This is an addictive, engaging cooking competition reality show from Great Britain. It has a typical structure: taking place over several successive weekends, one person is eliminated each week to leave the final three battling each other on the last episode. Each weekend, three mini bake-offs are held to allow contestants to show the full range of their baking skills. Or the full limitation, in some cases. The contests are judged by two of Britain’s preeminent celebrity bakers, and you’ll just have to take that on faith as you’ve probably never heard of them.
There is of course some cultural quirkiness that will leave you affectionately shaking or scratching your head. Like, why do they hold this competition in a tent, pitched in various verdant spaces, which is subject to humidity, heat, and all other weather vagaries which will affect the quality of the baked items? Does this really make it more exciting, or just a bit annoying at times? Where can you get one of those ovens whose door folds into the base? Why do they pronounce “oregano” so oddly?
It is refreshing, though, to see a group of people who are essentially at odds with each other behaving in a sociable, civilized way, never getting angry or intentionally sabotaging each other’s work, always taking the high road. That just wouldn’t happen on an American show.
I’d love to see some of the competitors from each season open a pie shop together. Now, that would be some good pie. Definitely worth it!