I've always found Rhodes a bit too old-school, with his preference for stolid British dishes and over-reliance on cream. But maybe that's what makes this series celebrating the best of regional food work.
This week, Rhodes was in Wales to whittle down a shortlist of five local heroes to one who will battle it out later with nine other regional champions for the title of Local Food Hero 2008. Perhaps because Rhodes alone is not enough of a draw, he is aided and abetted by a culinary sidekick - this week it was award-winning chef Matt Tebbutt.
First, Tebbutt visited the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, which boasted an amazing array of local produce, manager Alan Downes' enthusiasm for what he was selling showing up the multiples' commitment to local for the lipservice it too often is. Then it was off to the Derimon Smokery, where you name it, they smoked it - bread flour, rice and butter among the high-quality end products supplied to the likes of top restaurant El Bulli.
There were also a couple of restaurants in the frame, though they'd clearly drawn the short straw because they were judged on the taste of the dishes they served as well as the quality of the ingredients they used, whereas the others were judged on the ingredients Rhodes and Tebbutt then cooked with.
But it was a minor quibble and the winner, Hooton's Homegrown farm shop in Anglesey, was a deserving one. Praised for its philosophy of not selling anything it didn't grow on the family farm, it produced Welsh Black beef, guinea fowl and Discovery apples that looked amazing. There were no frills, but that didn't matter. The food spoke for itself - as it had throughout the programme, which is what made Local Food Heroes a cut above the usual TV chef fare.