Admit it, around 9 out of 10 of you would have loved to have been food critics right? I mean Imagine it, what a job! Travelling the country, paid to taste food and then write about it. Since I've started critiquing books I thought for the sheer fun of it, why not see if I can get my hands on some cook books. That way I get to not just do the first thing that I love, but also the second most favourite of my many pastimes.
So far I have three cook books, all of which I intend to review. The first one; The Dukan Diet, is currently held up at my girlfriends, as she attempts on my behalf to follow its rather strict guidelines. Rules that I certainly intend to follow, if not for me then surely to halt this slowly expanding waist line. In the meantime, I have Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Home Cooking book to accompany the television series to keep it going, at that steady, early 30's pace.
The problem with Gordon's book and so many that he's written before, he appears to enjoy including items of ingredients that are either near impossible or never stocked in the local supermarkets of Great Britain. It was my initial impression from the title, that this book was going to be one that reflected the modern English household "teatime" making affair. Now to some of you, from that last sentence you would have noticed that I used the word "tea" as opposed to the word "dinner" to describe the families evening meal. This is quite simply because of my working class background; where tea is always referred to as such. And this is indeed the problem; Gordon is catering, again, like all of these TV chefs, for the middle class dinner, or supper, if you happen to reside a little further up the social pecking order).
Nevertheless, as I live in Kilburn, the rather large West Hampstead Waitrose is only a 125cc motorbike ride away. In Gordon's book he's clearly tried to reach back to such home comforts of the scotch egg, bacon with beans and hash browns. These highly excellent twists on old favourites are to be found within the book, but are very few in number and instead we have such ridiculousness as Avocado and black sesame seed sprinkled on sourdough, then turn the page and there's just as highly described guide on how to make a chip butty.... A chip butty? But not just any Chip butty. This one contains smoked paprika and groundnut oil, because this time, like in every middle class kitchen, you're making the chips yourself! Because:
A) You have that much time on your hands
B) You'd spend such time fixing yourself a lunch that's pure existence is for the speed it takes to prepare. Spending around an hour prepping, thus creating a paradox that is only really worthy of a "Great Scott!!" from the time travelling Doctor, Emit Brown.
Being as ludicrous as it may, Gordon Ramsey is in fact nearly a great Scott. One of our countries greatest chefs perhaps? But all I see here is a book and TV series that's been made to quite simply make a load of cash. Jamie Oliver of course churns out equal amounts of regurgitated nonsense, but at least his fast food nation was more than just a TV show to fill a slot and fill ones pockets. It would be nice if Gordon, with all his influence did the same, as opposed to visiting peoples restaurants telling them how shit they are. How deliciously ironic.