Monday, July 26, 2010

Riding the Wave of the Celebrity Chef

Last weekend I made the annual pilgrimage to the Good Food & Wine Show in Sydney, to take a look at what's new, what's endured and what's disappeared from the foodie horizon in the past twelve months. The place was packed out with people, hovering for those free tastings, fascinated by the new products being demonstrated and wanting to get a glimpse of the many chefs and cooks doing live demonstrations.
The phenomena of the Celebrity Chef has gripped our nation, and the MasterChef television series, has proven by its ratings, that most Australians would rather watch these celebrities cook, than hear what the possible leaders of our country are promising to deliver us at the next election!

I visited the Celebrity Theatre at the Good Food & Wine Show, to see one of Australia's leading chefs and restaurateur Matt Moran, demonstrate his favourite things. It turned out to be both an entertaining and educational experience, although his harassment of vegetarians was relentless, as he dissected a whole lamb into different meat cuts, during his thirty minute segment!

Another unexpected highlight of my afternoon visit, was watching a slow food demonstration by Margaret Fulton and her daughter Suzanne Gibb. This was an amazing forty minutes, watching Margaret Fulton now 86yrs of age, share the platform with her daughter Suzanne, who is the current Food Director of Australian Good Food Magazine.

It was delightful to see them cook together, whilst bantering with one another, reminiscing and sharing stories of their family life together. It was liberating to see them espouse, that as wonderful as MasterChef has been in stirring the Australian population to cook or watch people cook!!! Was the food they are showing us really what Australian's will cook or can cook?
As they demonstrated a lovely slow cooked beef dish, using a cheaper cut of meat, and a simple tasty dessert that most of us could conquer, my heart was glad. When Margaret Fulton proclaimed that we should be trying to use and eat sustainable produce, such as grass fed, rather than grain fed meat, I cheered! As Margaret Fulton praised the efforts of Kylie Kwong, to promote sustainable produce and the organic way in her demonstration earlier at the show, I felt encouraged. We would do well to listen to someone who has been around as long as Margaret Fulton, she has stood the test of time without the television exposure some have enjoyed. Many have come and gone seemingly overnight, but at 86yrs of age she is still cooking and standing for a sustainable future for our local farmers and food producers!
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution show is currently airing on Channel Ten on Friday evenings. It was relegated to the 9pm timeslot after MasterChef, for the first two weeks. However this week with the completion of MasterChef (congratulations to Adam & Callum), Jamie moves to the Friday 7.30pm timeslot. Here's a man who has risen to celebrity status, with the help of television over the past ten years. He has worked very hard and very passionately and now at 35 yrs of age, has enough money to retire comfortably, living off the royalties of his many cookbooks until he is old and grey! However, instead he has chosen, seemingly at great personal sacrifice, to use his wealth and celebrity status, to try and make a difference. Both in the area of homeless youth through his Fifteen Restaurants and in the area of people's health in regard to food related disease, with his Ministry of Food and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. He is enduring much persecution from the conventional big players in the food production world, as he attempts to stir the pot, so to speak. He is challenging us all, to face up to, what is in the food that we are consuming and the reality that it is not bringing us health. Nobody really wants to be challenged, when the challenge means change and moving out of your comfort zone. Nobody really wants you to be stirred, when change may mean less money in the pockets of the food production giants!
In the month of August I too will have a moment on the stage,(for my previous readers a much desired moment, up on my big orange toy box) as I do a LIVE Cooking demonstration at an Everywoman Night at my local church. "Food Glorious Food" will see about 300 women gather, for a very fun night of all things food! I will be demonstrating two dishes, showing you how, cooking from scratch, whilst sharing my journey of cooking and eating well for good health. It is a free event and all are most welcome.
Whilst meeting Jamie Oliver on stage in Melbourne in March was a dream come true for me, it was just as special, although without all the hype, to have a moment to meet Margaret Fulton. To briefly talk with her, congratulate and thank her, for her enduring contributions to the cooking of good food. I shook her hand and told her she was a legend, she humbly received my encouragement and willingly took the time to let me have a photo with her.

I heard someone recently say that the day you become more worried more about your reputation, than what you stand for, is the day you lose your power to help others and to institute real change. There is truth in the old adage, "If you don't stand for something in this life, you will fall for anything."

Upcoming Event:
EveryWoman 3 Night “Food Glorious Food”
“Food for your body, Food for your soul”
FREE Live Cooking Show with Jane Grover

Gift bags, recipes, giveaways & prizes to be won!
Thursday 26th August 2010 at 7.30pm - 9.30pm
C3 Church Auditorium
34 Wakehurst Parkway, Oxford Falls NSW 2100
Enquires 02 9972 8688
All Welcome! Grab a girlfriend for a fun night out.
Event Sponsored by C3 Church, Lettuce Deliver Organics & janeCOOKS Cooking Classes


thegilbertgang said...

One day, up and coming chefs will be queuing up to see you. No doubt about it!!!!!

janecooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
janecooks said...

this maybe true...please promise me though, that you'll slap me one, if I ever become more enamoured with myself, than those I desire to help!

Vicki Simpson said...

I can promise you that :D Great blog!

janecooks said...

Grateful for your willingness to help out... a little scared at the thought of such a spirited slap, still grateful...