On Monday, Thailand’s parliament chose a new prime minister, 72-year-old Samak Sundaravej. Moments after accepting the post, however, Samak announced that he was not about to give up his other career: host of the televised cooking show Tasting, Grumbling. (The show’s title has also been translated as Tasting and Complaining.)
That’s right—Samak may be the first head of government who is also a celebrity chef. Tasting, Grumbling features the prime minister–elect whipping up spicy Thai food while loudly espousing his right-wing, anti-communist views. The show was pulled off the air last month after a military coup, but Samak has vowed to return. From the London Times:
‘The constitution does not restrict a prime minister from talking about food. I think I’ll have a one-hour programme on Sundays,’ Mr Samak said. ‘Even the Prime Minister of New Zealand can be a tour guide to promote the country’s tourism. I may host a similar tourism programme in the future.’
Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife have cooked on Paula Deen’s Food Network show, Paula’s Home Cooking, twice. And, of course, Bill Clinton appeared on Rachael Ray’s show last year. I’m thinking maybe George W. Bush should start a cooking show to boost his sagging ratings. But what should he call it? The Cooker, the Decider? If it features barbecue, perhaps Smoke ’Em Out? And am I just being too painfully obvious if I suggest In Hot Water?