There are some chefs and cooks who, as soon as they fling a lump of carcass into a pot full of molten stock or whizz up a salsa verde with an evil grin on their faces, make me feel bloody starving. Saturday Kitchen - what a b'stard! If it isn't enough already with Rick Stein virtually unzipping his fly at the site of a pair of oiled pollocks or James Martin unloading an entire brick of Lurpak over a freshly braised quail (the bird already suffering the added indignation of having an orange rammed up its jacksy), then we now have Jamaica's answer to culinary water-torture, Levi Roots grindin' his chillis and stewin' his dumplings right in front of our starving and pallid little faces on the same programme. Seriously, it's just wonderful isn't it - I could genuinely watch foodie-programmes all day and Mr Roots is a very interesting and genial chap.
But I have a sentence for you all to contemplate - imagine if you could smell the nosh as they cook it. And then imagine the presenting cook proffering his freshly curried goat and mango pickle with a song and a story. Guess what? You can, because Levi Roots is currently doing just that at selected venues up and down the country as part of UK tour.
Never mind his new single, 'Cool Me Off' (have you seen how many Scotch Bonnets he chucks in his stews) and the album 'Red Hot' (you're not kidding fella!), it's his food that makes Roots a must for anybody who wants something more exciting out of food, rather than cramming boxes of greasy old poultry down their throats or scoffing a burger so full of fat, you could make a voodoo-dolly of Anthony Wobble-Thompson and still have enough to use in a James Martin dish as a garnish.
His music and food tour continues at the Exeter Phoenix tomorrow night (5th) as part of the city's Vibraphonic Festival, before heading to Plymouth Uni on the 8th, Leicester Peepul (9th), Brighton Concorde (11th), Canterbury College (12th), Keele Uni (15th), Hatfield Uni (16th) and finally Edinburgh Uni on the 18th. He will then have a break before hitting Manchester on the 25th for some book signings and then the capital on March 29th for a cook-up at the Jazz Café. Please note, this London date is a rescheduled gig (from the 7th - I reckon Levi 'had a word' with his promoter over that one. Exeter to London to Plymouth? Naah!). Tickets vary in price from a tenner to £16.50.
Enjoy - I am now bloody hungry again. Curse you Mr Roots with your spicy and appetizing ways (not to mention his Salmon St.Jago and fried dumplings)...(writer's stomach growls like a sedated dog)...