The rise and rise of celebrity chef’s is a cultural phenomena that is only rivalled by get fit, lose weight, get a makeover and cheer the fuck up television. On one channel you have Nigella Lawson espousing. ‘only can you get bring out the full sumptuous potential of duck fat by adding three or four good dollops of perky luscious whipped cream followed by a full cup of glistening salt. Use the enriched duck fat and massage it thoroughly into the skin of the swine but only after it has been deep fried for a good 45 minutes”. Flick the channel and you get some buffed fitness nut chastising some demoralised and overweight westerner for having too much skim milk in their herbal tea!
It is the Celebrity Chef’s that are the modern day rockstars with egos to match! They wine and dine for and with Prime Ministers, Presidents and royalty, have whole sections of book stores dedicated to their recipes, have live shows, entire television channels programmed to highlight their culinary mastery. They also invariably have chains of overpriced restaurants scattered across the globe with one always opening up in Dubai next week.
You know who they are Jamie, Gordon, Nigella, Neil, Marco, Bill, Huey etc, etc. Chef superstardom is a multi trillion dollar industry. It is estimated that the profits from Gordon Ramsay’s London and Paris enterprises alone is enough to cover third world debt*. It’s Gordon that’s probably the biggest chargrilled fish with a squeeze of fresh lime in what in global terms is a small pond. His take no prisoners approach to cuisine has made him famous for being an arsehole internationally.
A typical scene in any one of the myriad of Ramsay programmes might go something like this.
Ramsay: "Come here you. Come here. Here! What are you doing? What the fuck are you doing, you?"
Hapless Puny Cook: “I was boiling some Brussel Sprouts Chef."
Ramsay: “Yeah how long for dickhead, you stupid dickhead. Oi come here when I’m talking you, you stupid bastard. How long for?"
Hapless Puny Cook: “For twelve minutes Chef"
Ramsay: “Oh no, oh fuck me. You donkey! Oh fuck me! Twelve minutes? Who taught you to cook you arsehole? Oi, who taught you to cook? Did your mommy teach you? Is your mommy a woman? You know women can’t cook, she should have stayed in the bedroom. Oh actually scrub that, she still would have had you, the skank, the stupid skank. She’s a fuckhead you know that?
Hapless Puny Cook: Silence
Ramsay: “You cook Sprouts for no longer than eight minutes, otherwise they lose their crunch! Fuck me!"
Gordon’s rugged good looks and boyish charm has won him fans across the globe. As mentioned earlier he does have a number of rivals, most annoying of which is Jamie Oliver. He first appeared on our tv screens as the The Naked Chef. Ever since then he’s been trying to save the world through selfless self promotion and by patronising the poor for being too povo to buy organic or free range food! Now one can see Jamie cook live on stage. A VIP ticket would have set you back $329 to see him in Melbourne, it’s VIP because you get close enough to smell the truffle he shreds on to some freshly cooked linguini live in concert, watched by thousands who’ll probably pick some Hungry Jack’s on the way home.
The ultimate aim of the celebrity chef is to appear on Oprah, this is the woman that makes or breaks US Presidents! Once you’ve cracked that nut, the United States of America is your oyster with a squeeze of lemon and some sea salt to be eaten straight out of the shell. As far as I’m aware Nigella was the first one to do this. Actually, it’s a tossed salad between her Jamie but who can really bothered googling that?
I like to harp back to my days as a child when we would have good family orientated and wholesome celebrity chefs like Peter Russell Clarke! There was no potty mouth or egomaniacal rants! Oh well those days a gone. One thing I can say about this mob is that they do cook some good tucker!
Originally published on www.danieljames.com.au