Man Healthy Eating

Are cook books and their TV shows about to see a backlash?

Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are about to release their new books – just in time for Christmas shopping of course – but will you be buying one this year? Or as DIY has seen its day, are cookery books and their shows about to go the same way…Man Healthy Eating

Traditionally cookery books have topped the seasonal bestseller list and I don’t doubt they will do so again this year – but nevertheless are signs of fatigue beginning to creep in? Certainly I’m not so enthralled by Masterchef as I used to be. Once I never wanted to miss an episode but last week, with the final of Celebrity Masterchef, I didn’t watch all those rather tedious episodes where the contestants are cooking for hundreds of people and working in restaurants. Instead, I only watched the final because I’m not that interested in watching any those episodes where one of the contestants isn’t going to be booted off. I feel I’ve seen all these dishes or something similar before – and if I want to eat a meal like that I’m far more likely these days to go out to a restaurant than try to create it myself as I once tried to do.

It must be said The Great British Bake off on BBC2 has recently enjoyed audiences of almost 5million. But despite this, it seems I’m not alone. Writing in the Daily Mail Janet St Porter says: “I don’t need another jumbo cookery book filled with pictures of food porn. Surely, we’ve bought enough of these already. I must own at least 20. What more can there be left to say about whipping up a quick plate of pasta or cooking a chop?

“These lavish cookery books suddenly seem as redundant as a monster handbag, now deemed passé by the fashion police in the age of the iPad-sized clutch.”

She adds that a survey last year by the Good Food Channel found that most women cook only seven dishes from scratch, and eight out of ten of us prepare the same meals over and over again.

Despite a dazzling array of cookbooks in my own cupboard (including the whole of Jamie and Nigellas’ collections) when I want a recipe I also find myself googling it online. For some reason that seems simpler now than thumbing through all the recipes in these huge cook books that actually take up so much space. For me many of the recipes in these books also demand too many ingredients and even when they claim they are ‘quick meals’ frankly too much time. Disappointingly they are often incredibly unhealthy with high amounts of fat, sugar and calories – so not meals I want to be feeding the family as a regular evening meal.

So with no more room for any more cook books, I won’t be putting Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals or Nigellissima on my own Christmas present list this year.

What do you think? Will you be buying these cook books or have you also had your fill? Let us know your thoughts below…

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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