I’ve got a nasty feeling that the image above, sent to us by delighted Fat Expat contributor Derek, is a Sexton Blake, but I’m not going to let that ruin a perfectly good joke. Apparently the featured packaging was withdrawn hurriedly.
Why IS it a joke? Why does it make people laugh? Perhaps it’s the fact that the man behind the sausages (as well as some distinctly rum-tasting instant couscous and a number of barbecue marinades and other daft processed food products) really does come across as something of a… well, you know. My old mum saw him doing a live demonstration once and thought he was foul-mouthed. But then she thinks Jamie Oliver’s food prep is filthy – and she’s right, too.
She likes James Martin and so, despite myself, do I. I should hate him – I’m the one that wants to drink beer out of Gary Rhodes’ skull, after all. If Gazza says ‘that eats beautifully’ again, I’ll deck him, I swear. It’s the camp way he intones it as he flips the pan for another porno close-up lacing of thick, rich sauce on that luscious parsley-sprinkled fennel and pancetta mash.
So James ‘baby boy’ Martin, or whatever the grannies are calling him this week, should really get my hate gland overheated. But, strangely, I respect the food he makes, the earnestness with which he does it and the range of things he puts out. I like his food and (yes, I admit it!) even enjoy Saturday Kitchen occasionally, even if I privately think our Jim's carefully cultivated ‘mummy’s boy’ image disguises a raving, mind-screwing, drug-abusing anal sex fiend.
Before you get carried away by my prejudices against TV chefs, do bear in mind that not one but two Fat Expats have given Gary's Dubai opening (ahem) the thumbs up: Both HMHB and EyeOnDubai have eaten chez Rhodes in Dubai and enjoyed it – and many people also rave about Ramsay’s Verre, despite the fact that it notably, achingly lacks the stars that adorn so many other Ramsay properties.
One thing is certain for poor old wannabe C-list destination Dubai: the TV chefs are coming and it won’t be long before the squat, ginger and almost totally charmless Worrall Thompson and the grinning, slack-mouthed mockney Jamie arrive on these shores to grant interviews to the slavishly on-message journalists that put together our lifestyle magazines and tabloids. They’ll be followed by a piratic gang of dubious TV chef ‘names’ all promising to give us a better, smarter, nicer, more impressive food life and all opening up multi-million dollar license deal restaurants that give us the dubious benefit of a house-trained sous-chef plucked from the ‘original’ team to cook up the great man’s menu and perhaps an annual visit from the hallowed one himself to do a round of PR and change that menu over to this years’ fashion. And, of course, following in Ramsay’s footsteps, to say ‘fuck’ so that the magazine can excitedly print it as f***.
Which is really w*** of them, by the way.
The end result will be that you pay a whacking premium on the food on your table just to take the overhead of the licensing and marketing operation into account - and don't think for a second that the food cost isn't getting squeezed to pay for that licensing deal, either. So you get second rate ingredients cooked by a second rate chef to a formula put together by a chef turned TV personality.
I get the feeling that you'd be better off buying the cookbook if you're that interested and then going out to eat as a treat somewhere more interesting, innovative and, dare I suggest it, less celebrated. And you'd probably be better off with Spinneys' brand sausages, too.
What do you mean, grumpy?