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defends professional chefs and questions just how revolutionary food bloggers really are

Photo: Richard

Photo: Richard

The culinary world is ever-changing, and standards of household cooking  are improving dramatically. This would not have happened without the help of the numerous cooking shows, books, YouTube videos, and of course everyone’s favourite celebrity chefs.
Now it appears that any remotely attractive female with a trust fund can be the next big thing in cooking. Although none of the new breed are actually chefs. Not Hemsley and Hemsley and certainly not Deliciously Ella.
The world of catering and cheffing is brutal, with upwards of 15-hour days on their feet without a break in a boiling hot kitchen, and barely enough money to cover rent and Saturday night beers. If you want to make it as a chef, one has to be prepared to give up a decade of their life in order to become the best: weekends, birthdays, weddings, even daylight becomes elusive. If you are lucky enough to open up a restaurant, it is likely either to get hacked to bits by a ‘restaurant reviewer’ who doesn’t know a beurre blanc from a battered cod, or go under because it’s one of the most expensive industries there is.

Why would anyone want to go through this? Because ultimately chefs love food, the ever-changing creativity, and the satisfaction after a heaving service knowing you’ve made every single diner happy.

I therefore feel great dismay in seeing the latest locusts invade the catering world. With almost no experience in a kitchen and knife skills like my dad, but harnessing a great PR team and a pretty face, they can be all over television, the internet, food festivals and have a book that sells more than 30,000 copies in a week alone. Maybe it’s the accessibility of the recipes, which are all very basic yet offer great nutritional value or maybe it is because they aren’t ‘chefs’ that draws the public in: they can relate to them.
With obesity rarely out of the papers, healthy eating is all the rage. However, metro liberal yummy mummies aren’t the ones who are obese but they’re the ones buying the books.
These newcomers don’t really care about food, they don’t even know much about cooking. They have cottoned onto the fact that the public love food and believing anyone can be a chef. Maybe I am just missing the point and actually courgetti spaghetti truly is revolutionary.  Or perhaps they are just providing the public with what they want. Possibly it’s that the ground-breaking chefs who have trained hard for years aren’t interested in being known to those who don’t know about food. For them, gaining a Michelin star and being renowned in the culinary world is more important than the number of followers they have on Instagram.

2 comments

  1. I feel that this rather an unfair attack on food bloggers, with a sexist edge. Although the majority of food bloggers are not trained chefs, this isn’t the only way to express and share a love and knowledge of food. True, working in a kitchen is far harder than testing recipes in the comfort of your own kitchen, but blogging allows people interested in food to be creative and learn. As long as they don’t proclaim to be Jamie Olivers, what’s the problem? In addition, Ella Woodward (Deliciously Ella) does have a fair amount of food knowledge: having been diagnosed with a serious illness which left her bedbound, she started researching, and the changes she made to her diet really improved her condition. She’s now completing a food nutrition course; I’m not a huge fan of her recipes, and obviously she has developed a strong source of income from her blogging, but I don’t believe this sort of success is anything to scorn.

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