Talk About Dahl-ussional!

This entry is filed under Editorial.

On the couch with Uma

On The Couch With Uma

Call me bitter and twisted but….

I’m heartened to hear “The Delicious Miss Dhal” – the BBC’s latest cooking program to hit our screens  has received a lot of bad press. It tells me there is a god and life isn’t totally unfair after all, even though it sometimes seems that way!

It’s not that I have anything against Ms Dhal per se. I’m sure she’s perfectly lovely,  her face certainly is.

What irks me is why an ex model who has undoubtedly spent years avoiding food and doesn’t know a huge amount on the subject is given her own cooking program about what she likes to eat depending on her mood.

Does anyone actually care?
If there has to be another cooking program, wouldn’t it be better if it was informative and educational led, so the viewer benefits?

My other annoyance is how unbelievably stylised and slick the program is. To blatantly convey a world of rose tinted perfection when the country is in deep recession and so many of us struggling to cope is both tactless and inappropriate.

Under such circumstances, only a masochist would enjoy watching this make-believe lifestyle of domestic bliss. For the rest of us it’s  infuriating and likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth – which is the last thing you expect from a cooking program.

Your thoughts on a postcard please…

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32 Responses to “Talk About Dahl-ussional!”

  1. R.Jenson says:

    I bet she gets another series though! TV has been dumbed down beyond belief and not worth the licence fee.

  2. Rachel says:

    I’ve been following the stories about Sophie Dahl and Tony’s right. Your recipes are inspiring, and I use your cook book more tahn any other. I think you have a lot of common sense Uma and I’d like to see you on our TV screens and not soppy Sophie!!

  3. Uma says:

    Hi Tony
    How very sweet of you to think of me. Don’t hold your breath on the TV front though!!!!
    I have to say I do feel a bit sorry for Sophie she has come in for a lot of criticism.

  4. Gina says:

    Great article. Everythign you say is true. I couldn’t stand watching the program, what she got to be melancholoy about anyhow????

  5. Tony Edwards says:

    Hi Uma,
    Todays mail online featured an article about the BBC’s diabolical Miss Dahl program. So I left a comment and recommended you as a replacement!
    If the BBC approach you, make sure you remember it was me!

    I said…

    How gratyifying the BBC’s plan to dupe the public into believing Sophie Dahl is a talented cook has fallen flat on its face. We’re not interested in watching an ex model whose spent years avoiding food, talk about what she likes to eat. What we need is a modern day Delia. An ideal candidate would be Uma Wylde, an attractive genuinely talented homecook dishing out practical no nonsense cooking advise. But of course the BBC aren’t interested in anyone unknown even if the licence payer benefits. What the viewer wants it totally irrelevant – Tony Edwards, London, 4/5/2010 12:14

  6. Mark Spizer says:

    Great post Uma!

  7. Wonderful post,I look forward to many more post from you.

  8. Amber says:

    Well said Uma!
    I want to love Sophie Dahl, she does seem lovely but I do think a cooking program is an odd choice for an ex-model who seems a frustrated poet. Maybe Jamie Oliver was trying to get in her good books 😉

  9. Delia says:

    You really inspired me with your cooking class earlier this year. Your knowledge of tasty food is sooo good – you could definitely make a TV programme which would inspire anyone – unlike some!!! You make it seem so easy too. Keep going!!

  10. Paul Aivao says:

    appealing little title, LOL

  11. Jennie says:

    I wish you could get a programme so that you could inspire more people like me!

    After your cooking lesson I came away really fired up – cooking after a day’s work isn’t a chore anymore AND I’ve kept it up. Simple, delicious meals in minutes.

    I think I’ve made all the recipes in the book – except the squid and I’d hate anyones recipe for that. The only ‘less than perfect’ meal was when I tried to use that awful tamarind slab stuff instead of the tamarind paste which I should have used in the Ghurkha chicken.

    I use recipes from Delia’s Christmas book and some from a really old book on pasta but my other numerous tomes just sit looking pretty on the bookshelf.

    Basically I’m a really lazy person who likes to eat and not cook but I must admit you converted me – cooking is fun. My friends and family are amazed.

  12. Mac says:

    We have a saying where I come from CREAM ALWAYS RISES TO THE TOP…
    I disagree with the last comment. You go right ahead and voice your opinions, does no good to bottle em up. Seems most folk agree with you anyway.

  13. Stephanie says:

    Oh I love a bit of controversy! Keep up the good work Uma. PS We love your creamy peanut chilli chicken, thanks for the reicpe download.

  14. Rita says:

    Having a dig at the opposition doesn’t do you any favours.

    It isn’t like the funny, effervescent personality we have come to know and love, so don’t go there.

    You are much bigger than that. Have faith, you have a huge talent. Judging from other responses I’m not alone in appreciating your recipes, especially those in your cook book, which are every bit as good if not better explained than those by Delia Smith. I have been a fan of Delia’s for 30 years and don’t say this lightly. If you want to follow in Delia’s footsteps, why don’t you contact her agent?

  15. BBC viewer says:

    ‘The shame of it is that the recipes seemed quite easy to do and interesting too. She’s a nightmare. Smug and flirting with the camera – not to mention name dropping all the time. My other half wants me to make the cherry choc dessert while pouting.’ ‘She cooked a few of her “indulgent day” recipes which she then ate invoking as much of the cliched sexuality as possible – mostly achieved through soft focus lens camerawork.’

  16. Janice says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Terrible twee Miss Dahl, I switched off!

  17. Susan Robson says:

    It seems we are not alone – here are the comments from respected critic Giles Coren

    Miss Dahl’s new show, which launched on Tuesday night, has already faced claims of titillating viewers with her coquettish antics and trying to outdo Nigella Lawson as a kitchen seductress. But now Giles Coren, who co-presents shows with Sue Perkins, has given an excoriating assessment of the programme and criticised the BBC for making it. The outspoken food critic said on his Twitter account: ‘This Sophie Dahl show – what a crock of bogus, mendacious s**te. What a sickening sham. The BBC should be f***ing ashamed of itself.’ When one of his followers on the website asked whether he was saying it ‘lacked the gravitas and cutting edge insights’ of his own show, he replied simply: ‘Yup’. In response to another person’s claim that Miss Dahl looked like she was ‘scared of food’, Mr Coren said: ‘EXACTLY! She leans in takes one WEENY bite with her finger cocked in the air, and then you just KNOW she gobs it out off camera.’

  18. Jan Moir says:

    The BBC’s decision to give Miss Dahl’s new show endless promotion has ruffled the feathers of its other cookery and food presenters. The elevation of the 32-year-old former model to TV chef has sparked a debate about whether the BBC is using the camera-friendly grand-daughter of children’s author Roald Dahl to sex-up its food shows.
    Jan Moir (award winning British journalist and restaurant reviewer says that the show is ‘hard to swallow’. The scenes of her seductively toying with an olive on the end of a cocktail stick and licking her lips lasciviously after taking a deep sniff at a bottle of wine is better suited to TV like sexcetera – At least they are being honest. In one scene in the first episode, Miss Dahl said of buffalo mozzarella – ‘You can feel it slinking around in the bag – I actually sort of fantasise about this cheese’. She adds: ‘There’s something about whipping a great soft hunk of it off that is deeply, deeply satisfying.’

  19. Uma says:

    Meeow Indeed… Get the claws out!

    So glad you like the Ghurka chicken. In that case you’ll be glad to know I’m posting Singapore Noodles tomorrow. Talk about addictive! We have them once at least once a week. And if ever there was a case of once you start you can’t stop… this dish is it…

    While we’re on the subject, please check out my new Asian Collection in the Recipe Index (leftside of website). Considering I cook Asian food more than anything else I realised it was high time to put up some recipes.

  20. Julian Leggett says:

    Uma !!!!!!!

    Mee-bloomin-owwwwwww !! But 100% behind what you are saying.

    I was forced to watch this woman for 30 secs – the remote needs new batteries and the dog was standing in the way of the box – but what I saw did not impress !!!! Won’t be going back again any time soon.

    But – – – – – – (and it’s a big but) I thought you were about to impart to us a sure-fire dahl recipe to add to the Gurhka Chicken and other curries !! Now that would be a treat !! i used to eat the stuff by the ladle full in Malaya and haven’t found a really good, thick, scrummy recipe since !!!

    So all in all this epistle has to be signed by

    Disappointed of Swindon !!!!!!!

  21. Uma says:

    Thanks Wendy & Everyone Else Who Has Taken The Trouble To Reply

    Actually my annoyance isn’t with Sophie Dahl it’s with the BBC for buying the show and Jamie Oliver’s production company for chosing Sophie Dahl to front it when she lacks cooking experience and know how.

    Call me cynical but I can’t help think some producer thought “here’s a great looking girl, doesn’t matter if we dupe the public into thinking she’s a cook. We’ll just coach her along in the style of Nigella and in the process make loads of money.

    And it’s fair to say I have got a bit of green eyed monster going on, which is hardly surprising.

    Like a lot of cooks I’ve been trying to break into TV without success. Even though I have the right credentials – long cooking history, food writer, columnist and author.

    In my experience, if you’re not already a recognised ‘name’ or have endless funds to throw at a PR machine or are well connected and possibly semi famous to boot it’s incredibly difficult to get yourself heard.

    Even when what you have to say is benefiting hundred’s of people – because they tell you so and that really is very irritating…

  22. Wendy says:

    At first I thought you were having a go at that lovely Indian lentil dish… and I was squaring up for a fight…. 😉 Then I realised it was all about that model. Who can’t cook and certainly can’t present. Go, Uma, go!

  23. Steve says:

    Don’t worry Uma. Your blog posts educate and inspire.

    I use your recipes regularly since I found your blog and I cook the recipes in your book all the time. It helps me switch off, cooking’s relaxing and my GF loves it as she hates it! Keep up the good work and don’t let a talentless two bit model put you off.

  24. Bruce says:

    You’re lookin HOT Mama!

    Come and cook for me anytime you want.

  25. I love cooking. Always have. Always will. It will undoubtedly lead to hardening of the arteries and my eventual demise. I collect cookery books and read them like novels. If I am feeling up or down, out comes a cookery book. I am delighted to say Uma that when it comes to stars of the screen your face would fill our screens anyday – in the nicest possible way (no- I’m not). I have been following your site for some time, I love your style and always mouth watering recipes, I adore the way you write and believe me, unlike some other cookery/chef writers I have been exposed to, you know how to give clear and easy to follow preperation advise which I am sure your followers find extremely helpful. I wonder how long Ms Dahl will keep it up – not as long and as well as you will Uma!

  26. Jennie says:

    Now, now Uma – didn’t your mother tell you ‘if you haven’t got any nice to say …………………………………’ :o)

    Seriously, I’d far rather watch you on tv and be inspired to cook than watch a ‘lifestyle’ programme.

  27. Ginger says:

    I’m thinking a network blitz from those who have actually seen the program & think it’s bad! Tell them so! It’s not like you’d be telling a lie, right? If fact, you might even suggest (while you’re at it) that someone from the network check out an ideal candidate for a cook show. She can be found right here!

    I’m afraid I can’t do any of this, but I certainly would if I thought I could convince them. They’d know full well I haven’t seen the Dahl show over here in the US, so unfortunately my hands are tied, so to speak.

    It does sound like an attempt to just get viewership with nothing more to offer than eye candy tho’. Perhaps Ms. Dahl could get another show…maybe fashion? In the meanwhile, I doubt I’d take any cooking show serious when the chef looks like she’s done nothing but live on egg whites & breath mints since childhood.
    Just my 2 cents…hang in Uma!

  28. Susie says:

    Apart from Rick Stein there isn’t a single cook I enjoy watching on TV anymore. Gordon Ramsay’s completely overdone, Delia’s too old, Nigella seems to have vanished. Jamie Oliver is always banging on the same drum. Hugh FW seems nice enough but isn’t a great cook and Sophie Dhal, shouldn’t even be there. We need someone with a bit of character – like the two fat ladies or Keith Floyd. Sure you could fit the bill Uma!

  29. Rona says:

    Is that sour grapes Uma?
    I do agree with what you say though. Must be sickening for genuniely talented chefs who can’t get a look in.
    Keep plugging girl!

  30. Eddie says:

    No idea how she got the gig.

    Why don’t you give it a go??? You look the part and it’s obvious to anyone reading your blog you’re a serious cook and know your stuff.

    Enjoyed the brocolli post by the way.

  31. Sabrina G says:

    Go girl! Fight the power Miss Wylde!

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