No F words for TV chef

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Gordon Ramsay expletives just aren’t me, says Thorney

Celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Richard Till have a new TV rival – Queenstown’s ex-All Black Grahame Thorne.

The Gibbston-based former rugby international is returning to our screens – minus the dodgy permed hairdo – with his own cooking show.

The former TV sports presenter and MP will host a new eight-part series called Thorney’s Cooking Canterbury, which starts on Sky TV’s Food Channel on Tuesday.

But unlike foul-mouthed star Ramsay, the F word won’t be on the menu in Thorne’s kitchen.

“I’ve never forgotten that the old All Blacks coach Fred Allen never used to swear even during his team talks and he always said there was no need for it to get your point across,” Thorne says.

“I can curse with the best of them at times but it’s not on for the television, despite what the likes of Gordon Ramsay gets up to.”

Thorne’s no stranger to good food and wine after having owned vineyards in Nelson and Blenheim – he’s also run three cafes with wife Briony.

His move into TV cooking was the brainchild of his television producer son Gareth, who also wrote the scripts for the new series.

The cameras follow Thorne as he goes on Sunday drives around Canterbury to explore local eateries.

He also shops for fresh produce and chats to punters before preparing a meal on his trusty portable barbecue.
In the first episode, he drops into a salmon farm to pick up a few fish.

“That was the only time I made a real cock-up,” Thorne admits. “I was smoking some salmon using sawdust when the whole thing just went up in flames.

“But it still tasted delicious and the crew scoffed the lot.”