Piece of cake? Recipes deemed too tricky

  • List.co.uk
  • 12 September 2007

A Government study has found that the recipes created by Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson are much more tricky than those cooked up by their male counterparts.

The research, which looked at the readability of recipes from popular celebrity chefs, found that the females use complex terminology and measurements.

The style favoured by the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Nigel Slater meanwhile can be understood by children under the age of 11.

Steve Jenner, of the Plain English Campaign, said: “It’s a case of the story being more important than the soufflé.

“People just want to know how to cook a basic recipe without all the little anecdotes.

“Sometimes chefs are guilty of trying to tart up a very easy recipe by adding a few adjectives here and there to make it look more difficult.”

The study found that Nigel Slater was the easiest to understand, followed by Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson however were criticised for using long sentences and too many adjectives.

Smith’s agent responded: “The reason Delia’s recipes work so well is that they spell everything out down to the last detail and leave no stone unturned.

“Delia herself never went to university so can hardly be accused of writing in overly complex language.”

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