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S19.E02: Friday Night Bites

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4 hours ago, Leeds said:


Yet somehow the producers of The Great British Bake Off managed to make an entertaining, family friendly, funny show without resorting to gimmicks.


Well, their main audience is British, and while different audiences may sometimes like the same things, they are targeted according to what will appeal to a majority in the intended audience.

There's a reason why Top Chef has 19 seasons under their belt, after all. And before anyone waxes romantic about seasons past, there have always been gimmicky challenges. Off the top of my head, I remember there was a gas station food challenge and a cook for kids challenge in earlier seasons.

I like The Great British Menu ( which has been on longer than Great British Bake Off), where the chefs compete for the chance to cook one of the dishes of a themed banquet and they have to get creative with presentation. There's no money at stake but the honor of cooking in the banquet is highly esteemed. This year's theme is 100 years of British broadcasting, other years have included celebrating British innovation, the Queen's birthday (where now famous Michelin star chef Marcus Waring cooked the dessert), British comedy, and so on. The participating Chefs nowadays are sometimes Michelin starred chefs or have worked for them. The dishes are beautiful and creative and the show spends the bulk of the time showing and explaining how every chef cooks their different elements and how they plate it. The judges are quite professional in their evaluations and judge the first rounds blind. They then choose one chef per region to go to finals and have them cook their dishes again in order to choose the ones who will cook the starter, fish, main and dessert dishes for the banquet (so at this point, they are not judging blind anymore).

While I love and watch both, TGBM and TGBBO, I still appreciate Top Chef and watch it too. It's just a different premise.

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