Cooking shows have transformed on our screens over the last few years, from professional chefs serving up traditional dishes with detailed instructions, right through to TV shows that regularly feature fiery rows across dinner tables and some of the most intricate and fancy dishes you could imagine.
But Iain ‘Huey’ Hewitson has had enough and launched a scathing attack on modern reality shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, claiming there’s too much focus on “fancy pants food”, bizarre fads and forced competition – and not enough on simple, traditional dishes that anyone can recreate at home.
Speaking on Channel 9’s A Current Affair, the TV star, 69, urged TV shows to focus more on dishes that could be healthy and simple for viewers, instead of “trying to make pickled ducks bums with truffle oil!”
He explained: “They started off simple, and the next minute you turn around and they’re doing deconstructed rubbish with smears on the plate!”
He took particular aim at deconstructed dishes and microscopic smears of more pricey foods to decorate the plate, before blaming the judges’ focus on competition and singling out a cook based on their personality, rather than their skills.
“This new thing when they start talk to contestants and they go ‘now please tell me about your philosophy for this dish?’?” He scoffed. “Who gives a…” before stopping himself mid-track.
Reporter Tineka Everaardt then asked him: “Some people might say, ‘Well, Huey’s just got sour grapes, that he’s jealous of their successes.’ What would you say to them?”
He insisted he has “no axe to grind” with the judges themselves, but instead hates the way the dishes are sold to families at home – some of whom will be hoping to pick up tips for their own meals.
“I object to what it is doing to people at home, [who are now] making their fancy pants food,” he added. “They’d do a hell of a lot better roasting a chicken in the oven with some nice root vegetables.”
Huey is never one to keep his opinions silent, and recently ranted about Australia’s current TV foodies in a very frank interview with the Herald Sun, labelling them “game show hosts” not cooks.
Huey, as he is known, was on TV for 25 years on shows including Healthy, Wealthy & Wise, Huey’s Cooking Adventures, Huey’s Kitchen, but despite being on TV for more than two decades, Hewitson said he did not watch popular reality cooking shows