BLAISE TAPP: Just grow up and learn how to wash your hands

Kenny Tutt MasterChef 2018 champion.
Kenny Tutt MasterChef 2018 champion.

Still reaching for the dream of a land fit for heroes

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If there is one thing guaranteed to make most people feel inadequate it is watching MasterChef while eating their tea.

The programme finished last week with Worthing bank manager Kenny Tutt confounding the armchair pundits by picking up the second most famous trophy in light entertainment television – nothing can come close to the Strictly glitterball.

Although Kenny and his fellow finalists are clearly useful with a frying pan and spatula, I am rather relieved  I no longer have to compete with what is dished up by the best amateur cooks this country has offer.

While I am pretty handy in the kitchen myself, my omelettes and spag bol appear decidedly unappetising alongside a gold standard Chateaubriand or apricot tarte tatin, especially if they receive special praise from Messrs Torode and Wallace, the hosts of the show, who seem to have been on our screens for almost as long as Ken Barlow. 

Despite the fact that our home contains some 30 cookbooks, I have roughly 20 favourite recipes which I tend to rotate whenever I can be bothered to pull on a pinny.

But compared to some, my somewhat limited kitchen repertoire makes me look like one of the Roux brothers.

The Millennial generation gets more than its fair share of stick – much of it unwarranted if you ask me – but they don’t always help themselves, a fact highlighted by the latest innovation from one of our biggest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s.

The retail giant will next month introduce packaging which means shoppers will be able to buy chicken which they can stick into a pan or the oven without touching it, such is the anxiety of some consumers when it comes to handling raw poultry.

The suggestion is that the majority of these squeamish cooks are under 40, yet another blow to the Millennials’ already tarnished reputation and yet more justification for tiresome members of the Baby Boomers’ military wing to shout ‘snowflake crybabies’ louder than they ever have before.

But Generation Y does need to take a long hard look at itself and should learn to wash its hands thoroughly after handling raw meat, rather than force retail executives into coming up with new ways to protect their 21st century sensibilities.

We are told this particular generation, while they are happy to spend significant proportions of their income on grub, are less confident about cooking it themselves, preferring to pay somebody else to cook for them.

This may have something to do with the fact that many have larger disposal incomes than those who came before them, given that large swathes of this demographic live with their parents while saving up for that monster deposit for a first home.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom for the future of the planet because, not only is MasterChef winner Tutt just 35, but younger folk are far more ambitious about what they put on their plates than their parents ever were.

Younger shoppers are far more likely to stick halloumi, mozzarella, sweet potatoes, soya milk and even peanut butter into their trolleys than those who prefer a four- minute egg with lightly toasted soldiers when listening to Radio 4 first thing in the morning.

While we will always be interested in what we put into our mouths, it is important for society and the economy that we encourage each generation to be confident in the kitchen, even if there are better cooks on our small screens.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​