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While James Martin’s clearly spent a lot of time studying the work of culinary contemporary Rick Stein, the ‘Saturday Kitchen’ anchor’s pop at the foodie travel thing doesn’t quite match up. For starters, he’s doing the whole thing in his own plane, giving the opening montage the feeling of a James Bond film from some weird parallel universe where an overweight Yorkshireman has been cast as 007.
In this first episode of ten (airing every weeknight for the next two weeks), he touches down in the south east, cooking fish in Hastings and picking cherries in Kent. The farming folk he meets add plenty of colour, but there’s something jarring about the clash of their simple tastes and Martin’s gourmet sensibilities.
A touch of flair is to be expected (accompanied by various charmless grumbles about the hardships of cooking on the hoof), but if Martin's still dousing everything in beurre noisette by the time he reaches the north east, he could have a riot on his hands.