At 8:55 pm on Wednesday, 12th June 1946 the journey of the TV Chef began with a Worldwide first on British Television. The BBC’s first cookery programme came to air, called simply “Cookery” and starring Philip Harben it was just 10 minutes long.
Philip showed the Nation how to make lobster vol-au-vents during his first broadcast but as Britain was still subject to food rationing following the War he would often use his own rations to show his audience how to make Steak & Kidney Pie and how to cook chips. He may well have been the first but he set the path for the rise of the Celebratory Chef and more importantly the way the British Nation view food, cookery and the kitchen.
Fanny Craddock, Keith Floyd, Ken Hom, Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, Paul Hollywood. The list is extensive but each has one thing in common with the other, they have all influenced our daily view of eating and cooking and for the most part for the good. During the 1940’s the emphasis was on cooking healthy food on a budget with ingredients sourced from as local as possible, often the cooks own garden, not least because War time food rationing did not end until July 1954.
Locally caught game was complimented by potatoes and vegetables from the garden and followed with a hearty pudding of Blackberry and Apple pie foraged from the hedgerows. and encased in homemade pastry.
As the people became more affluent the cooking programmes reflected the yearning for better things and austere dishes gave way to home entertaining with produce sourced from around the World. Kumquats and Mangoes replaced local berries and Tiramisu trumped traditional pies and of course Fanny, Keith and Ken inspired and led the charge.
In the 21st Century the World of television and radio has its own cooking celebrities and much anticipated programmes – now even it’s own channel. The Great British Bake off commands an audience of 6.3 million and added drama to the airways when vast sums of money enticed it from it’s original BBC home to Channel 4. Now watching Baking is as big an industry as the actual baking itself and encompasses Drama, Popularity and Money . Trends have come and gone with Prawn Cocktail giving way to Snail Porridge but there is an irony to be seen in the turning of the Celebrity Chef circle as flying exotic ingredients half way around the World is now frowned upon with ingredients grown locally or foraged in the hedgerows once again – hello 1940 it’s great to see you back!
Competitive cooking emerged from the early days of Baking with the best short bread taking the winning card at local produce and farming shows around Britain with Granny’s Victoria sponge cake being the talk of the village. Never one to miss an opportunity our celebrity cooking alter egos invented Master Chef, The Great British Menu and of course The Great British Bake Off which is in a Marquee just like the village shows of yesteryear.
Needless to say its not the taking part that counts – its the winning! So you’d expect our Baking Trophies to keep up with the trends and we continue to add more designs year on year. Tower Trophies is one of Britain’s Biggest Stockists of Trophies and Awards and we are regularly asked to supply custom made Cooking Awards, Chef Trophies and Corporate Branded Trophies for village shows and National exhibitions alike.