Great news, Channel 4’s Great British Food Fight is back for 2009. There was an amazing amount of interest in the last series of programs. In fact our first post about it received so many views we were one of the top 10 growing blogs that day over the entire WordPress network!
The best news is that now my two biggest food heroes are taking part! Not only is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall returning, he’s being joined by Heston Blumenthal!! TV Foodie Heaven! 🙂
The Channel 4 announcement tells us:
Bigger and better
Loved the Big Food Fight in 2008? Then hold onto your hats, folks. In January 2009 we’re bringing you The Great British Food Fight, a season of food programmes featuring four of the country’s most renowned chefs
Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay will be celebrating the best of British food and exploring issues around animal welfare in a number of hard-hitting films.
The new season kicks off with Big Chef, Little Chef, in which Michelin-starred chef and 4Food new boy, Heston Blumenthal, attempts to breathe fresh life into the menu of the classic British roadside eatery, Little Chef. “I have such fond childhood memories of Little Chef,” says Heston, “and was really excited about the challenge to put them well and truly back on the map.” But in the kitchen, it’s a world apart from the £200-a-pop meals at Heston’s famous Fat Duck restaurant. Can the maverick chef really bring his passion for excellence and innovation to the iconic but struggling British institution?
Jamie pushes pork
Jamie caused a stir with his shock tactic dinner party on Jamie’s Fowl Dinners serving up some home truths about the way chickens are raised for consumption. Now he’s back and turning his attention to the pig-farming industry with Jamie Saves Our Bacon. “Earlier this year we showed that if you give consumers the facts about chicken welfare they will make up their own minds – and the sales of higher welfare chickens and eggs have gone through the roof as a result,” he commented. “Now I want to see if we can do the same for pigs.”
Jamie will examine why Britain’s pig farmers are going out of business and what can be done to support them. The programme will show exactly how pigs live and die to put pork, ham and bacon on our plates and aims to help consumers make better-informed choices.
“Pork is our second favourite meat,” Jamie says, “but the British pig industry is on its knees. Our farmers say that 70% of the pork we import is from countries with lower welfare standards than ours and would have been illegal to produce here. All our farmers want is a level playing field with Europe. This programme is a unique opportunity, and the support of the British public, as well as government and retailers, is critical in deciding the future – possibly the very survival – of our pig industry.”
Hugh takes on Tesco
While Jamie tackles pigs, fellow campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is continuing his campaign to get us eating free range chicken. In Chickens, Hugh and Tesco Too, Hugh takes on Britain’s biggest retailer, Tesco, which is still reluctant to join Hugh’s free range chicken revolution to improve animal welfare.
The programme follows Hugh as he becomes a Tesco shareholder and tries to convince fellow shareholders to help him put his case to Tesco’s board of directors. “I’m very excited about Food Fight 2 (as I like to call it),” said Hugh. “We achieved so much last time, and it was great to link up with Jamie on the whole chicken welfare story. It shows what progress we’ve made, but also how much further we could go if a company like Tesco decided to really get behind the issue, and use its influence to change the industry. I’m also really looking forward to Jamie’s pig show, which I’ll be making a little contribution to…”
Ramsay to the rescue
Gordon Ramsay will be back on our screens bringing his restaurant running experience to the aid of local eateries who are struggling to keep going as the credit crunch hits hard.
In Ramsay’s Great British Nightmare, Gordon will be campaigning to get viewers back into eating out and passing on tips to restaurant owners on how best to cope with the credit crunch.
And as part of the True Stories strand on More 4, Pig Business follows a four year investigation by eco-campaigner Tracy Worcester, the Marchioness of Worcester, looking at intensive pig farming and its impact on human and environmental health.
I can’t wait for these to start. We’ll be following all the programs and posting our thought here. As usual, we’d love to hear your views.