I need your help to get on television…

I get a lot of weird emails through the course of my day job, ranging from pictures of dead leviathans from the deep to  announcements of the retirement of dinner ladies. Yesterday I got my first weird one for Foodies South West.

It wasn’t that weird of course. The South West has great food and drink, but weird food doesn’t really sell, people are instinctively cautious about what they put in their mouth. It was weird because it was unsolicited and it was inviting me to do something I have never done before – go on television and cook.

I’m not just walking onto television, nothing is that easy. This was a simple email from a researcher from ITV who was perusing the Interweb and Twitter and happened upon me for the show, suggesting I audition.

The show in Question is Britains Best Dish 2010, whose judges include Dartmouth’s John Burton Race and Jilly Goolden. What they are looking for is “ordinary people (i.e. people who aren’t head chefs with years of experience behind them) to pitch their signature dish and enter them into the mix. The overall winner receives the ultimate accolade of ‘Britain’s Best Dish’ and receives a £10,000 cash prize.”

What I need to do is have a signature starter, main and dessert, as well as being the sort of nut that makes good telly.

Sounds easy. The problem is, it isn’t. Think about it. There are so many of these programmes that being truly unique is difficult. Every single person there will focus on local and seasonal produce, the real ingenuity is making good use of these ingredients.

So how do I wow the producers at the audition?

What I’m thinking is using one at least one ingredient from every county of the “South West”. And/Or using them in ways that they wouldn’t usually be done.  I think I already have a good idea for the pudding, so I want to hear your ideas for the other two. I’m not going to just nick these ideas of course – part of my pitch is that ideas will have come from you the public. Because [start the Hovis music!] you are the ones who are out there and know about what local food is great where you are. And think unusual! What sweet might work as a savory? What might work as a sauce flavour that hasn’t been considered?

Email your ideas to FoodiesSouthWest@gmail.com, and I’ll keep posting the best ones for public debate.

Help this little man get his ugly mug on ITV, you know it makes sense.

David.

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5 Comments on “I need your help to get on television…”


  1. Great idea, pretty easy to get on Britain’s Best Dish – just need to be enthusiastic and eloquent about food and desribing your dish (unless they’ve changed the format!!).
    word of advice – avoid chocolate – Ed Baines hates it and is biased against any chocolate desserts (as i found out to my cost!
    don;t go too wacky – just focus on the quality of ingredients and ideally dredge up some centuries old recipe and re-invent it…


  2. we can give you some beer to use, your dish obviously needs to be cooked in, or have a sauce made from beer (milk stout & beef are fab together!)

  3. creepylovely Says:

    I had a weird email at work today. A woman contacted the company to ask that a magazine subscription be purchased using her credit card, sent to her, and that we also include a hand written note addressed to her and from her “Mother” (who has been dead for 5 years) saying, “my dear daughter, I know you will treasure this”, because she felt that if her mother was still alive, she would have purchased this subscription for her, and wanted it to feel more “authentic” when she got her first issue in the mail.

  4. Angie Says:

    I think you might be surprisingly good on telly, David, as long as you don’t do a Keith Floyd with the booze consumption. I know you already have your dessert but clotted cream is the best cream in the world and I was saying only yesterday that although the best Tarte Tatin I ever tasted was in the restaurant of the Musee D’orsay, it would have been even better had it been accompanied by clotted cream instead of cream fraiche.

    Louise and Duncan sent Bill cheeses for Christmas, the best of which was a wonderful Cornish Blue.

    I tend to agree with Antonia. Make sure each dish is well cooked and tasty – though a lot of these programmes don’t actually allow sufficient time to produce slow cooked food so check that out and be prepared to adapt to changing seasons.

    Good luck!
    Angie Vennells

  5. Sarah Says:

    Hey, i was given a leaflet about Britains Best Dish at the festival, there were lots of folks giving them our before demonstrations in the cooking theatre.

    All the best with it!


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