Anthony Gregory questions the celebrity culture surrounding the country’s top chefs for the University of Durham’s Palatinate:
They’re everywhere: on our televisions, in the newspapers, on the radio and smiling at us from billboards. Ladies and gentleman, forget footballers, politicians and One Direction. This is the age of the celebrity chef, and they’re cooking up a storm. But why are we under their spell?
In this recession hit era, we all have a lot on our plate. Yet cooking, or even watching others cook on television, offers escapism within which all ages and classes can indulge, and facilitates the stability of celebrity chefs. We may no longer possess the disposable income to eat out regularly, but drooling over pixelated petit pois remains popular. For this, we have Delia Smith and company to thank. Whether we seek entertainment or education, the renowned cooks are always on hand.
With such a wide target audience to tap into, it’s no coincidence that TV has experienced a cookery colonisation. Chefs on the small screen have not appeared overnight – ‘Ready Steady Cook’, for example, began in 1994 – but never before has television boasted so much restaurant-related talent.
Full article here.