Playful pair set up a kitchen ca­per

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODSHOW - WENDYL MARTIN

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 wendyl.martin@inl.co.za

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.

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