Christmas Fayre

Monday, 19th December 2005

Stein and othersI thought things would have quietened down this week but I can't complain about being still busy with book orders, along with a request from a natural history magazine for a review copy of Rough Patch.

But this does mean that when I finally get chance to sit and draw it's in the evening and we're watching Rick Stein's Food Heroes Christmas Special. Stein's message is to buy local and pay a little more for your produce in order to encourage traditional, less intensive methods of farming so he's mortified when, in a blind tasting, he's the only person in the room who prefers the intensively reared turkey to the traditional free-range bird, reared in small flocks in an old orchard. Then, in the Christmas Pudding test, he plumps for the offering from discount store Aldi (and why not?) in preference to upmarket versions from Marks and Spencer's and the Traditional Bread Company.

Chalky meets the Prince

Oz Clarke'Is his collar too tight?' enquires a concerned Prince Charles, when he meets Stein and Chalky the Jack Russell (the real star of Stein's films) at a West Country farm produce awards ceremony.

'Why did you have to choose that moment to cough?!' Stein asks Chalky as the Prince wanders off into the crowd.

Faces on Screen

SteinStein looks rather like Robert Graves in my sketch. When drawing from the television I come back to a sketch of a particular person whenever the camera cuts back to them but I noticed that in the editing they kept varying the onscreen composition; Stein would be on the right, then, in the next shot, on the left, then in the background.

A lot of the farmers, cheese-makers and fishermen Stein interviewed had fascinating faces, unfortunately there wasn't time to draw more than a few features before we moved onto a shot of a salmon, a pig or a Stilton cheese (all of which were also very drawable, not to mention the scenery.). I like Stein's approach; right at the other end of the spectrum from the glitzier celebrity chef shows.

Not that Chalky isn't glitzy celebrity himself. Next Page


Rick Stein

Richard Bell,