As the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day and that’s me. I’m the broken clock. I’ve been going on about Brooklyn Beckham launching a cooking show for a while and it is indeed coming, announced with a shiny piece of press in Vogue that a publicist probably traded a lot of favours to secure.
The “learn to cook with a celebrity” shows must do well because Selena Gomez has one (but she is also an established megastar with a gargantuan social media following) and Amy Schumer with her husband (he is a chef, she is a comedian always ready with a one-liner). Both of these shows were launched during the pandemic when most of us were stuck at home and cooking more.
The hook to Brooklyn’s show is that famous chefs like Nobu Matsuhisa, Roy Choi, and Nancy Silverton will join him, and it’s airing on a streaming site (I think?) called Watch Together via Messenger. So how would a show of this calibre draw in those chefs? Brooklyn and his dad would often travel and visit restaurants and chefs (pre-pandemic), so I don’t doubt that he knows some of them personally. There’s also a name draw, which of course has to be discounted in the article.
As with any profile of the child of a celebrity, there’s always the justification line, like this: “While Beckham may have been known initially as the progeny of Victoria and David Beckham, he fully entered the spotlight as a photographer, publishing his first book with Rizzoli in 2017 and shooting a fragrance campaign for Burberry.” Ah yes, his famous book of photographs.
This is like when the child of a famous person gets a lead role in the movie and their first profile is like, “My uncle Steven (Spielberg) comes over for brunch every Sunday because my parents are famous movie stars, but it has nothing to do with my getting the part. All they did was get me an agent and the audition and set up a network of industry connections that go back to my childhood. The rest I did myself.”
This isn’t to say that the children of celebrities should crawl in a hole of anonymity; they typically have a huge social media following and access to opportunities. Fame is what they know and it’s not a fair system, but it is a predictable one. I saw this coming because it is so obvious that he and Nicola (who recently directed her first movie… she comes from an extremely wealthy family) are angling toward the same kind of sphere of influence as his parents, who cross over multiple industries (fashion, sports, and beauty).
The key difference is that Victoria and David spent years and years working professionally at the top of their very competitive fields. They put in countless hours of rehearsal time/training, unglamorous travel, press junkets, personal appearances and eating a lot of sh-t from the tabloids. Brooklyn attended Parson School of Design but left after one year to return to the UK; since then he has chosen two paths (photography and cooking) that require technique, skill, mentorship, and training (either at school or on-the-job).
The Vogue preview video shows very little actual cooking. He cuts open an expensive cheese wheel (that has to be at least a grand in parmesan, which Vogue definitely did not spring for) and works the dough, and then serves his fiancée Nicola, but there’s no detail or technique in the preview (that is saved for the 12 minute cooking video on YouTube.) If you are going to trade on your family name, lean into it. There’s no point in playing coy. Victoria is extremely clear about how much she wants to succeed and how hard she works. He also talks about the family dynamic: David is the home cook, Victoria is the eater, and Harper is the critic. Can she make an appearance? She’s the star of the family.