[Working in TV is] a world away from being in the kitchen and I was pretty bad at it
WITH CELEB CHEF AND RECIPE TO RICHES JUDGE DARREN ROBERTSON
“I’M right at home in a kitchen. It’s where I’ve spent a lot of my life. I’ve been doing it for so long I know it inside and out – it’s second nature.
Television is a different story. It took a long time to feel comfortable – most of the first season of Recipe to Riches, actually.
It was daunting. I had no idea how it all worked.
The whole TV thing is a very strange world – you’ve got a thing in your ear with producers talking to you, all these lights in your eyes, you’ve got to connect with the camera while talking to someone else while always having your mind focused on the next step.
There’s also this notion of TV ‘energy’ that I found hard to get my head around. They say because of the medium you lose 20 per cent of your energy, so you’ve got to lift it to compensate.
It’s a world away from being in the kitchen and I was pretty bad at it. And at the end of a day, I was exhausted – it was like I’d been on my feet in the kitchen for 14 hours.
It’s a very steep learning curve to become familiar with how it works. You’re also just one part of this massive machine, but you can’t stuff up and get away with it.
I stuffed up my pieces to camera a lot. It was really mortifying – I was really embarrassed by it.
Over time, I discovered there are some similarities between a kitchen and a TV set. You have a hierarchy where there’s someone at the top directing each level down. There are key players, but everyone plays a part. There’s also a lot of planning that goes into it.
I’m so much more relaxed. Confidence is really important. I was actually able to enjoy season two and felt like I’d learnt to relax, which is important.
I never imagined I’d be on TV. I always wanted to have my own place as a young chef coming up through the ranks, and to be able to travel. I thought that was pretty good. The funny thing with chefs is the goalposts constantly move.
Season two of Recipe to Riches has been fun overall. There’s some great stuff. It’s such a massive opportunity for people and it can change their lives. They’re very passionate about their recipes and they have this chance for huge exposure.” RECIPE TO RICHES TUESDAY, 7.30PM, TEN