Motorbikes and chefs may not seem a conventional match, but on television they go together like bread and butter. Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, takes a closer look at this intriguing combination and more importantly, the bikes they ride.
The Two Fat Ladies, starring Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson, was one of the first shows to successfully blend cooking and motorcycles. It ran from 1996-1999, with four six-episode seasons. As the title suggests, their recipes were not for dieters, more often than not oozing in butter, lard and dripping. Still, they consistently used high quality, fresh ingredients, promoting the pleasures of cooking and eating good food. The ladies drove a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle with a sidecar.
Following in their tracks, the Hairy Bikers have been very successful, with popular shows such as Meals on Wheels and the Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain. The Hairy Biker’s official site has regular updates and newsfeeds and an extensive recipes section. They usually ride a BMW R1200GS or a Triumph Rocket III, “the world’s largest capacity production motorcycle”, according to the Triumph website.
While his shows hardly revolve around bikes in quite the same way that our previous two entries do, Gordon Ramsay is a keen biker. He owns a rare Ducati Desmosedici, and recently sparked a minor-media storm when seen test-driving a Ducati Monster 1100 in Los Angeles. We liked Guy Procter’s reflection, from Motorcycle News.com, on this news: “it’s always amusing to see how the nationals handle a story involving something so foreign and mysterious as motorcycling”.
Jamie Oliver is also something of a Biker Chef… if scooters count. The Aprilia Mojito Custom 50 he often rode in his original Naked Chef series is a neat little thing. When Oliver auctioned it off in 2003 to raise money for his Fifteen restaurant project, it sold for a staggering £44,500.
Hopping over the pond, American TV Chef Alton Brown has done an entire cooking series involving motorbikes. His popular series, Feasting on Asphalt, was all about “road food”. This term describes the kind of food travellers will find at the various food establishments scattered across US Highways he discovered while riding a. The DVD is only available as a region one import, but his book of the journey he made up the great Mississipi River, Feasting on Asphalt: the River Run, is more widely available.