Four new food DVDs

There are many hours of enjoyment for food-lovers with these recent releases. After all, the next best thing to cooking and eating is watching someone else doing it, and when it is combined with far away places .. where it always seems the food and eating is more exotic and tempting anyway - and there you have an irresistible mix.

SBS is responsible for three of these videos - which incidentally make tremendous gifts, as all of us have missed an episode or two, or just want to see favourite ones again.

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Gourmet Farmer, Series 2, Matthew Evans, SBS, $29.95. (M)

When chef and food critic, Matthew Evans, upped stakes from Sydney and headed far south to the wilds of Tasmania, some wondered how soon he'd be back.

However, instead of dipping his toe in the chilly waters of the island state, he has put down roots, quite literally, and taken up farming. Now with a young family to support, he has moved on from simply growing a few things and running some animals to doing all that plus becoming an artisanal creator of pork produce from the pigs he raises.

There's plenty to keep even the most restless viewer interested here: locavore dining, a few idyllic quiet moments, and lots of hard work, which may or not tempt you to go and try to do something similar. Most will simply choose to sit back and laugh or shudder at what's involved in such a life-change. Oh, and there is a delicious side-trip to Italy and France. All in the name of research, you understand.

SPECIAL OFFER: There are five copies of this video to give away. Just be one of the first Australian residents This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it saying you would like to win a copy of this DVD. Please include correct mailing address and only one per person.

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thetripmadman

The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, Madman, $29.95 (MA)

Fans of this comedic pair will be delighted to see them teamed up in a one-week road-trip that focuses on food. Well, sort of. 

Given their penchant for impersonations, many meals seem to pass with scant regard for the five-star food in front of them as Coogan (aka Alan Partridge) and Brydon attempt to outdo each other trying on the voices of various film stars and actors - Michael Caine, Sean Connery et al - correcting and attempting to out-mimic each other. The miles between destinations go much the same way.

Perhaps the main star of this production is the footage of Cumbria's Lake District, Lancashire and the Yorkshire dales shown at their moody, misty, sun-splashed best. This, like the food, is the real deal. The six restaurants, the chefs, kitchens and maitre-d's also. It's only the assumed voices that are fake.

 

SPECIAL OFFER: There are five copies of this video to give away. Just be one of the first Australian residents over 15 years of age  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it saying you would like to win a copy of this DVD.  Please include correct mailing address and only one per person.

 

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 French Food Safari, Maeve O�Meara and Guillaume Brahimi, SBS, $29.99. (PG)

This inimitable duo know and love food, and in this case, especially French food. Guillaume is the ideal companion to travel with exuberant food-lover and tour guide Maeve, as in 'real' life he is chef-owner of one of Sydney's finest fine-dining restaurants, Guillaume at Bennelong, located at the Sydney Opera House. What's more he is French-born and equipped with both a Frenchman's palate and a chef's expertise. Plus the language.

This unique combo ensures that the 90-minute (two-disk) DVD will have you unable to move from the screen, salivating, reaching for a notebook or booking your next trip to France. Or all three.

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Lyndey & Blair's Taste of Greece, Lyndey Milan & Blair Milan, SBS, $29.99. (G)

Put a strong-minded and talented mother and son duo in front of cameras in a foreign land - in this case Greece's Pelopponese - and you can expect anything. 

In this case the result is mesmerising footage as the two scramble over ruins, discover and doing everything from finding the best sheep's milk yoghurt to cooking fish in a local taverna, and stuffing eggplant. And yes, stuffing themselves too. In these surroundings with such food, why wouldn't they?

Best of all, it is evident that they bonded even more as they bantered and riffed their way through cooking demos and subsequent meals in front of magical backdrops. Sadly, what seemed to be the beginning of a long-term double act was tragically cut short by Blair's sudden death not long after the series was finished.

 

- Sally Hammond

 

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