The men in white coats took 100 recipes from the most popular celebrity cookbooks and laid them alongside 100 randomly selected brand name ready meals, then went to town on them with their slide rules. The conclusion to this culinary Pepsi Challenge was that on almost all nutritional counts, from fat to fibre and everything in between, the ready meals came out on top.
People often ask what happens in a typical day as head chef at my restaurant Hartnett Holder & Co, at Lime Wood, deep in the heart of the New Forst? It's impossible to answer. Take last week for example. You'll never believe what we all had to do... a music video! I'm not talking Backstreet Boys here, it wasn't quite that painful, but it was beyond hysterical.
Some media reports made an example of individual cases - an ice cream brioche coming in at 2,144 calories and a meatball sandwich "containing more fat per serving than a Big Mac". What's important to note is that this research is based on analysis of the nutritional values of randomly selected recipes created by celebrity chefs. There is also no proof that more indulgent recipes directly lead to higher rates of obesity.
Little Chef, and its erstwhile cousin Happy Eater, suffered what can only be described as an image problem. Happy Eater customers decided that they were perfectly happy eating somewhere else; while Little Chef eventually followed the lead made by the police, and dropped their height requirement for kitchen staff.