What is not cooking on the social media!
What is it about being locked in and cooking? Why are people continuously cooking and posting, that is, those who can afford to?
Food makes for good optics, for sure. All the more if it looks brightly colourful and enticing, laid out prettily on chic tableware and linen. But isn’t cooking in this tropical heat really insufferable?
No matter how enticing the food is, with dishes piling up in the sink and ingredients, scarce to begin with, disappearing in a jiffy, one would think people would avoid doing that stuff. But as much as I avoided going to the kitchen I couldn’t avoid the endless cooking videos/classes/masterclasses by sous chefs, executive chefs and at-home chefs, the newly-acquired-skills-set chefs, the downright sexy and alluring chefs, the Italian cook, the French saucier, the desi diva, and the unforgettable Padma Lakshmi, dare we call her our own.
Each has his or her own style. Those like Nigella Lawson and Padma Lakshmi will have the perfect cleavage on show right in front a mound of minced beef that they proceed to season. If Nigella’s shoulder length auburn, frizzy hair is a distraction, so is Padma Lakshmi’s left forearm vertical scar that she has no qualms showing. Sometimes in oversized glasses with a fat cook book on her kitchen table, Lakshmi exudes that earthy charm as she sniffs her spices and shows her Western audience — or is it the immigrant audience? — how to simmer the rasam. Nigella’s azure blue slit dress goes brilliantly with the pristine white rice vermicelli as she proceeds to prepare rice paper rolls that she says “you can just pick at the table”. And then she does the extreme bread butter pudding with a fiery ginger jam. “It really should be home food,” says Nigella with an eye roll.
Both Lakshmi and Nigella use their hands a lot to express themselves, to mix the perfect salad, to lick that food. Both have the oomph that gets millions of viewers.
Following them are the desi cook show hosts. One specialises in quarantine cooking in body-fitted dresses with airhostess collars. She uses an intimate tone, suggesting if you don’t get this “koi baat nahin aap na bhi de sakte hain”. Hema Subramanian is the quintessential desi cook, wearing a salwar kameez, bright pink lips and enviable danglers. She shows how to make bread omelettes: a life saver.
And then there is Maria Goretti, the ex-MTV VJ. She exudes charm with her simplicity, her chic casuals, trendy wrist bands and chunky watches. Sans make-up, she looks refreshing, giggling at her own sloppiness, shooing away her daughter and getting a high masking her veggies in the most amazing pasta sauce.
So much to watch and so little to eat!