Monday 8 February 2021

Fusion food: cooking up Shane the Chef

Cooking is all about preparing and assembling the best ingredients. That’s a point often made by Shane the Chef, the animated character who regularly appears on the child-friendly Milkshake! segment of Channel 5. But, much like his recipes, Shane himself is a fascinating fusion of assorted elements, as is his home town of Munchington.

First, take your main ingredient: a young spiky-haired man inspired by a combination of ‘rock star’ TV chef Gary Rhodes and the son of co-creator Andrew Wildman. Give him a head of spiky hair, a sadly absent wife and a video-savvy daughter. Next, add the voice of Russell Tovey, infused with the essence of Jamie Oliver and sprinkled with a hint of Shane Ritchie.

Now place your mixture in a shop from the Cotswold market town of Chipping Norton – it’s Jaffé & Neale, in case you’re planning a pilgrimage – and transplant it 200 miles away into the Cornish fishing port of Mevagissey. Time for the final flourish: rename your port as the fictional town of Munchington, turn your shop into a restaurant – it doesn’t need a name, such is our man's reputation – and you’re ready to meet the upbeat protagonist of ‘Shane the Chef’ (as whisked into existence by Andrew Wildman and Simon Jowett with Hoho Entertainment, Cloth Cat Animation and some extra cash from Creative Europe).

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