Vito Cataffo is the latest in a very, very, long line of chefs to parade his culinary and curriculum vitae wares on our screens, and though he’s a very likeable bloke, I suspect he’s the straw that broke the camel’s back in telly terms.
Granted, the concept of this show is sort of a new one as it follows Vito through the various stages of opening a restaurant in Italy that serves British food. But in terms of something new, that was it. The rest was a been-there-done-that-bought-the-boxset offering.
It was, as far too many TV shows are these days, a hybrid concoction of any number of cheffy programmes. It features a skilled gastronome who’s also got business savvy, but again, we’ve been there and done that with Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Aldo Zilli, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
And I suspect we, the viewing public, are becoming immune to phrases such as “a life changing decision” or perhaps that good old war horse, “risking everything.”
The fact is, despite Vito “risking everything” by ploughing £3million of his own hard earned into the venture, we already know it’s going to succeed, so that pretty much takes the fun out of it. If it had failed, the show wouldn’t have made it on air in the first place. Failure is only fun to watch if it’s knocking someone off an established pedestal, and Vito’s the new kid on the chef block, ergo, as I said, we know it’s going to turn out ok in the end.
So what this show is, in reality, is more of a video diary rather than a cliffhanging will it work or will it end in financial ruin show. And that’s fine, if you’re interested in the person who is the subject of the diary, but, with the caveat again that Vito is clearly a very pleasant man, I’m just not that interested in watching him go into paroxysms of delight about cheese. I’m also not that interested in watching him trek around Italy looking for premises. However, if you are, then you’ll most likely have enjoyed this show.
And in all fairness, Vito’s got his work cut out in convincing sophisticated Italians that British food extends beyond chicken nuggets and chips. He’s certainly got the enthusiasm to sell his idea; he’s passionate about it and pretty hyper to boot. If he was three years old, you’d take the orange squash away from him and not allow him to have yellow Smarties in a bid to calm him down.
“I want that cheese!” he yelled in the face of a bemused/a bit frightened cheesemaker who found himself carried along on the veritable tidal wave of Vito’s fanaticism for his goodies.
Other exclamations included repetition to underscore Vito’s conviction; “This is a foodie town. This is a foodie town. They love good food!”
Ok, we get it…
So, having travelled with his partner Marguerhita across Italy, Vito put in an offer on one place only to change his mind and eventually settle on premises in Florence.
Question is, will I be watching next week? The more important question is, will you? I probably won’t be because I just didn’t find anything new enough or interesting enough to keep me viewing. How about you?