Tuesday 17 January 2017

Eight Frustrating Food Shows

Food TV is not all bake-offs and bubbling bisques you know...

Published 07/05/2014 | 12:04

'Man vs Food'
'Man vs Food'
'Man vs Food'
'The Taste UK'
Gillian McKeith's 'You Are What You Eat'
'Jamie's 15 Minute Meals'
'Ace of Cakes'
'Junior Masterchef'
'Secret Eaters'
'Gordan's Kitchen Nightmares'

The satisfaction obtained by watching Nigella plunge a spatula into a bowl of rich dark chocolate or staring in awe at Rick Stein as he digs into an out of this world curry is what makes food television so appealing.

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Being transported to the East Hampton kitchen of Food Network’s long-term resident Ina Garten and watching as she heaps another stick of butter into a clam chowder will never seem like an afternoon wasted. Programmes like Sky1’s Fat: The Fight of My Life stand to inspire in a different way, documenting the struggle with eating and the complete overhaul and turn around of someone’s entire lifestyle for the better.

Yet, no matter how many times Rachel Allen pulls another beautiful cake from the oven in Ballymaloe, it cannot block out all of the frustrating food television bombarding us from the box. From ludicrous gluttony, ridiculious concepts and cringe-worthy personalities these are the most frustrating food shows on the telly.

Secret Eaters

Anna Richardson fronts ‘Secret Eaters’, a programme featuring an overweight couple who are baffled as to why their jeans are tight, constantly referring back to their healthy balanced diets. In comes Channel 4 and their hoard of hidden cameras to document what is really being consumed on a daily basis. This series 56 year old Murray Young was perplexed to be clocking in at over 18 stone, until Richardson revealed that maybe double cream on his morning Special K was contributing to his colossal 8,000 calorie per day in take, the equivalent of 148 fillet steaks.  For fear of being preachy, there will be no further comment here on that one.

You Are What You Eat

What better way to motivate those struggling with obesity that to employ Gillian McKeith to shout at them from inside the cupboard before shoving quinoa down into their gobs?  What was most disturbing about You Are What You Eat was McKeith’s obsession with bowel movements and output. Nobody ever wanted to see that, Gill.


Man vs Food

Adam Richman’s famous ejection of gluttony is still one of The Food Network’s most popular programmes, but there became a point where watching him neck back 180 oysters became a little jaded. All of us are inclined to be a little greedy but watching Adam battle to eat yet another 95oz steak in a dingy US diner became too much.  Except on hangover days...

Junior Masterchef UK


There’s something about watching a 8 year successfully plate up some French inspired masterpiece that makes you want to curl up on the kitchen floor and sob into your burned fingers. While the children featured on the show, fronted by Donal Skehan and John Torode do amaze us, it always makes for feelings of inadequacy.

Ace of Cakes

Yes, Charm City cakes are stunning pieces of architecture. The mechanics of that spinning ferris wheel cake are to be awed at. Yet, does anyone ever dare to cut into one of Duff Goldman’s masterpieces? It seems to us, flavour and the actual cake part of the cake is the least of everyone’s worries in that place. Splashing hundreds of bucks on a birthday cake in the shape of your face should at least guarantee you some tasty satisfaction.

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals


Don’t mistake the fact that Jamie Oliver is a god, but his 15 Minute Meals very rarely take a quarter of an hour to whip up. Even if they miraculiously do and a wonderful feast is created, Jamie’s affiliation with the food processor and 27 other pans in his kitchen makes for Jamie’s 2 ½ hour wash up.

The Taste

Channel4 anticipated The Taste’s huge success but a mixture of snoozey contestants and a focus on a mere spoonful of food made for such a boring watch that even Nigella couldn’t save it. Spoonie was to become the new selfie, but viewers soon realised that all the work that went into plating up just one bite for the judges wasn’t really worth the time.

Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares


Any programme that involves Gordon roaring at aspiring foodies is usually a good watch but there’s something so frustrating about Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, particularly the US version. Featuring abysmal restauranteurs, who believe serving up six day old oysters and letting customers leave the premises with IOUs, the show painfully follows as Gordon tries to reason with absolute idiots.

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