With all of the celebrity chefs and cooking shows on television these days, I can’t help but think that it must be a challenge these people to come up any kind of recipe or cooking idea that hasn’t been already done a thousand times. I do have one suggestion for any cooking show producer searching for a truly novel idea; show how the cook cleans up all the mess he made after he’s finished cooking.
Most celebrity chefs are focused on meals that are practical for the home cook, most notably Jamie Oliver, who has rose to prominence with his shows and books based on 15 minute meals. Anyone interested in preparing meals very quickly should watch his show as he really does prepare some nice looking meals in only 15 minutes. The audience does not though see how long it takes to clean up the mess that gets left behind. If like most home cooks you do not have your own personal cleaning staff ready to swoop in and clean up after you as soon as you are done, you need to take into account what kind of mess your meal will leave.
Jamie Oliver often uses a food processor on his show as it can often greatly speed up the cooking process, particularly for those amateur cooks who are not all that proficient with a chef’s knife, but while the food processor can save time on the front end, they can be a pain in the neck to clean. You can’t just pop it in the dishwasher; you need to take it apart, and you have to clean up the hollow part inside the blade attachment that can be particularly cumbersome depending on what you are cooking. That is not to say that you should never use a food processor; just make sure you realize what you are getting yourself into.
Food processors are one of the biggest mess creators in the kitchen; there are all kinds of nooks and crannies where food can get stuck. Though using a chef knife can be slower than a food processor in the preparation, you can clean and dry it in about 10 seconds. It’s for that reason that I rarely use a food processor. I can shred a block of cheese in seconds with the processor, but I still use a hand grater when I’m making a grilled cheese sandwich or macaroni and cheese because I can just throw it into the dishwasher when I’m done. There is nothing worse than trying to clean a food processor after running a block of cheese through it. God help you if you attempt a recipe that requires you to use a food processor for multiple different ingredients.
I doubt we will ever see it, but I would love to see a TV chef like Jamie Oliver actually include the actual cleanup in the show. Some might think that it would be boring television, but it would have enormous potential for unintended entertainment, as the bright and cheery cook starts cursing as he tries to clean a food filthy food processor.