Great British Bake Off

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

22 January 2019

Turn off Hell’s Kitchen, tune into The Great British Bake Off

For years, my wife and I dawdled with lackluster cooking shows. Gordon Ramsey, whose brand now reeks of cliche, leads a litany of shows we would pay weekly homage. Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and MasterChef were among them. The more congenial Top Chef was another. But we eventually lost interest after host, Padma Lakshmi, referred to a contestant’s food as “pedestrian” (Sorry, your royal highness). It wasn’t until we stumbled upon The Great British Bake Off on Netflix that the previous line-up of culinary series became obsolete.

Great British Bake OffIf you’ve never witnessed the Great British Bake Off, it is indeed something to partake. Akin to the serenity of a Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting, it sweeps you off to a glitzy white tent stationed in the middle of the serene countryside of England. There, a group of up-and-coming British bakers compete in weekly baking challenges. What’s more, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, seize upon a unique method of holding a cooking competition that is both mannerly and sophisticated.

What a novel idea.

Great British Bake Off features, well, manners

Years ago, I remember Joe Bastianich (an on-again-off-again host of Master Chef) angrily hoisting his plate of food and slamming it into the trash can. And this is just one of his over-the-top antics. Or how about Gordon Ramsay smashing a piece of bread on each ear of a Hell’s Kitchen contestant, prompting her to recognize herself as an “Idiot Sandwich.”

This is why I turned off the bastardized cooking shows of the states whose hosts act more like WWE understudies —and tuned into the Great British Bake Off.”

Maybe I’m just getting old, but these acts are shameful. And disrespectful to the culinary world

The great masters of food preparation presented themselves with class and an air of dignity. I’m talking about Julia Child, Jaques Pepin and Bastianich’s mother, Lidia Bastianich, to name a few. Their on-air techniques were passionate and centered. As a viewer, you savor their energy and methodology.

This is why I turned off the bastardized cooking shows of the states whose hosts act more like WWE understudies —and tuned into the Great British Bake Off. It’s a show that honors the craft, and for that, it’s uniquely wonderful. I urge you to give it your time.

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