Celebrity food endorsements can be a little hard to swallow
JUST when Food Detective thought Liz Hurley had enough jerks in her life, she discovers Elizabeth Hurley Organic Beef Jerky on sale in a London store. Labelled ‘‘a guilt-free snack’’ and sporting a fetching illustration of the alarmingly youthful-looking actress lying seductively on her front with pink-booted legs held aloft behind her, the packet also states, ‘‘No artificial anything’’. Detective’s not going there, but it’s intriguing how many ‘‘names’’ are endorsing food products these days.
Not to be outdone by his British squeeze, Shane Warne has been spruiking McDonald’s Chicken McBites and something called a Legend Burger in a series of television ads. Thank heavens he wasn’t tempted to show us his Big Mac is all Detective can say, but if he had it wouldn’t have been nearly as shocking as seeing former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten wearing tweed and gambolling about with morris dancers in an English field, extolling the virtues of Country Life Butter a couple of years ago. Talk about Anachronism in the UK.
Detective’s favourite celebrity endorsement is by British chef Ainsley Harriott, whom she finds supremely annoying. He put his name to a line of gourmet sausages for which the packaging sported the line ‘‘prick with a fork’’ below a photo of a smug-looking Harriott holding said piece of cutlery.
And she had to laugh when she heard Jo Frost, of Britain’s Supernanny fame (on this television show, which Detective has glimpsed on the odd occasion she’s accidentally sat on the remote control, Frost visits families and helps pull their horror offspring into line), had lent her name to Kellogg’s Honey Cornflakes. That symphony of sugar will stop the little darlings bouncing off the walls for sure.
Then there’s George Clooney strutting his stuff in the name of Nespresso coffee. There’s not a thing wrong with that, by the way.
IF Detective sees one more new restaurant focusing on tricked-up American fast food, she’s going to put her head in the popcorn machine. It’s something of a relief to hear of The Crimean in North Melbourne, which has not a ‘‘slider’’ or a ‘‘dirty dog’’ in sight, but a comforting menu featuring the likes of fried dumplings with sour cream and dill, baked meatballs Georgian style and Polish hunter casserole. The brainchild of Melissa Macfarlane and Frank Moylan, who once owned the award-winning Royal George Hotel in Victoria’s Kyneton, the new eastern European dining spot came about as a result of regular visits to their holiday home in Bulgaria, where they have also sourced items for their vintage homewares and collectibles store, Kabinett, in Kyneton’s Piper Street. The couple’s eclectic sense of style is also evident in the new restaurant and bar, housed in what was the Sir Robert Peel Hotel on Queensberry Street. ‘‘We decided to take the whole idea of our experience in Bulgaria and turn it into a contemporary dining experience, Melbourne style,’’ Macfarlane tells Detective. ‘‘We are getting heaps of people in and it’s very exciting as customers