Cookery queen Delia Smith has taken a swipe at MasterChef for undermining the confidence of aspiring cooks.
Smith, 71, who now runs an online cookery school and recently received a Bafta special award, named The Hairy Bikers as her true TV successors.
Asked whether she worried that shows like MasterChef, the hit BBC1 series presented by John Torode and Greg Wallace, intimidated rather than inspired, she told the Radio Times: "Yes, I would never be a judge on that. They used to ask me but I could never criticise people: my job is to make them feel they can do it."
She said that The Hairy Bikers had taken up her mantle, adding: "They make it funny and yet they make you think, 'I'd like to make that'. That's very clever."
Smith has criticised modern food programmes for entertaining more than they educate.
"Food isn't theatre and to make it into theatre is wrong. It can speak for itself and it's wonderful and it's beautiful and it's art - it's everything," she said.
"I don't think it needs that kind of embellishment. Our problem is we don't think highly enough of it, and so we think we've got to wrap it up in all kinds of other things."
She added: "We've lost our grip on home cooking. I can see that by the way kitchen equipment shops are in decline.
There are a lot of short cuts but the main problem is that people are afraid to cook."
PICTURES: Scroll down to see what celebrity chefs cook in private..
Smith, who has retired from TV, told the magazine: "Everybody now knows about food from around the world and what chefs do; but not everybody knows how to make an omelette. What is missing is the basics. There's where I come in ... that's what I want to try and do: fill that gap."
The star recalled filming her first series, Family Fare, in 1973 in a tiny weather studio.
"The nearest running water was the ladies' loo so we used to fill two buckets with water - one with soap, one for rinsing - and have them under the counter where I worked," she said.
"They didn't have the money for editing so I had to do 25 minutes 40 seconds all in one go; if I made a mistake I had to start at the top. And they didn't do any close-ups because my hands were shaking too much."
Asked whether she would turn down the BBC if the broadcaster approached her to work for the corporation again, she said: "I'd say, 'I'll sell you what I'm doing. You can buy it and broadcast it in a five-minute slot'. Why not?"
Related on HuffPost:
David Chang: Popeye's Fried Chicken
The downtown New York chef (who now dabbles in Midtown, too) does his own large-format fried chicken at Momofuko Noodle Bar that gets <a href="http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/08/momofuku-fried-chicken-dinner.html" target="_hplink">mostly glowing reviews</a>, told <a href="http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/05/interview-david-chang-overrated-pseudo-chef-momofuku.html" target="_hplink">told Serious Eats New York that he craves Popeye's</a>.
Mario Batali: Doritos And Salsa
<a href="http://www.slashfood.com/2009/09/25/chefs-guilty-pleasures#ixzz0qB1Lq81E" target="_hplink">Batali told <em>SlashFood</em></a>, "I love two things: good gelato and, strangely enough, Doritos and salsa. It has to be Doritos, though. I especially like the lime-flavored ones with chili."
Danny Meyer: Sausage And Mushroom Pizza; Sausage
The NYC restaurant mogul behind Shake Shack, Eleven Madison Park, Union Square Cafe, and the newer Maialino <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000013341" target="_hplink">admitted to Amazon.com</a>, "Sausage and mushroom pizza. In fact, sausage with almost anything."
Thomas Keller: Hot Dogs And Peanut Butter
Thomas Keller still knows how to get real. According to "The Restaurant Widow," <a href="http://www.restaurantwidow.com/2009/11/listening-to-thomas-keller-and-michael-ruhlman-at-the-fabulous-food-show.html#tp" target="_hplink">Keller indulges in this odd pairing</a>.
Dan Barber: Nothing
Hmmm. Not sure if we're buying this, but <a href="http://blog.ted.com/2010/03/qa_with_chef_da.php" target="_hplink">the farm-to-table godfather told Ted blog</a>, "I should come up with one! But the thing is, I feel guilty about everything. I'm an upper East Side Jew. What don't I feel guilty about?"
Wylie Dufresne: American Cheese
Wylie likes good old American cheese, as the <a href="http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/07/wylie_dufresne_maurads_his_kit.html" target="_hplink">WD-50 chef told Grub Street</a>.
Tom Colicchio: Beef Jerky And Licorice
Tip to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/06/top-chef-season-7-contest_n_575272.html" target="_hplink">Top Chef contestants</a>: make beef jerky. <a href="http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/hot-seat/68640/tom-colicchio" target="_hplink">As the TV host/NYC chef told <em>Time Out</em></a>, "I love beef jerky. Not Slim Jim, that’s spiced beef. It’s different."
Laurent Tourondel: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
The restauranteur formerly behind the BLT restaurant empire (until severing all BLT ties earlier this year) is a self-proclaimed doughnut lover, according to <em>Best Life </em> magazine.
Anthony Bourdain: KFC’s Macaroni and Cheese
The globe-trotting foodie's foodie has a sophisticated palate and unquestionably good taste. But he still appreciates KFC's mac and cheese, <a href="http://men.webmd.com/features/chef-anthony-bourdain-dishes-on-food-health" target="_hplink">as he told WebMD</a>.
Gordon Ramsay: Chocolate and Gummy Candy
<a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/real_food/article6068505.ece" target="_hplink">As the hot-tempered chef told the<em> London Times</em></a>, "I’d never touch a Pot Noodle and although I love a good burger, it wouldn’t be from McDonald’s. That said, I’m a sucker for some unhealthy treats – I love chocolate and can’t get enough of gummy sweets."
Ferran Adria: Bollycao
<a href="http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/23158/" target="_hplink">As the El Bulli chef told <em>New York Magazine</em>,</a> " It's something you grow up with as a kid in Spain: a kind of bread, sweet and eggy, with chocolate in the middle.
Alex Guarnaschelli: Cheese Doodles
The NYC-chef-turned-Food-Network-star <a href="http://www.cookiemag.com/food/2008/05/chefpicks" target="_hplink">admitted her sinful cravings to <em>Cookie Magazine</em></a>, saying she loves "french pastries of any kind, fried cheese doodles, and baked ziti with a slightly burned cheese top."
Jamie Oliver: Cherry Garcia Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
Don't tell ABC, but the "Food Revolution" host <a href="http://blog.zap2it.com/thedishrag/2010/02/naked-chef-jamie-oliver-has-a-weakness-for-cherry-garcia.html" target="_hplink">admits to having a soft spot </a>for this Ben & Jerry's variety. (Photo from Flickr: dvs)
Michael White: Cheeseburgers
The brilliant chef behind Manhattan's Convivio and Marea admits he's powerless against a good cheeseburger. <a href="http://www.restaurantgirl.com/chef_qarecipes/q_a_with_michael_white.html" target="_hplink">As he told Restaurant Girl</a>, "While this is not exactly junk food, it’s what I crave!" (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tavallai/4536294660/in/set-72157623598655433/" target="_hplink">Photo from Flickr: Tavallai</a>)
Todd English: Peanut M&M's And Caviar
The Boston-based mega chef <a href="http://www.northsidesf.com/june08/fw_chefenglish.html" target="_hplink">admitted his faves</a> (though he probably didn't mean the two together) to <em>Northside San Francisco</em>. (Photo from Flickr: Khairil Zhafr)
Gael Greene: Jujyfruits
The former <em>New York Magazine </em> food critic told MediaBistro.com about her <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a9701.asp" target="_hplink">secret love of the gummy movie theater candy</a>.
Alice Waters: Caramel Corn
Eat Me Daily reports that <a href="http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/05/anthony-bourdain-alice-waters-and-duff-goldman-at-the-food-for-thought-forum/" target="_hplink">Berkeley's original locavore told a panel about her love of the sugary popcorn</a>. They report, "even after throwing it away to keep herself at bay from the sugary substance, she found herself pulling it out of the garbage the next morning." (Photo from Flickr: Nick Bair)
José Andrés: Gin And Tonics
The acclaimed Spanish chef behind DC's Minibar and LA's "The Bazaar" <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Jos-Andrs-Brings-Spain-American-Kitchen-2664813" target="_hplink">admits to throwing back a few of these drinks on occasion</a>. As he told Yum Sugar, "I try to be a good role model for my young daughters and not commit too many crimes, but once in a while, I do have too many gin and tonics. Bombay Sapphire is my favorite. Some of my mixology friends think I don't have any refinement, but I don't care." (Photo from AP)
Cat Cora: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
The Food Network chef told Glam that <a href="http://living.glam.com/articles/features/cat_cora/" target="_hplink">she loves the salty-sweet candies</a>. (Photo from Flickr: billaday)
Rick Bayless: Doughnuts
The Chicago based chef might be known for his modern takes on classic Mexican fare, but <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a10919.asp" target="_hplink">he can't help but love a good doughnut</a>, as Media Bistro reports. (Photo from Flickr: Tavallai)