It’s pretty fair to say that cooking has absolutely never been more universally popular. At every minute of every day you can flick through your channels and find a food based programme. There are whole channels dedicated to cookery shows and some have gained such a following that they have become prime time television.
The Great British Bake Off introduced us to probably three great things; some really excellent characters, really beautiful cooking decorations and some quality banter from Mel and Sue. It became an internet phenomenon filling the average newsfeed with just as many status updates as Game of Thrones. And who can forget Brendan’s 80s tart that was a perfect match to the jumper he was wearing in that episode – really anything about Brendan actually.
MasterChef injects more drama into cooking than anyone would have thought possible before now. The standard time constraints have become a norm on the cooking scene but the sweeping shots, slow walks in formation towards the camera, dramatic underscore and even more dramatic voiceovers would seem more akin to a spy drama than a cookery show but surely that’s why we love it so much. One of my favourite moments on a past episode was where the chefs were cooking for a group of World War II veterans. Greg delivered this infamous line:
Greg: ‘These macaroons are late. What would we have done if the RAF were late?!’
Just the notion of equating World War II with afternoon tea is almost too laughable for comprehension.
Great British Menu differs from the other two primetime cookery shows in that the permanent panel of judges rate the food and all the chefs are already professionals. It seems that the idea is that the food is the focus and the chefs, or rather the journey of the characters, takes something of a back seat. This is, of course not the case because – as ever – the reason that these shows appeal to people of all interests is that we, as people, are interested in the people. On Great British Menu the fact that the chefs vote on each other leads to some malice that the other shows largely manage to avoid and the fact that all the chefs are already professionals leads to some great ego battles and who doesn’t love those?
Therefore, it seems that the main thing linking all these shows is popularity and cooking. So really, the only way to get completely on top of your love for these shows is to become a fantastic chef yourself. Luckily for you, Dorling Kindersley is offering an amazing 30% of a masterchef cookery course. So there’s never a better time to become the very next Great British Master Chef!