It’s not often you see unguarded politicians. We’ve become so used to them bleating that day’s sound byte it is easy to forget these are people that live, breathe and eat too. Kitchen Cabinet, while no assurances of helping us accept that our politicians are human, does help give us an insight into Members of Parliament/guests like Christopher Pyne, Tanya Plibersek and Julie Bishop.
It’s a simple enough premise: The pollie cooks dinner, and Annabel bring dessert, and the conversation in between will be what it will be. In the first episode, Annabel announces up front that Christopher Pyne claims to have no cooking skills whatsoever so he calls in a proxy: Amanda Vanstone. Interesting indeed. Coming episodes include Nigel Scullion and Penny Wong, and offer similar enjoyable conversations.
The food discussion is interesting enough and in all episodes the first half of the show is dedicated to the preparation of the meal and the subconscious revelations of each subject’s private persona. Crabb allows each of her guests to have their head and keeps it pretty light. The unexpected pleasure is the viewer may learn more than they expected – both insight into the guest and some half-decent recipes. The discussion around politics is interesting though the opinions shared are somewhat to be expected.
Annabel Crabb is razor-sharp political journalist and her more relaxed approach helps to disarm her guest and allows the conversation to flow freely. Her insight ensures no porkie goes unchallenged, and no milestone goes uncelebrated. Whoever is styling Ms Crabb for this series has done a great job as, short of the direct cooking skills comparison, Annabel certainly has a touch of the “Nigellas” about her.
While entirely voyeuristic, Kitchen Cabinet is engaging and entertaining, especially if you show even half an interest in Australian Federal politics.
Kitchen Cabinet – Wed 9:30pm, ABC2.