One thing that has changed since the pandemic is the number of cooking shows I watch. It started when my daughter was home and was watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I got sucked in to multiple seasons of that and even watched the Derry Girls episode when I was home alone recently. I then started looking for random shows to have on in the background while I try to wrote/read during the day. It started with game shows and then moved on to HGTV and the Food Network. I now have several cooking shows I have watched. Here are some short thoughts on them.
Great British Baking Show
I will start with this one since this is the first one I watched regularly. I think this is one of the best ones out there. The best part of this show is that it is the same group of bakers for the entire season. You get to know the bakers and develop a rooting interest. The hosts and the judges are very good and also get to know the bakers. There is a lot of interaction between the bakers and the hosts. Everything is very personable and interactive. I started watching late so I prefer the later shows with Prue in place of Merry Berry and Noel and Sandi hosting.
I like Chopped. It is on a lot in the afternoons, so I have the option to watch it quite a bit. I enjoy the premise of the chefs not knowing what they are cooking with until they open the basket. I like the odd things they are given. I don’t like that it has little interaction. It is all about the cooking. The judges only talk to the contestants when they are judging the food. The only show the contestants talking briefly while waiting to see who will be Chopped. Unless it is a tournament, the contestants are one and done so you don’t get to know them. It’s great for cooking, not great for getting to know the people on the show.
Beat Bobby Flay
I just started watching this one recently. It has the best of both of the previous shows. The contestants competing to cook against Bobby Flay don’t know what they will be cooking with until he tells them. It is a one and done show, but there is a lot of interaction between the contestants and the hosts. The premise gives you a rooting interest even with the one and done scenario. You can either cheer for Bobby Flay to win or you can want him to lose every show. I like that the hosts are different every time and not just cooking show people It keeps the show fresh.
This is on Tru TV and I’ve only watched a couple of episodes. It features a different celebrity each week who picks a favorite fast food item for the chefs. In the first round, they try to recreate it. In the second round, they use the same ingredients to make something new. The show is better than I was expecting. I think my enjoyment of each episode would depend on the guest celebrity. They are a big part of the show. I enjoyed the Joel McHale and the Bobby Lee episodes, but I am a big fan of both of them. Results may vary.
Crime Scene Kitchen
This is the newest on the list. It is on FOX and is hosted by Joel McHale. I recorded the first episode because my kids love Joel McHale, but I ended up watching it alone. Teams of two go into a kitchen and investigate what is left behind after something has been cooked. They use the clues to try to reproduce what it was. They are judged on accuracy and taste. One team is then eliminated. There are two groups right now an I assume they will merge once more people are eliminated. I like the mystery aspect. I like that the contestants are on all season so you get to know them. I think Joel McHale is a little stiff as the host.
If I had to pick one and only one to watch I would go with The Great British Basking Show.