What is it about cookery programmes and TV? You can’t turn the box on these days without encountering one of them. Whether you’re keen on a curry, tantalised by Thai or fond of fusion, there’s a programme out there with your name on it. Gone are the days of austere cuisine and Fanny Craddock. Cookery and baking are now hip. Cookery shows are definitely flavour of the month. In fact they’re ubiquitous.
The latest offering comes from the BBC, and is hosted by Michelin-starred super-chef, Michel Roux Jnr. Food and Drink airs every Monday and shows us how to make tasty treats with minimal effort. These are fool-proof recipes for flustered professionals apparently, but you can guarantee the normal viewer won’t manage to rustle one up as easily as a member of the Roux family. Trust us on that one. Do Jamie’s 15 minute meals live up to their billing? We think not. Don’t get us wrong – it’s a decent show and quite informative as it happens. Some of the recipes look appealing, but what’s caught our eye isn’t the twice-baked soufflé or the crisp Sauvignon Blanc, it’s the chesterfield sofa. When it comes to being ubiquitous though, the chesterfield sofa is still the daddy.
There seems to be an unspoken love affair between TV cookery programmes and chesterfield sofas. Jamie’s programmes have featured them numerous times, the ‘Fabulous’ Baker boys co-starred with a battered and unreconstructed chesterfield settee, they’ve been spotted down at River Cottage and now they’ve made their way into Michel’s kitchen. Not that we’re complaining. Well, not strictly any way. Given a choice we’d like to see a bit more of the leather chesterfield sofa, not just the briefest of glimpses at the top of the show. If you’re going to feature this classic, then at least make good use of it. Don’t interview the guests standing round a work top, take the weight off your plates of meat and sit on the sofa. If you’ve got it: use it.
But you may be wondering why bother having a chesterfield sofa on set if it’s not going to be used as nature intended. That thought’s crossed our minds too. The only justification we could come up with is that it looks the part. If you’re producing a classic show with a modern twist, then you need a classy set with a classic sofa. What could be better or more-appropriate than the iconic chesterfield sofa? It could make any setting look distinguished. Yes it might be old-school and traditional, but it looks stylish and appealing even in contemporary settings. If something or someone has class then the appeal will stretch across generations: just ask Mary Berry.