The Right Ingredients

TV heaven for the fiction team’s, Alan, is food and travel and here he tells us why!

My favourite type of TV viewing is the food & travel show. I can’t get enough of them – from single celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein and Nigel Slater, to dynamic duos the Hairy Bikers and Two Greedy Italians, featuring Gennaro Contaldo and the late, great Antonio Carluccio.

For me, it’s the balance between culinary and scenic delights. I’m not too fussed about watching cookery shows which are set in TV studios, which focus on making the best dishes in an allotted time.

But if the chefs are “on location”, then they have my undivided attention; it’s more than a cookery show then, as the location, whether home or abroad, becomes the winning ingredient.

Can Cook, Will Travel

Keith Floyd was a master of presenting the food & travel show. Whether he was cooking black pudding in the Black Country, or an ostrich egg in South Africa, Keith always did a fab job of making the viewer aware of the location as much as the dishes he prepared. The beauty here is seeing the food intrinsic to the local population. In Nigel Slater’s “Middle East” series we’d see colourful, inspired dishes such as Persian noodle soup and Lebanese rice pudding.

In food & travel shows the viewer is introduced to staple diets and local delicacies. But it’s not only food – landmarks, lifestyles and history are often covered, too. Andrew Graham-Dickson and Giorgio Locatelli do a wonderful job of blending a mash-up of art and cuisine in their “Unpacked” travelogues.

So though studio cookery shows have their place, I, for one, prefer my dishes served with a sprinkling of classic culture. Whatever your preference, I hope you agree, may the culinary journeys continue for ever more.

Bon Appetit!

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Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.