Popular cooking competition shows like “My Kitchen Rules” and “Master Chef” serve up (pun intended) – mouth-watering entertainment most days of the week. But more than entertainment, these shows have helped evolve and shape our tastes and approach to food. Not only do these shows showcase the options available when it comes to cooking, but they teach us how easy it is to step away from the basic ‘meat and 3 veg’ approach to eating.
We should be hugely grateful for cooking shows. They’ve shaped our supermarkets and our diets for the best. We’re seeing more expressive cooking methods, and people who are more willing to step outside their comfort zone and experience tastes that they would not usually consider.
Ten years ago, exotic dishes were reserved for restaurants and takeaways. No more! Now, we’re able to create and consume according to our imagination – an imagination that is inspired by each new cooking season hosted by an array of celebrity chefs. We can find ourselves seeing new types of food, or being exposed to old favourites in a new light. There are new combinations being made and displayed – for instance we discover that the family apple pie recipe may actually be improved by the addition of cranberries. Chopping, changing, and experimenting is no longer something only the professionals do – it’s something we can see and do ourselves.
In the past, famous chefs showed us how to cook in television shows that resembled live-action recipes. Now, they guide real people in real kitchens across the country, catering to various budgets and using ingredients that can be easily found at your local grocery store. In many ways, modern television has shaped our taste buds. Where once we recycled the same recipes over and over, we now have easy and entertaining access to more. More exotic dishes. More elaborate flavours. More recipes. More methods to ensure cooking is as easy or as challenging as we want it to be.
The entertainment industry shapes our likes and dislikes, but more and more we are seeing it shape the options we feel we can explore and elaborate upon. In many ways, cooking shows have become our ‘nights out’. We don’t have to go out to experience great food, but instead, have the avenue to create and try and enjoy our own array of new flavours. So go on… forget flipping through that old dusty recipe book. Try something different. Don’t let those tantalising meals stay on the screen. The food isn’t just part of the entertainment now, creating it is just as important! Get the right elements, improve your technique, make those tastes gel, plate-up with a spectacular presentation and create an explosion of flavour…