How do cooking shows affect the way we cook?

We all know the value of a well-cooked homemade meal.  It takes us back to some of our best childhood memories and amazing times we have had around food at home.  Food is a great way to express one’s self and for those who are truly into it, it can be a source of great self-accomplishment to be able to prepare a dinner for family and friends.  Cooking shows indeed has helped in sparking the cooking flair amongst the British people.

Cooking shows have been popping out here and there more in the past couple of years.  Rachel’s recently released a survey about the cooking habits of British people and what they found out might surprise you.  The average person cooks at least five nights a week and dedicates an average of 49 minutes per cook.

Out of all the cooking shows airing these days, it seems that Masterchef, Jamie Oliver’s show and the Great British Bake Off influence British cooks the most.  It affects and influences the way people look at cooking more that we can imagine. And more than the recipes, it’s the energy and passion for cooking that the TV cooks portray that draws viewers in, inspiring them to cook in turn.  It also helps that most of the recipes and meals that are shown on cooking shows are approachable and seems doable for an average home cook.

The way these cooking shows influence the way we cook and how we view food can be viewed from both positive and negative perspective.  Let’s highlight the positive first. Cooking shows inspire people to cook and for some, even make them realise a hidden passion for cooking or baking.  There is something about home cooked meals that fine dining restaurants cannot offer.  Therefore, it is good that people are still trying to take time out to cook quality meals at home regardless of who influenced them and how.  On the negative side, cooking shows like Masterchef, make something that takes years of training and experience to master, look like it is something a home cook can achieve in their kitchens.  This leads to disappointing dishes and under prepared food.

We live in a fast-paced environment filled with pressures, deadlines and stress.  Cooking is something we thought people would forego because of that.  However, it is delightful to know that people still want to cook or if not cook, experience home cooked meals.  Cooking for family and friends once in a while is a great way to unwind and make memories that will last.  It’s the power of food.  It is the magnet that pulls us to watch cooking shows on TV even if we cannot even make sandwiches to save our lives!  It may not be an everyday thing and the lure of just ordering in will always be there but the fact that home cooking is still alive and well, with cooking shows making sure it doesn’t go away, is amazing.

(c) BBC Masterchef.

For more recipe ideas, visit our Recipes page, or subscribe to our FREE monthly newsletter Bitesize for recipes, reviews and cooking tips to help you get smarter in the kitchen. Just enter your email address below.