The cooks of the small screen

«Vefa’s Secrets» is the daily program hosted by Vefa Alexiadou on Mega. Thousands of Greek housewives swear by the name of this highly intelligent, self-made woman, furnishing tangible proof of their trust by buying utensils and pans from the Vefa’s House chain of stores. Ms Alexiadou is always impeccably turned out. Not a hair strays from her carefully tended coiffure, not a crease nor a drop of sauce mars her well-pressed clothes. Everything around her, cake tins and patty-pans, bowls and dishes, are of gleaming, brand-new, stainless steel. By contrast, the trays and paraphernalia used by Jamie Oliver («Oliver’s Twist,» ET-1) have the scratched, dented blackened surfaces that bespeak long use, while in his kitchen a soothing untidiness predominates. Like other television chefs, Oliver speaks in a ceaseless patter, but he’s a neat mover as well. He dices vegetables with the dexterity of a conjuror, thrusts his hand well inside a chicken in order to stuff it, slices a thick rasher of fat from the pork skin and often exclaims «Lovely!» Here, the recipes do not steal the show; on the contrary, the host has run away with the show. It’s impossible not to marvel at his skillful hands. A cheerful program, which always has a happy ending, is the daily «Ready, Steady, Cook» by Ilias Mamalakis on Mega. Two teams, the Red Tomatoes and Green Peppers, compete over who will be able to prepare, within the set time, the tastiest and most appealing dishes. Cheerful and indefatigable, Mr Mamalakis seems more like somebody who animates and encourages than a traditional cook. What does it matter? Before us we have a man who loves good company and good cooking and who eggs us on to follow his example. Chef Alexandros Giotis, who replaced Vefa Alexiadou on Antenna’s «Morning Coffee,» has also made a good impression.