The Great Cookery Storytellers
I was sad to read of the passing of Antonio Carluccio yesterday. For keen amateur chefs and mushroom lovers he was well known for his cookery programmes and books. For ‘people who lunch’ he was known through his chain of restaurants.
For me, he was a great story teller and someone who could make the daunting world of European cookery accessible to an 11 year old Somerset boy watching cookery shows on his Mum’s portable telly.
Carluccio and Keith Floyd (who I was fortunate to meet on a cookery course just a few days before he died) are two of my heroes. From an early age I used to enjoy watching cookery shows. Floyd on France, Floyd on Spain, Food & Drink and a whole host of cookery shows provided access to a world of food and culture otherwise inaccessible to your average Brit. Carluccio added a taste of the exotic to BBC’s Food & Drink show – and I remember him inspiring the first dish I ever cooked myself from scratch – mushroom scrambled eggs.
What was great about Carluccio and Floyd was their ability to make the complicated simple and to tell a good story about the dishes they were cooking. They didn’t bore you with the history of the dish, rather they would talk personally and passionately about what the dish conjured up for them in terms of memories, emotions or experiences.
These are the ingredients that make a good story. Whether your audience is an amateur cook or someone living with a chronic condition or a healthcare professional - we can learn a lot from these TV chef masters about bringing a message to life, making the message personal and being yourself. Companies don’t have to flavour everything with vanilla – they can create robust, tasty, exotic messages delivered with passion and heart that inspires people to do something they would not have done before.
Thanks for the ideas, inspiration and recipes Antonio and Keith – I hope you are enjoying a glass of wine somewhere.