Some Thoughts On Channel 4’s Kitchen Impossible With Michel Roux Jr
Last week I saw that Channel 4 programme Kitchen Impossible, which trains people with all disabilities to be chefs, had mixed reviews from disability campaigners on Facebook. I watched the first episode and I have to admit I really liked it. It was far better than Five’s Special Needs Hotel.
I saw the point being made on Facebook that disabled people should not need a specialised programme. I see where that point is coming from. I would love to see a disabled person entering Bake Off, for example.
But there are questions about this. Would it be safe for a disabled person to enter Bake Off or a similar mainstream show? Could their needs be met while they were participating? Or would providing them, and no one else, with a support person in the kitchen place them at an unfair advantage? At the very least it would make them feel different. This is a feeling I remember well from mainstream school cooking lessons and it wasn’t one I liked! And- facing facts here- if a disabled person entered a mainstream training show, would they have a fair chance of getting a job at the end of it?
In Kitchen Impossible everyone is equal. Disability support is provided when it’s needed.
I wrote a similar, but longer, post when How To Look Good Naked: With A Difference aired in 2010.
The point I made there was that we need ‘a difference’ so that we have a fair chance to participate and succeed in safety. Because all disabled people have a right to participate in every area of life, but we must also realise that if we try to compete with the mainstream, few of us will win.
It is about facing facts, while finding our interests and strengths and showing the world that these are not impossible.