Playful pair set up a kitchen caper
JENNY MORRIS and Reza Mahammad are an unmissable TV pair. His flamboyance combined with hers will be what makes Jenny and Reza’s Fabulous Food Academy work.
Following a string of South African productions, global lifestyle station Food Network has launched this show which premieres on November 16 at 5pm.
The show is aimed at teaching the hopeless and the helpless in the kitchen how to cook. You may be able to fry, but can you get seared salmon right?
On the series the duo are set to teach their academy students everything from cooking basics, to “the intricacies of Mediterranean and Asian recipes”.
Morris and Mahammad have become stalwarts of TV cooking, after stints at travel/food shows and even judging cooking competitions.
Clearly, this is a key market for Food Network as putting this duo together for a cooking show can prove successful.
It comes down to their chemistry and their playfulness along with the hopelessness of the kitchen amateurs.
There’s competition, but there is no judging.
The show’s vibe is friendly, right down to the music – no swooping studio lights or dramatic soundtracks.
It’s a palatable choice at a time when so much reality TV relies on competition.
If you switched to this show, it would probably be an early evening activity to check in on the stuff-ups of cooking amateurs and how to get it right in a humorous environment.
You may even relate to the kitchen skill inadequacies.
Recently, Morris and Mahammad held a media cooking session to chat about the new series.
Clutching Mahammad, Morris said: “This is the only man my husband doesn’t mind me working with.
”We are real friends. When I am with him, I want to kiss him. We don’t get tired of each other.”
Mahammad told the story of how they came to do the show. “We have always been good friends, so I thought it would be fun to do a TV show together. We met 10 years ago. We have done competitions together. For Food Network, this was a no- brainer to get us together,” he said.
Morris showed her naughty streak.
“I wanted to call the show The Princess (motioning at Mahammad) and the Pea.”
She didn’t stop there with her stories about behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
When Mahammad had to make a banana cake, she took a banana ahead of the shoot and peeled and shaped it “like a boy”.
The scene did not make the final cut of the show.
Mahammad said: “There was this phallus. Oh, my goodness.”
“We do stupid things like dancing during lessons,” said Morris.
She said they had no trouble finding candidates for the series.
“The students find you. So many applied.”
They shot 25 episodes in Cape Town, with a new set of six cooking students coming in every five episodes. They have had everyone from local politicians and radio producers to paramedics and comedians.
● The show airs daily at 5pm on DStv channel 175 from November 16.
Follow @ FoodNetworkSA, @RezaMahammad and @JennyMorrisChef on Twitter. Twitter: @WendylMartin email@example.com
COOKING LESSONS: TV chefs Jenny Morris and Reza Mahammad have opened the doors to their classroom for the new Food Network series Jenny and Reza’s Fabulous Food Academy.