TV chef Delia Smith says she doesn’t tune into BBC’s MasterChef with John Torode and Greg Wallace and has no time for other chefs’ cook books because they ‘irritate’ her
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Culinary queen and TV presenter Delia Smith has revealed she never watches MasterChef and rarely looks at others’ cookery books because they annoy her.
The no-nonsense cook, 80, admitted she has never even heard of many of the ingredients her rivals use in recipes.
And she hit out at the BBC cooking competition – hosted by Gregg Wallace and John Torode – for its criticism of contestants, which she said undermines her encouraging style for home cooks.
Asked if she ever watched the popular show, Delia said: “No. I spent all my time telling people, ‘You can do this’ and they’re undoing it. They’re saying, ‘No, you’ll never be able to do this’. What?”
She also criticised the programme for including kitchen gadgets such as a sous vide machine, which uses a metal coil to warm water to a constant temperature, allowing the progress of cooking to be gradual and controlled.
Delia, whose simple-to-follow How to Cook TV series was a hit in the late 1990s, added: “How could anybody possibly ever want a sous vide machine?
“I mean it’s what Elizabeth David called ‘theatre on a plate’. She had it in one. That’s what it is. These little dots and foams, it’s theatre.”
Prolific author Delia also put the kitchen knife into her rivals’ cookbooks for their dishes and presentation.
Asked on the How To Fail With Elizabeth Day podcast if she ever looked at them, Delia replied: “Sometimes. I think some of them are over-complicated.
“Half of them I don’t know what the ingredients are, I’ve never heard of it. Two tablespoons of what? I don’t know what they are.
“But on the whole I think it’s really lazy. But I don’t really look at [them] so I can’t honestly say.
“I just see these plates and they’re always hanging on the wall. I call it overhead photography, you know. And there’s all colour everywhere, and I’m thinking, ‘Ooh, I don’t want to eat that’.”
Delia has a new book out today called You Matter.
It is a departure from cookery, exploring human nature and how when we take time to reflect, we realise we all matter, we are all unique, and we all play an important part and have our own responsibility to the universe.
When Elizabeth asked if Delia thinks she’s a good writer now after saying she wasn’t as a teenager, she replied: “I’m not sure. I don’t know. I think what I am good at is communicating.
“I think a lot of what I’ve written has been edited out, but I do think I’m single-minded in wanting to reach people.
“If I had another life now, I’d like to study literature.
“And I think that things get overwritten. What I’m trying to say is that communication is trying to reach people. And I think to reach them it’s got to be simple and direct.”
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