For people who care about their food

Not Delia’s Poll 3 – Who is your favourite TV chef?

Results from Not Delia's Poll No.3: Who's your favourite TV chef?

We asked you to tell us who your favourite TV chef was, and gave you five suggested names, with the option of commenting to let us know of your own personal favourite if they hadn’t been listed.

It wasn’t too much of a surprise that cockney cheeky chappie Jamie Oliver came top. Hmm, not a personal favourite of mine, though I do have a couple of his books. I find his TV programmes a bit superficial, and there’s too much about his cool lifestyle and not enough about the food for my liking.

You can see who came second, too. Grr! It was a bit of a shock that Mrs Smith rated so highly. As I commented, this site is most definitely Not Delia, and I wouldn’t have expected enough of her fans to be visiting and voting to make a difference. I can only imagine it’s because people were searching for recipes by Delia and looked at the results for Not Delia instead.



Keith Floyd, who wasn’t specifically named in the poll, got the most frequent mentions in the “other” category. I’m not too surprised by that as he was probably the first TV chef to get out of the kitchen and go out and about – his programmes were as much about local culture and the provenance of good ingredients as they were about cooking food.

Is there anyone you can’t believe didn’t get a mention? Comments are still open – please tell us all about your favourites!

17 Responses to “Not Delia’s Poll 3 – Who is your favourite TV chef?”

  1. Not Delia

    I voted for Ainsley. As I’ve said before, the guy is a bit OTT sometimes but I really respect him and he’s a terrific chef. He is also quite unusual for a bloke in that he can multi-task. Just watch him in action on Ready Steady Cook:

    Because he’s so jokey and fun and not yelling at people all the time, perhaps it’s easy to overlook his talent. But he is a seriously talented chef. He gets my vote any day!

  2. sally

    Delia – her recipes always work well and she explains things clearly and doesn’t have any of those weird camera shots

  3. Not Delia

    Hi Sally

    Thank you for your comment – but you didn’t vote in the poll for your favourite! Please do it if you want to.

    I’m not a fan of Delia Smith, which is why I’m Not Delia. People say that her recipes always work and I expect that’s true. Some people (like me) don’t want to follow instructions and find it more fun to do our own thing.

    I dunno if it’s arrogance or laziness on my part, but I can produce perfectly good meals without having to follow a recipe. Each to their own, and everyone is welcome here and entitled to their own opinions. I’m just mildly surprised to meet a Delia fan here, as this site is most definitely Not Delia. LOL!

    Join in and have fun. 😀

  4. Ted

    Keith Floyd. Yeah I know he’s dead now, but he really made cooking something worth watching.

    “Don’t look at me Clive, look at the food.” LOL

  5. ems

    Keith Floyd gets my vote anytime. he made cooking fun for me, & made me realise that i too could create . no need to measure everything down to the last gram, chuck it in & give it a go !!!

  6. kevin

    Nigel Slater for me. simple, rustic and often more than just a recipe due to this lwritting skills. If youve never read or tried his recipes get hold of the observer on sundays/

  7. Not Delia

    Hi Kevin, yeah funny that. I’d thought of Nigel Slater as being more of a food writer, but, yes, I like his cooking style. I have two of his books and wrote a piece on here about how to make pate. It’s so much more satisfying to make it rather than buy it. Please see:

  8. chris green

    I cannot single out any one TV chef but I have fond memories of Marguerite Patten, Philip Harbin, Fanny Craddock and Graeme Kerr. As a youngster I watched in amazement at the dishes concocted in each half-hour TV slot.
    My Mother used to get up early to put the sprouts on for Sunday lunch so good food was not something I knew much about then.

  9. Not Delia

    I think you may be just a wee bit older than me, Chris, as I don’t remember watching these people on the telly. Mind you, that could be because my family didn’t have a telly at the time. 🙂

    I certainly know the names, though, as I have a huge interest in food and all of those who’ve influenced our cuisine.

    I have Marguerite Patten’s “Century of British Cooking”, which pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s fascinating from a social history point of view (servants, war years, etc) as well as for the recipes themselves. I love it!

    Nice also to see the endorsement on the front cover, “the cookery icon of our time”, by Ainsley Harriott. I rest my case.

    Fanny Cradock – and her hapless husband, Johnnie – make me laugh. Love the way she used to be wearing evening gowns and stuff. I wear clogs (with serious steel toe caps) and a commis apron even for home cooking.

    Gosh, this is a great subject. Maybe I should delve more into this little bit of history. Thanks!

    PS: sprouts, bah! I had a meal sent back from the catering college training restaurant because the sprouts weren’t “properly cooked”. It was mostly pensioners who used to eat there (cheap meal) and I made the “mistake” of not boiling the darned things to death.

  10. Mike K-H

    Of the current bunch, Ainsley would get my vote, but I’ll go for Floyd. As a businessman he was a disaster, but as a cook and entertainer he was superb.

    I remember Philip Harben and Fanny Cradock, but not the other two that Chris mentions.

    ND why the steel toecaps? Are they common safety gear for professionals? Have you ever dropped anything dangerous on your foot? I’d guess that a knife would be more likely than a heavy pan…

  11. Not Delia

    We saw a documentary of Floyd which was made not long before he died. I loved watching his cookery programmes (on YouTube, not when they were first broadcast) but I don’t think that documentary really did him any favours at all. He came across as a right grumpy old git.

    Steel toecaps? Just normal kitchen kit, same as an apron and decent knives. I wear these:

    I’ve never yet dropped anything heavy on my feet, touch wood. But I should be safe enough if I do. If you drop a knife, as I have done occasionally, you jump back out of the way and whatever you do, don’t try to catch it.

    The worst I’ve done is on a very rare time when I broke my own rules about decent footwear being essential in the kitchen, I accidentally spilled boiling oil from a roast tattie tray onto my feet. Ouch, that hurt! Never again.

    Clogs are easy to slip off and on and can protect you from all kinds of accidents. A kitchen is a dangerous place. Better safe than sorry!

  12. Mr Not Delia

    We saw a documentary of Floyd which was made not long before he died

    …and, by coincidence, shown on Channel 4 the night he died, I think. 😕

  13. Mike the Curry Fiend

    I would nominate Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall as a good “other”. For Hugh, good food seems to be a lifestyle in itself.

  14. Not Delia

    Do you have any of Hugh’s books? For some reason I don’t, so please spill the beans and recommend your favourite(s).

  15. Mike the Curry Fiend

    The only one I have is Everyday Cookbook. I’ve tried a few things from there so far with generally good results. I gave up on the sourdough after a while though 🙁

    The River Cottage shows are worth catching on TV though. I don’t go all the way down Hugh’s organic lifestyle route but I do like the fact he is genuinely impassioned by good food and his determination to instil the same passion in others.

  16. mikec

    Better late than never. Where are the Bairy Hikers? OK, Dave Myers fantasises about Delia, but we’ll gloss over that. They profess to be cooks, not chefs, and rightly so. But they are damn good at what they do.
    Having just arrived, I’m probably too late to vote, but my vote would go to Si and Dave, the Haity Bikers.

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