Last Night’s TV – Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets: Winter Vegetables

I should start this piece by saying that I like Raymond Blanc; he’s charismatic, charming, French – and let’s face it, few of us ladies of a certain age can get our knees to gel while a bloke’s being all French all over the shop – and he’s enthusiastic.

But even his enthusiasm for his subject matter surely had to be stretched to breaking point to create this dullest of dull shows?

The things is, vegetables are a yawn fest, and despite the narrator trying – and failing – to sound interested, the sight of a beetroot salad with smoked salmon as a lunchtime “treat” failed to ignite even the tiniest spark of interest in me…

However, I did like the way Raymond said “sal-mon” adding his charming enunciation to make the two syllables quite separate.

But that was about it on the excitement front and we soon heard that a “wonderful vegetarian dish” of a winter salad was easier to make than… an easy thing. And not only was it not remotely “easy” to make, it also wouldn’t have kept a sparrow alive for more than ten minutes…

That particular dish is one that takes a) a very lot of preparation and b) a very lot of time. And it involves something that sounded like “red wine port essence.” Now perhaps I’m just a culinary philistine, but I’ve never heard of it. I suppose I could go to the website to check, but, I’m not interested enough to be honest.

There was however another interesting albeit miniscule segment which came with Raymond’s almost erotic fondling of pumpkins – again, could just be me and my love of a French accent there.

So, with demonstrations galore and rolling reminders that we can obtain these secrets, which aren’t secrets at all, the title lied, on Raymond’s BBC microsite, that was that…

The trouble is, there’s just too many of these foodie ‘secrets’ shows around; we’ve got Gordon, Jamie, Heston, Raymond, Hugh Thingy Double Barrel, millions of let’s-eat-at-someone’s-house-and-film-it shows and cookery competition shows galore…

It’s gone into culinary overload for me and at the end of the day, when it’s dinner time and my family are acting as though they’ve never been fed in their lives, if I plonked down an ‘exciting’ winter vegetable salad, they’d have me committed.

They want meat and two veg, and if I’m feeling frisky, perhaps a spotted dick and canned custard. The extent of my exotica kitchenwise is lobbing a bayleaf into a stewing steak casserole and adding sultanas to a crumble.

So thank you Raymond but beyond your French accent and undoubted charm, your show was of no value to me whatsoever. But I do love how you say sal-mon…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.