Cooking programmes on TV

If ever a programme pitch for a TV series should have been thrown out at the, scribbled on a napkin in the wine bar after several bottles of chateau du crazy stage, a cooking programme is it.

Rationally, it’s stupid. Everything that is pleasurable about cooking – the texture of the food as we prepare it, the smells of the ingredients as we cook it, and the taste sensations as we eat it – is missing from television. You might as well have contortionists on the radio. But there are scores of cooking programmes on the television.


Because of the power of ideas. An idea is more powerful than an artefact.

When we passively watch the food being prepared on television, it stimulates our imaginations, “Hmm, yes, I would like to try that,” we think. If we could actually have a taste or even smell the food, the desire would be lessened (it could taste awful, don’t forget). It is precisely because we can’t smell or taste the food, that we continue to watch the programmes and imagine how good it might be.

This is what makes them so popular. It is a piece of temptation that is just out of reach, we can see it, but we can’t taste it.

What we are left with, at the end of the programme, is the idea of a meal.

Money plays the same trick. It is only an idea, a menu. We continue to put up with an impoverished reality, and watch the world go by as we passively put up with jobs that lack the vital ingredients of talent, passion and purpose. We do this because the idea of enjoying the fruits of our labour is so strong, and our imaginations so powerful, we persist with mistaking the menu for the food.

To a starving man, a menu is not enough, the food itself is needed.

4 Responses to “Cooking programmes on TV”

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  2. Jose Perez says:

    me and my sister loves to cook foods at home and we always love homecooked meals;:”

  3. my mother and i loves to do cooking and baking..~

  4. Excellent little article Ivor. Indeed too much thinking about stuff and not enough doing it …

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