Everything We Know About Mary Berry's New Cooking Competition
It was a truly sad day when we got word that Mary Berry, Britain's answer to Martha Stewart, would be leaving her role as a judge on the BBC's The Great British Bake Off. The low key, low stakes cooking competition pitted amateur pastry chefs against each other in a friendly battle for nothing more than bragging rights. Berry was there to provide her no-nonsense critiques with a heavy dose of warmth and kindness. That show lives on with new hosts and judges on ITV. Meanwhile, Berry launched her own how-to show, along with announcing that she'd be returning to the role of judge on a new reality show. That show, Britain's Best Home Cook, is finally premiering across the pond in May. Here's everything we know about the series so far:
The Host and Judges
We know Mary Berry will be one of the judges, but she'll be joined by Chris Bavin, a produce expert and TV host, and chef Dan Doherty of London’s Duck & Waffle. Hosting the series is Claudia Winkleman who also presents Strictly Come Dancing (you know it in America as Dancing With the Stars).
Don't expect foie gras and uni, this series is all about British home-cookery, with humble dishes like burgers and pasta, not extravagant ingredients or haughty plating techniques. “These cooks don’t want to open restaurants and, as judges, we don’t want to see any jus or zig-zags of sauce on the plates or stacks of anything—this is about cooking that you do for family and friends. Nothing is pretentious. Also, unlike Bake Off, they have to do their own washing up!” Berry told the TV Times.
Ten amateur cooks will compete for the title. In true GBBO-fashion, there will be no prize money, just bragging rights. Each episode will feature three challenges: Your Ultimate—a signature dish from each chef, Cooks Challenge—create a new dish featuring an ingredient chosen by the Your Ultimate winner, and an Elimination Round—the bottom cooks from the previous round must cook a rather difficult recipe for a chance to stay in the game.
No Second Chances
Unlike some other cooking competitions with unlimited pantries, the chefs will only be given the ingredients in the amounts they need for the dish. Mess up? Tough luck.
They Live Together!
All ten contestants will live in a house together for the duration of the competition, Big Brother-style. Get ready for drama! (Or as much drama as a chummy bunch of cooks chilling together in a house will bring.) Find out who the contestants are here.
It's More Personal
Contestants will be able to bring some items from their home kitchen to make their cooking station feel a little bit more comfortable.
Of Course, It's Nice
Berry says BBHC focuses on “caring” about the contestants, adding, “if they’ve had a downfall we’ll find something nice to say about their food to bring them back. We don’t want tears and dramas. We want to see people doing proper home-cooked food.” Okay, so forget what we said earlier about drama...
When and Where?
Eight weekly episodes will begin airing on May 3 at 8 p.m. on BBC One in the U.K.
Will It Come to America?
If the popularity of the Great British Bake Off on PBS is any indication, we’d like to think so. Right now, there’s nothing official to turn our dreams into reality.