DIARY: I’m only a punter but...

Urrrgh! I’ve almost brought up my dinner and what caused it? TV chefs, that’s what. Not, I hasten to add, the piquant Keith or Delia, but those lower rear intestines that we get served up as chefs in TV ads.

Urrrgh! I’ve almost brought up my dinner and what caused it? TV chefs,

that’s what. Not, I hasten to add, the piquant Keith or Delia, but those

lower rear intestines that we get served up as chefs in TV ads.



Today, it was the Knorr chef, but it could easily have been Birds Eye’s

or Findus’s or Batchelors’ or Heinz’s or Crosse and Blackwell’s. Every

so often, the client/agency orders a break in the steady diet of good,

entertaining food ads that our industry creates and demands a ‘recipe

approach’. And before long, as certain as shit attracts flies, someone

writes an ‘our chefs at’ commercial. The client laps it up and it hits

the screen like yesterday’s leftovers.



Stomach gripe 1: When they cast these ‘chefs’, where do they get their

inspiration? Certainly not from real life where our food providers in

restaurants and hotels are split between the pock-marked bottom

scratchers who actually man the ovens and the surly gossip column stars

who front the place and call two leaves in pink sauce a meal. No, what

you get with TV chefs is ham. They’re either cheery red-faced men with

bushy beards or sad Buster Keaton-types with droopy moustaches. They

prance around the kitchen kissing their fingers if successful or burst

into tears when they can’t get it right. They sip from copper pans with

wooden spoons and their faces crease up as if in orgasm. They also wear

bow ties, for God’s sake.



Stomach gripe 2: The opening line, ‘Our chefs at Knorr or Birds Eye or

Heinz or wherever’ is too much to swallow. Come off it. ‘Our laboratory

technicians at...’ would be closer to the truth. Ditto the visuals.

These are usually some cosy, countrified kitchen garnished with fresh

herbs, tomatoes and peppers. The sort of place Conran might have dreamed

up between opening restaurants. The reality, as anyone unfortunate

enough to have visited a client’s kitchen knows, is less Provence and

more Portadown. Within stainless steel walls, grim-faced operatives

mechanically measure out the hydrogenated vegetable oils, emulsifiers

and flavour enhancers, only pausing to recapture an escaped beagle. Come

on BACC, stop giving those comparatively tasteful Club 18-30 ads a hard

time and get your teeth into these misleading turkeys.



Send your rants, in no more than 400 words, to Stefano Hatfield at 174

Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP.