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April 15, 2010

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Sian

I love Sophie Dahl, usually. I really do. But this show is pretty awful. I just find it incredibly inauthentic. Sure, there's her lack of cookery skills (to me, this does beg the question why does she have a prime time cooking show) and watching her put a tablespoon of vanilla extract in something this week was a shock. I do a lot of baking, and I write a lot about cooking. She's winging it. I don't think enjoying food makes you a chef.

A couple of weeks ago, she made shepherds pie. Which she didn't try once. Because she's vegetarian. She has no knowledge that what she's cooking tastes good. I've tried to get on board with the show, because I like her, but she's losing credibility with me. She might enjoy food, but I don't think it's enough.

Denise @ Swelle

Thanks for your comment Sian. I can see your point. I love to cook but I'm no kitchen wizard so I wouldn't notice this stuff. I assume, but don't know for sure as I haven't seen anything from her on it, that the cookbook and the show are one-off projects. This probably began not as an ambitious endeavour to reinvent herself as a celebrity chef but a simple desire to share one of her loves along with her stories. And she's such an attractive package who wouldn't want to back/offer a cookbook and even a TV show? However, I can't see longevity for it as her scope is too limited with the comfort food/what she ate as a child, and as you say, her skills. I enjoy watching the show for the beauty of it but I have to say the criticism I've read has spoiled it a bit for me, kind of poked a hole in the dreaminess I am only too happy to buy into. I think the concept of the show is great if we look at it not so much as a cooking show but rather a nice time, though that may be an impossible task for someone who knows what they're doing, understandably. Maybe they can re-tool it for a second run as a tour of lovely tea shops - she does love her cakes! - sprinkled with Dorothy Parker quotes and pensive walks on the beach. Bless her, all of this scrutiny can't be much fun for someone who has no illusions about who she is and what she's doing. I'm curious to see what happens next.

@Parmie

I am super green with envy that we don't get this show in America!

Sian

The show is a similar style to Kirstie Alsopp's Homemade Home, but the difference with that was she had the knowledge to back it up. She also introduced other people and shops into the show and I think you're right - Sophie Dahl visiting tea shops would be interesting. Certainly more interesting than the format now.

Someone told me earlier this week that I didn't like her because she was pretty. A wonderfully misjudged statement; I've mainly been watching *because* she's pretty. It's hard to switch over. I was rooting for her in this show, I want her to be successful because she's so very likeable. And that's something I think Nigella struggles with, if you'll forgive the comparison. I think people compare because we need to find something relatable when we're faced with something new. I don't think comparisons are necessarily a bad thing.

I'd happily compare Giles Coren to a sleazy little weasel.

Denise @ Swelle

Sian - Ha! I enthusiastically and wholeheartedly concur.

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