’t come inside, plus a 15-year-old asking questions about non-linear equations as the phone rings, the rice boils over and the cat sicks up on the lounge room floor.
Oh, and repeat that five nights a week, while adding a birthday party on a Saturday night.
Let’s just see if Venezuelan spiced venison with a truffle sauce makes it onto the menu then.
The real celebrity chefs are those mums and dads creating miracles in the kitchen from scantly stocked cupboards and bare fridges, all the while showing an interest in the spouse’s day and getting ready for the P and C meeting which starts in 15 minutes.
Now they deserve a restaurant.