Hairy Bikers always seem much too smug about what they have cooked, whether that be a cottage pie in their kitchen or a stew halfway up a mountain. Nigella Lawson seems intent on making everything more sexual than it needs to be as she kneads bread or stirs chocolate sauce.
Sadly a couple of years ago watching TV cooks like these was the best option for people who wanted to learn how to cook interesting dishes.
The TV chefs and their publicists knew this so would always ensure there was a book to tie in with the series, so there was no need to quickly scribble down the ingredients on a piece of paper (or send a stamped addressed envelope to the TV company asking for the recipe – this was a thing in the 1980s).
It also meant the lucrative world of TV cookery was even more of a money spinner.
That was before TikTok.
But the way in which it doesn’t get much recognition, but is becoming increasingly popular for, is cookery videos.
Unlike the smuggery of TV chefs, most of the cooks on there are just producing dishes that look amazing while squeezing all the instructions into – mostly – under a minute.
Just a quick search will net you fantastic recipes for Cadbury’s Creme Egg brownies. After all, what says Jesus died for our sins more than a gooey fudgey brownie that gives way to the sweet sickly treat of a baked Cadbury’s Creme egg?
There’s a great steak recipe for a fillet mignon but for poor folk like me it works like a dream for a ribeye (the steak I had was a lockdown gift). If you follow it you’ll end up with a juicy, garlicky piece of meat with a lot of colour and glorious flavour.
And as TikTok becomes increasingly influential as a platform for creatives (remember the sea shanties?) it shows how people can turn their bad luck into a positive.
Poppy Cooks is one example of this – after losing her job at the start of the pandemic the Michelin-trained chef has become somewhat of a cooking powerhouse on the platform.
A self-proclaimed potato enthusiast she has gone from a handful of followers at the start to 1.4 million at the last count – all people who want delicious and impressive recipes that are easy to follow and understand – with potatoes and other ingredients too. And tonight I learned a cookbook is on its way.
One person who definitely wouldn’t sell many cookbooks is, conversely, also the best cook on TikTok.
Instead of concerning himself with things people might want to eat, djdhdhdh has spent the past few weeks delving into cookbooks from the World Wars and before and creating some historic dishes.
But not just any old dishes. Nope, there are desserts that smell like death and despair and salads which would lead anyone to question their existence. They usually end up with him struggling to swallow each regret filled mouthful.
It works so well because of Dylan’s disbelief at what he has to put in each pie and his enthusiasm for shouting fire when turning the stove on.
And because he’s so likeable as a presenter but also because compressed down into a minute (or thereabouts) is a potted piece of history where you’re educated but also entertained.
This is cookery TikTok in a nutshell. Instead of the smuggery of TV chefs who are so proud of themselves as they chop an onion, on TikTok it is about people having fun, experimenting, educating and another e I haven’t thought of.
Stay safe for another week!