Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets Review: Soggy Vegetables

March 15, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


I’ve long thought cooking shows were the opium of the lazy, burger-eating, choc-chomping masses. Laugh along with Come Dine With Me; swear at The F Word; grimace at Jamie Oliver as a human being. That sort of thing.

The problem with Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets is that it’s all about the food. As it turns out, vegetables are really boring without Gordon Ramsay chucking carrots in someone’s face.

Maybe if I shared Raymond’s passion for all things veg. I’d understand. ‘Look at this AMAZING, beautiful pumpkin,’ he gushes. ‘Look at this beetroot’s amazing colour!’ I’m looking. I need more, Blanc! Wheel the kids out or something – now there’s a good chef.

While Raymond cooks and mutters his mmmm lovelies, the narrator does most of the talking, telling viewers to simmer this or stir in that. But with ‘for full recipe details, see the website’ popping up on screen, it felt like sitting through a tedious university lecture whose notes I could just find on the internet.

The PowerPoint slides wouldn’t be as colourful as that beetroot, though; I digress.

After banging on about vegetables and wild duck for half the episode, Blanc lands up in a watercress field (so this is how they sex things up). He’s soon back in the kitchen stirring up watercress soup, of all things. Switching on the blender by mistake is about as exiting as it gets folks.

To be fair, Blanc’s recipes are easy enough to follow and the food does look appetising. And if you want to learn ten things you can do with a pumpkin, Raymond’s your man.

But the show was inherently boring. I’ll probably have the middle classes coming at me with bottles of balsamic vinegar but I don’t care. I’ll even settle for Oliver’s mockney act at this point. Now stick that in the ground and grow it.