There’s been a dreadful addition to NDTV Good Times’ line up of food shows. An ugly, no personality skank (ya, I said it) called Joey, has bagged herself a late night show called Love Bites with Joey (Mon-Tue, 10pm). I think it’s best I warn you now that I have VERY FEW good things to say about this woman or her show. I watched the show completely biased with the full intent of doing some verbal bashing. Brace yourselves for a vitriolic rant, more deadly than a chatpata hari mirch chutney.
There appear to be no female food show hosts on NDTV Good Times. There was Ritu Dalmia – they actually found someone on this planet who could make Italian food sound boring. Now they’ve gone and done a real corker with a woman who apparently used to be a model, called Joey. Joey – like that’s an Indian name. An Americanised, call centre version of Jaspreet, Jyotika, Janaki? They claim she was a model but I just don’t see it. With a pointy nose and that sorry excuse for a “hairstyle” (hair pulled back in to a ponytail) makes her look like a horse faced witch. As I was looking at her horse face my eyes were locked on to what looked like a shiny pimple in the middle of her forehead. Then I realised it was a bindi. If you’re gonna wear a bhindi, wear it proud. It should not look like a zit. She’s over-accesorised for a cooking show – countless large rings, bangles, big watch and chains that look like shackles round her neck and little girl style clips in her hair. It’s like she threw on everything in her cupboard and walked out on the set. Wasn’t it coco channel who said, “When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on.” Well Joey needs to take off the last 5 accessories she put on. It’s the same with cooking – sometimes less is more.
Perhaps she’s trying to maker her voice raspy and sexy but it’s just a few octaves towards bizarre which makes her sound like she’s about to have an asthma attack. This woman has no business being on TV as she totally lacks charisma or even the slightest ounce of personality. There are plenty of us who can cook but there’s a reason that even fewer of us are on TV. I guess being a model she’s used to keeping her trap shut and staring blankly in to the camera (I believe they call that posing and get paid for it). She’s trying to be someone else and she’s failing miserably at it. Frankly, I don’t think she’d be any good at being herself either. I’m not saying that TV cooks should be good looking. But they must have personality, an interesting natural ease with the camera for me to want to keep coming back to that 30 minute slot. If the cook is there just for the recipes then I’d rather read a cook book. An interview with VP of programming at NDTV said that she’s not trying to be India’s answer to Nigella Lawson. Then why the hell does she keep trying to slip in pouty saucy Nigella-esk lines? Like the way she bats her eyes, sucks in her cheeks and says, “My lolly’s”. Also, why are they billing it as “late night”, like there’s something in it that can only be shown after the 9pm watershed. Perhaps children should not be subjected to this excuse for television. Did I mention the horrible fake smile and scarily large teeth that make her look deranged. I’d jump out of my skin if I saw that smile coming at me. Watch out, it’s coming at you.
She has cultivated no original personality or style that could make her interesting to watch. She is bland, boring, dull and frankly comes across as missing more than a few brain cells. If you’ve ever been to an Indian school elocution competition where Shakespeare’s Shylock’s speech, Martin Luther King’s I had a dream and Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat are all narrated with the same intonation that does not match the meaning of the words spoken, then you get the picture. Not to mention the bizarre way she stresses on the second syllable of all words: gelatin is said “gel-llaa-tin”, “fur-neee-ture” for furniture. Then there’s the fake American twang on words that sound so ridiculously phony, “Tomat-does” or “Pannacodda”. She uses only Olive oil but bless her, she can’t say it – she says Ol-LUV owil and wersion for version. She also tries to ad lib, which fails her miserably. Last night she said “Deliciously… (caught in headlights pause) delicious”
As far as production values goes, they’ve spent a little bit more money on this one but that’s probably because of the rampant, blatant sickening product placement. When she washes her hands the camera zoom in and out and in again at the Lifebuoy label. She opens a fridge and all you see is Samsung for 5 seconds. There’s no consistency with the music choices which should set the tone for the show or reflect the show’s/host’s personality. But I guess because she has no personality, it’s a mess. It starts with this girly Ellie Goulding type tune, then a 1920s Jeeves and Wooster jazz/swing type theme and half through the show it’s funk and electronica while plating up scallops (an ingredient you will not find in an Indian fish market).
At least the other cooking show hosts on the channel, Aditya Bal from Chak Le India or Vicky from Gourmet Central are clearly being themselves, whether their personalities agree with you or not. And none of these shows is a patch on Highway on my plate. But a glowing review for the naturally funny and talented, Rocky and Mayur deserves a post on it’s own. I shan’t taint their names having them too close to this Joey person.
So what about the cooking then, because after all this is a cooking show. Well, she made a coconut panacotta which was fine, good recipe, although hers was melting (I’ll give her the harsh lights of the sets; bad gaffer). But she did use gelatin leaves which is very difficult to find in India – probably only the high end gourmet stores in Delhi carry it. Why use ingredients the rest of us are never going to have access to in our life times. Then she made a lasagna. There are NOT tons of ways to make a lasagna and only a fool would layer the sheets with dollops of whipped cream. You don’t layer it with cream. You make a bechamel sauce/white sauce/mornay sauce. NOT CREAM – that’s just a lazy, stupid person who isn’t even doing any cooking. Worst part is when she introduced the recipe and when they showed the recipe, typed out on the screen (a totally unnecessary low production value effort NDTV Good Times does) the lamb mince and tomato based sauce was called a bechamel sauce. A bechamel sauce is your classic white sauce made of butter, flour and milk. If you add cheese it’s called a mornay sauce. Not f*@7&*# tomato! You’ll be pleased to know I have informed NDTV Good Times of this error and I hope they will no longer treat us viewers like we’re fools. When the news footage shows images of a Russian helicopter and the journalist is talking about an American helicopter attack, to you and me it’s all the same; but to someone who knows virtually every helicopter there is, like the DH, it drives him mad. It’s just like that with me and cooking shows.
I’ve included a clip below because it’s only fair that I make you lot suffer the same way I have. In this one she’s ad libbing, droning on about how she likes saying “pan on heat’ and how that sounds so wrong… WHAT? What?! Ritu Dalmia may have made Italian food boring but this lady makes all food boring. And I love food, so that’s really saying something.