What do you make of the celebrity chef phenomenon?

It's gone on longer than Steel thought it would.
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TRANSCRIPT

Tanya steel: I think the celebrity chef phenomenon has been . . . has gone on way longer than I expected, to be honest.  I have worked at a couple of big food magazines – Food & Wine and Bon Appétit in particular.  And the celebrity chef phenomenon really started in the early to mid ‘80s.  It really kind of exploded at that time, really led by people like Emeril.  And I think it’s been fantastic for food.  I really do, because it exposed people to different cuisines and cultures and brought everyone’s palates up tremendously.  I do think it’s time for farmers to be the new celebrity chefs.  I really do.  I think that they are kind of a connection . . .  Vital connection to the food is so crucial, and they need to be getting more of our acclaim, and our love and thanks.  And while the chefs are a huge and important conduit to translating those ingredients, it all starts with the farmer.  And I would really like the farmer to be the next celebrity chef.

Recorded on 1/17/08