“I hope all your doughnuts turn out like Fanny’s.” With that immortal line TV host Bill Tennant closed a segment with British chef Fanny Cradock on his 1970s talk show. The sentence was said in all innocence, apparently, but it serves to underline the staying power of TV chefs in the public consciousness.
It also reminds us quite how comical some of the chefs – and their recipes – can now sometimes appear.
Take Julia Child, for example.
I watched Meryl Streep portray the 1960s American chef in the film Julie and Julia the other night. The movie chronicles the life of Julie Powell as gives herself a year to recreate all of the recipes from Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Child was a gangly, gauche character who dedicated her time in Paris to becoming a cordon bleu chef. Her diplomat husband had been posted there in the late 1940s.
The similarities between Powell’s blog and this one are clear: hers was a year-long project with a French theme. This is too, though I’ll almost certainly keep it going beyond the year, but not daily.
Her blog also overtook her life, which this one has mine.
For a British audience the film introduces us to Julia Child. We didn’t have her on our screens. Instead, we have Elizabeth David to thank for Britain’s introduction to French cooking.
I am sure both chefs would have been happy to wish their viewers, “Bon appétit!”