The Dessert

Hot Today:

Gooey Chocolate!

After a decadent main course it only seems right to end our meal with a rich chocolaty dessert.

In this post not only do you get to learn how to make bizarrely delicious brownies in 3 minutes, but you get to see my first attempt at producing, directing, editing a cooking show.

While trying to bring my mini cooking show together I realized that contributing to food television was no easy task.

Hard decisions had to be made, for example “should I throw out this batch and bake a new one or should I stick to showing my viewers what is real?”

Tough Questions needed to be answered such as “what is the purpose of the show: to entertain and gain fame or to spread helpful information?”

All this on an amateur level!

However, I did come to a conclusion: food television like any other mode of entertainment and communication had great power. A power that could alter the human minds!

A power that could make or break perceptions of reality!!

The Meat 2.0

Today’s Special:


Food is no longer the focus of Food Television nowadays. Chefs have stepped in. They have hoarded the limelight and made a star out of themselves.

Therefore, I saw it most fit to seek a Chef’s opinion on food television.

Head Chef Furqaan Waali Ullah from BBQ Nights expresses his views as follows:

Q. Have you ever watched a cooking show?

A. Yes I have watched them, but not so many.

Q. What kind/type of shows were they?

   A. The cooking shows I used to watch, well they were about people in a competition. They would be fighting and trying to make the best dish.

Q. Did these shows motivate you to become a chef?

A. Yes! Yes! But mostly it was my childhood dream…so that is why I followed this line of work. The shows just showed me a fun side of cooking.

Q. Do you think cooking shows deceive people by presenting precooked or re-made meals?

A. NO! NO! Its not like that. In competitions they cook like… Just like you saw me cook earlier…everything was cooked correctly and how it should be … all in one go. Similarly, even on TV they don’t show precooked food. I think. But these days you never know with all the technology.

Q. Does your family watch cooking shows?

A. Yes, they do.

Q. Do you think you can teach your family to cook better food?

A. Yes I do. See I can look over them and follow what my son is doing for example. TV shows can’t do that. TV shows can’t wait for my son if he wants to correct a mistake. TV shows can’t tell my son if he has made a mistake. So that is why I think I can teach better than the TV shows. I can train my son properly.

Q. If you got an opportunity to star in your own food show would you?

A. Uhh. Hmm. Maybe. Yes.

Q. What type of show would it be?

A. Umm maybe I would teach what I know best.

Q. What other kind of food shows would you like to see on TV?

A. I don’t know. Right now there are already so many different types.

Q. Do you think cooking shows help the public?

A. Well they do help newly wed girls who don’t know how to cook and they tell everyone about food. So yes, I think they do help the public.


The Side

Today’s Specialty:

MasterChef: a ‘cultural kitchen revolution’ or just another game show?

An interesting piece on MasterChef Australia. It examines the role cooking competition shows play in society.

However, I question Dr. Cooks comment:
“I think food has almost nothing to do with it… It’s highly competitive and that creates tension. Effectively what you’re watching is a game show where the tension is so extreme…that you get very high emotions. That’s what’s so appealing,”

I believe food is central to the show and its consumption. If people wanted to watch a competition to feed off the tension and scandal solely, they would not tune into MasterChef; rather they would watch any other reality show (such as game shows [survivor]) that is loaded with sheer scandal, drama and tension.

As to whether or not cooking competition shows are revolutionising their consumers’ relationship with food, I believe to a certain extent they are. Although, cultural context matters…MasterChef Australia’s influence on society will be very different from MasterChef India’s. Therefore, one can not generalize.

I will have to admit though, personally I have noticed a change in the way my family, friends and I engage with food after watching MasterChef Australia. Thus I see a spark of revolution if not a complete change.

Cuisine Scene

Teagan King
May 14, 2010

Chanel 10’s MasterChef is fostering ‘a cultural kitchen revolution’ says the show’s judge, Matt Preston.

With nearly 1.7m viewers tuning into its premiere, the show is at least having an impact on
people’s recipe choices.

An analysis by shows that searches for recipes featured on the show rises dramatically immediately after they go to air.

A pressure test episode that saw contestants cook Spanish paella, resulted in ‘paella’ searches rising to the second most searched for recipe on the website.

Sam Watson from the William Angliss Institute of TAFE said there has been a 35% increase in applicants for short courses in food at the TAFE over the last 12 months.

‘I think people are starting to appreciate food more,’ Watson said. ‘Since the global financial crisis, there’s a need to eat cheaply and home cooking caters for that.’

Sam said the increase could…

View original post 493 more words

The Salad

Hot Today:

Gender Bender

Nowadays there have been numerous debates taking place regarding the generation and promotion of unattainable gender standards in the entertainment industry. My observation of food television (Food Network in particular) has shown that this part of the industry is gradually bending gender rules.

Find out below:


Gender and Food Network

The Soup

Today’s Specialty:

Cooking Show Spawns

with a Dose of Wretched Misconceptions


In the past two decades, Food Television like most reality programs has spawned and taken over the world!

MasterChef is a popular example of this phenomenon.

Originating from the UK, the show has been franchised out to 40 different countries and is aired in over 200 territories.

While the format of the show remains the same across the different shows, production, direction and promotion techniques have been appropriated according to the context the show operates in. For instance, while MasterChef US tends to focus on the drama (competitive friction) created in the kitchen amongst the contestants and judges, MasterChef India leans towards focusing on the dramatic struggles (short comings of life) its contestants faced before they appeared on the show.

What intrigues me here is not the utilization of different production techniques, but the implications these different variety of productions have on a wider scale.

While keeping in mind these shows are globally distributed; I wonder whether on an international level the show frames people’s perspective of a particular culture.

Being an avid viewer of cooking shows this was my experience of consuming one of food television’s spawn:

After watching two seasons of MasterChef India, my impression of Indians and their culture was: it was a dramatic culture in which the bunch of them were manipulative individuals, who got what they wanted by gaining sympathy votes through toying with people’s emotions . This image didn’t just form overnight; it was built by a continuous consumption of food show which promoted and represented Indian culture.

Although I understand that in India drama sells, and focusing on the hardships of people would only lead to a greater number of viewers and money for the network. I feel like the production team, and viewers are ignoring the big picture. Just like Bollywood has built the perception of a “singing, dancing, running into each others arms” India, these spawns of cooking shows are contributing towards presenting a false representation of their culture, that too on an international level!

This leads to several implications: It reinforces stereotypes. It brainwashes and forms misconceptions in its consumer’s mind. And It revokes the “us vs. them” conflict.

How So?

Well in my experience after watching  MasterChef India continuously,  it rendered a feeling of superiority within me, and it manipulated my thoughts to believe that the Indians needed to be taught how to conduct themselves. It reinforced the stereotype: Indians are drama queens.  This was all, of course, due to my misinformed conception of Indian culture thanks to MasterChef India.

Drawing from that experience, I believe if food television has the power to change the mind of one person, then it must have the power to alter one million perceptions and ideologies.

In the End…

I think what one must take away from this post is not my impression of Indians and their culture, rather the understanding of  the immense amount of power cooking shows have.

The Appetizer

The first course of a seven course meal.

Today’s Menu:

Something that will tingle your mind if not your taste buds and introduce you to the cooking show industry.

You will get to revisit history and catch a glimpse of how industry revolutionized over the years. Plus see who has contributed the most towards dishing up some insanely cool mouth watering dishes. Oh and not to forget! You might also get a sneak peak of your favourite cooking show host’s earnings!

Visualized and Published By ChefWorks

Promoted By George Vlachos:

Cooking Show Industry-Infographic