Delia’s right – menfolk really are taking over the kitchen

The difficulties of the pandemic have helped slowly bring the curtain down on my long acting career. To be honest, taking over the nightly meal preparation was something of a pleasure. Some years ago, I was one of the contestants in Celebrity MasterChef.

I was quietly confident in my culinary abilities – until I was cruelly culled in the second round and had to be removed forcibly from the studio to my cries of ‘I wuz robbed!”

But the experience did not put me off – and, with the opportunity to be useful in lockdown as incentive, I have carried on developing my signature dishes: crispy duck leg with red cabbage, Wiener Schnitzel with warm potato salad and sliced cucumber vinaigrette.

My spag bol is a repast of wonder. And I make a mean kleftico with delicious roast potatoes and spinach. Salmon I loathe, but will cook for my hard-working wife while I am content to eat the previous evening’s leftovers.

One complaint: some nights I never know when she is going to get home. That’s very taxing to any chef’s timing.

I do have one awful flaw, however. I need endless dollops of not pudding, but praise. Whatever I cook is punctuated with the following dialogue:

“Isn’t this good, darling?”

“Yes, George, delicious.”

“But seriously, darling, this is good, isn’t it?”

“It’s very good, it’s lovely.”

“But honestly, darling, if you had this in a restaurant, you wouldn’t be surprised, would you?”

“George – it’s effing marvellous. Thank you. Take a bow!”

Silence as we eat.

“But it is good, isn’t it..?”

Perhaps Delia is required to supply the same sort of accompaniment to meals prepared by her husband. Either way, it seems to me a fair price to pay for our home-cooked delights, made with love.

John Sergeant: ‘The lockdown has let me shine in the kitchen’

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