Delia Smith – “Britain has lost its way when it comes to home cooking”

Delia Smith

Delia Smith certainly needs no introduction in the U.K.  and probably not to most of our U.S. members. But for those who may not know her, she is the U.K.’s  best-selling cookbook author and one of their best-known television personalities. So we thought it was provocative that, in a recent interview in the Express, she has turned quite negative on British home cooking. 

She feels she is bowing out of TV work at the right time, with the nation in semi-crisis over even the most basic cookery skills. ‘We’ve lost our grip on home cooking.  I can see that by the way kitchen equipment shops are in decline. There are a lot of shortcuts – but the main problem is that people are afraid to cook.” Programmes such as Masterchef do not help, according to Delia, as they “intimidate rather than inspire”.  She added: “I would never be a judge on that show. They used to ask me but I could never criticise people. My job is to make them feel they can do it.” 

But while she has ruled out a return to television, she is still is planning to use media to teach people how to cook – in her case, via online cooking classes.  She is quite a good teacher (think Martha Stewart without the lifestyle and affectations). To demonstrate, we’d encourage you to view several of her videos from her cookery school that we have online at EYB in association with her cookbook, Delia’s Cakes.

Here’s a small sample; just click on the little TV icon below the recipe photo on any of these recipes to check them out:

And keep an eye out for more videos across the site. On the actual recipe page the little TV icon will be below the photo of the recipe, on the book page (where recipes are listed) the little icon will be right after the “Recipe Online” link.


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  • veronicafrance  on  May 31, 2013

    Well, frankly Delia, your last book was "How to cheat at cooking", which made heavy use of processed, frozen and canned foods from supermarkets. So if home cooking is in decline, maybe you are partly responsible.

    Don't get me wrong though — although I'm not personally a huge fan of Delia's step-by-step schoolmarm style, she made a huge difference to British home cooking in the 1980s. I know people who basically couldn't cook at all who turned out very creditable dinner party meals thanks to Delia. It is true though that many Brits seem to spend an awful lot more time watching people cook on TV than cooking themselves …

  • sir_ken_g  on  June 1, 2013

    Sounds just like the US… Yes the folks who frequent here can cook. Most can't or won't.

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