Monday, June 23, 2008

Celebrity Chefs, none of them Swedish

Since I've started blogging, I haven't seen the girl with the blue eye shadow once. It's getting disconcerting.

Gordon Ramsay is in Australia right now, for reasons that have entirely to do with the fact he says fuck a lot. No one seems to be willing to discuss cookery with him though. In fact I would dare to say if you asked someone what Gordons signature dish was they'd giggle and say "he says fuck a lot, tee hee!" - I used to really like Kitchen Nightmares, the British series, but the American series seems massively stage managed, although my legal department would like to point out this is simply an opinion. Since he's been in Australia he's tongue kissed an old woman, got debated in parliament in the most time consuming parliamentary debate since should Kirsty Marshall breast feed. said shit on TV and smashed a swear jar. It all seems awfully undignified. Mind you, he is also opening a restaurant here in Australia, which is probably better than when Jamie Oliver turned up and said Melbourne had more junkies than anyone else in the world. His office burned down recently, just saying. Anyway, Gordon Ramsay is just Bernard King with more f words, and Peter Russell Clarke ws swearing at chickens for years, and no one gave him an Emmy. It's all about theatre, provoking a reaction with insults. No doubt in three years he'll be as tedious as Paris Hilton, but for now, he's king of the world.

A lot of people think that the celebrity chef is a modern invention, but as Bernard King proved, it's been going on for years. I'd like to see Gordon so called Ramsay judge a talent show, Pot Luck style, as Bernard did, and hold things together when a contestant tears a hamstring kicking himself in the head.

The big two as far as we were concerned on the North West Coast of Tasmania were Phil Maney and Crazy Charlie. OK, Crazy Charlie wasn't a celebrity chef, but he was a celebrity who dealt in the food business, a big cheese on the NW Coast. Crazy Charlie, like Franco Cozzo, Ken Bruce and other pioneers of late night TV in Australia, mixed incredible bargains with several adverts questioning his own sanity. He ran a chain of bargain stores and I remember he did a delicious line on possibly poisonous strawberry sweets. Now, I used to work in a Supermarket which will remain nameless, and saw Crazy Charlie in the supermarket one night. He came through my register, and he was morbidly depressed, unshaven, and bought some brown rice and bread. That wasn't very crazy. I was expecting him to take the rice and throw it over his head, or marry a carton of milk. Certainly the ad seemed to suggest that if you went into his store, the craziness would circumvent the really mundane process of buying a wicker chair and you'd spend a million bucks in the shop in a fit of insanity. Well, I think he went out of business eventually. He wasn't as crazy as the Chickenfeed chicken. I have no idea what happened to Phil Maney - he made basically every single pie you could eat on the NW Coast when I was growing up. The ad said "You gotta try a Phil Maney pie!", like you had a choice in the matter - but I remember he did a really tedious interview in the local paper once about how pies had a bad name before he came along. I think he said that before he came along, if you wanted a meat pie, they could have put cat meat in it for all you knew. He seemed to talk a lot about pies. Maybe he fell in a pie machine in the end. I'd love to know, but Ramsay, beware, fame is very fickle, and your time is running out.

Gordon Ramsay then - not as good as Bernard King, Phil Maney or a man who could sell you a wicker chair. Do you think this blog will really catch on anywhere outside the Maney household?


Anonymous said...

Miles my friend, I have good news for you. The pie king of NW Tassie did not meet the ill fate of toppling into the pie machine as you suggest. Phil is back and he brings with him not only his famous meat pies but also a new generation of pie makers. Keep an eye out for the new store opening soon on the NW coast, cause remember.....You gotta try a Phil Maney pie!!!

Miles McClagan said...

That's the kind of fantastic news that I feel like posting about...the return of the omnipresent PMP, which as you say, you gotta try, and most importantly, he didn't suffer any accidents!

I was worried...he vanished something awful...

PIEKING said...

hey fellow pie eaters!!!

Here i am alive and well the Pie King Phil Maney !!
I didnt fall into a pie machine i been busy building the pie kingdom and rejuvinating the famous Phil Maney Pies !
Opening a brand new state of the art pie factory in South Burnie on the north west coast of Tasmania early in 2009 new look new image new products ( same original recipe) new jingles and colours same face though (real scary) should have pies statewide by winter 2009 so look out for ( HAD YOUR PHIL TODAY)
gET OUT THERE AND GET PHILLED UP TODAY at the moment you can get your PHIL only in Penguin at the Bakehouse

Phil Maney

Miles McClagan said...

Bonza news Phil - National Pies have getting away with it for too long! Keep us up to date!

Anonymous said...

Get those pies in Victoria soon, so we can have our Phil here too!