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gulfporter

The Great British Baking Show

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A very enjoyable and civilized cooking competition show.  So far (I've seen 3 episodes), none of the personal drama and histrionics that are seen on most of the competitive cooking shows that are US-based.  

 

It's on PBS, so check your local listings.  

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A very enjoyable and civilized cooking competition show.  So far (I've seen 3 episodes), none of the personal drama and histrionics that are seen on most of the competitive cooking shows that are US-based.  

 

It's on PBS, so check your local listings.  

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I just found this thread because I was going to start one.  I love this show, and I can't believe that more people aren't talking about it.  I unplugged the Food Channel from my life many years ago because I didn't like the incessant food competitions.  I don't particularly like the competition on this one, either, but I'm getting a bang out of it.  And I've learned a few things.

 

Like Princesstarta.  Who knew?

 

And how could the British be so ignorant of the charms of Kouign Aman?  And was that thing they made really a Kouign Aman?  

 

And why does there need to be 12 exact copies of everything?  And what is the rating scale used (what percent of points for tastes good vs. looks good vs. good technique)?

 

And who else misses Jordon besides me?  And who will help me beat The Male Judge to death with a wooden spoon?

 

And is there another "home hobby" that is as demanding and yet as denigrated as home baking?

 

And why aren't they complaining that the flour arrives in a narrow glass jar?

 

And had anyone ever heard of Mary Berry before this?

 

And how can I get all the British episodes?

 

And do they edit out people actually using a scale to measure because you rarely see it?

 

And when are we all going to have a wild baroque caramel party?

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And who will help me beat The Male Judge to death with a wooden spoon?

**Raises hand**  Love the rest of it (albeit hoping they get rid of the "comedienne" host--third show I've seen her in, dislike her in them all).

 

 

And how can I get all the British episodes?

They're on YouTube.

 


Edited by hsm (log)

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I like to watch the Great British Sewing Bee.  In order to do that I download the  'Hola' add-on which allows me to unblock BBC programming.

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Anyone watch the finale?  Surprised at the outcome?  Love the engraved crystal pedestal cake plate?  Think that final challenge was cruel?

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No surprises here. The person who I thought would win did win; they were the most consistent and produced the highest quality bakes overall. But the top three were all brilliant in their own way... some with more pretty bakes than others, while some were less consistent. In the end, I think the right person won. As someone who doesn't bake, I do wish there was a bit more about technique presented on the show. But it was miles above any of the cupcake wars or sugar sculpting competitions on US networks. There was a real spirit of camaraderie and benevolence among the contestants, and the show wasn't an overproduced mess like most of the competition shows here in the states. I quite enjoyed watching this show even though I'm not much into pastry (and I don't even really enjoy sweets).

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That's a testimonial for it.  I really liked all the personalities and I'm sad that it's over.  

 

I would have liked to have known the criteria for judging.  I personally care more about taste than looks or originality.  Too many times I've bought a beautiful pastry that wasn't very good.  

 

I don't watch competition shows so I'm unused to the pressure valve principle.  I felt sorry for them at the end.  I bake because I find it relaxing and fun to delight people.  Which is kind of the opposite of pressure and judgement.

 

I thought Nancy was the "best" baker from the beginning, but I really liked the journey of seeing how each person excelled at different things.  I was delighted to see the two male finalists do so well, I thought that they had done interesting work.

 

I felt really bad for the older man who was hounded because he wasn't creative enough.

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Anyone watching this season?   I'm loving how civilized this show is; not the nasty insults and tough competition I've gotten used to with the shows on the Food Network.

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Oh yes, we are watching.  In fact Friday nights are planned around the show.  I "might" even go so far as to take the phone off the hook.  I agree, it is so calming compared to the frantic competition shows on the food channels.  Makes me want a cup of tea and I don't even like the stuff much! 

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There is also a French version of this programme, episodes on YouTube or via the M6 site if you have a VPN.  This version is much longer and more educative, the judges offer their own interpretations of the tasks in a follow up show broadcast straight after the competition. The episodes are 2 to 2.5 hours each, the follow on another hour or so.

 

Someone in this thread asked about Mary Berry.  She has worked in the food industry for decades as a stylist for food journalists and demonstrator for kitchen equipment in the 1950s before becoming a TV cook in, I think, the 70s (need to check).  She was highly regarded in Britain long before Bake Off.

 

The French follow the same format; female judge of mature age (but without Mary Berry's pedigree) and younger male judge, a fantastic pastry chef.  The show is far less personal in its criticisms of the candidates than the UK version, the cynicism of the U.K. show has not crossed the border.  There is also an Italian version but my understanding of Italian is too limited to pick up the nuances to compare ithis with either the British or the French variations.  

 

I enjoy both the British and French versions of the competition but more so the French simply because there is much more information included to assist those of us interested in improving our own baking.  Also because the presentation appears more neutral with regards portrayal of the candidates.  

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What should I search for on YouTube to find the French version?  Surely it's not called the same thing.

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11 hours ago, IndyRob said:

What should I search for on YouTube to find the French version?  Surely it's not called the same thing.

 

Sorry, I should have given the French title, search for: Meilleur Pâtissier. There are full episodes via the M6 website (French commercial channel) but you may need to use a VPN to watch them.  On YouTube just now I found full episodes of the 'celebrity' version broadcast a few weeks ago.  All versions follow the same format as the UK show, same music, opening graphics etc.  Because the programmes are so much longer they can go into more detail in respect of recipes and history of the various products made.

 

The follow on show is called A Vos Fourneaux, again there are some full episodes on YouTube.  

 

If if you are really interested in French cuisine search YouTube for Qui Sera le Prochain Grand Pâtissier, there are full episodes, this was a series for professional pastry chefs that ran, I think, for 3 years.  I understand it has now been cancelled, a great shame because it was superb (in my view at least) with the best of French pâtissiers coaching the young candidates. 

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I usually record this program for viewing at a later date so I just watched Friday's program.  I'm just so in love with the show and these fascinating contestants!  What wonderful, talented folk these are!  I wish the show could go on forever!

 

 

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Basically I hate the cooking channel and I hate reality shows, but this show is hilarious! I'm a little confused about the weather around the tent, although it only adds to the mystique and otherworldliness of the whole thing: sometimes the contestants are wearing summery clothes and wiping their brows, then you see Paul and Mary in down jackets, all interspersed with idyllic bees in the flowers and lovely black lambs eating their way through the perfect blooming countryside. You never see Paul and Mary in the rain outside the tent, but often it's pouring rain while the bakers are working. It's all good!

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Those people are so wonderful that they have the power to create their own weather on demand.  I strongly suspect they fart rainbows and I love them for that.

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If you saw the 2nd episode which was all about making "biscuits", that wonderfully British term for cookies, do you think the right person won and the wrong person lost?

 

Curious about your thoughts.

 

Incidentally, B and I plan our Friday nights around this show.  We had dinner at a neighborhood cheapie Chinese restaurant and didn't get home until 9 pm, thinking that we had missed last week's installment.  Much to our surprise, it came on a minute or two later.

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@DianaB,

 

Must one be fluent in French to understand all these wonderful cooking shows if we can find them?

 

You've piqued my interest in this thread and others. I only have 3 years of French language instruction by very good teachers many years ago. I refreshed it through books designed to do so also many years ago, when I realized I wasn't using it so I was losing it.

 

I doubt I could keep up with untranslated French videos though now.

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35 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

@DianaB,

 

Must one be fluent in French to understand all these wonderful cooking shows if we can find them?

 

You've piqued my interest in this thread and others. I only have 3 years of French language instruction by very good teachers many years ago. I refreshed it through books designed to do so also many years ago, when I realized I wasn't using it so I was losing it.

 

I doubt I could keep up with untranslated French videos though now.

 

I had a year of French in the fourth grade, fifty eight years ago.

 

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1 hour ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

@DianaB,

 

Must one be fluent in French to understand all these wonderful cooking shows if we can find them?

 

You've piqued my interest in this thread and others. I only have 3 years of French language instruction by very good teachers many years ago. I refreshed it through books designed to do so also many years ago, when I realized I wasn't using it so I was losing it.

 

I doubt I could keep up with untranslated French videos though now.

 

I don't speak Italian but I enjoyed the bits of their version of Bake Off that I found on YouTube nonetheless.  Sounds like you have a basic understanding (at least) of French, I would think that plus your knowledge of baking would allow you to enjoy these programmes even if you don't get every word.  Because the shows are longer recipes tend to be more detailed anyway.  

 

The alternative (France 2) series for professional pastry chefs is, in my view, worth watching purely because it showcases some of the best pastry and chocolate making in France.  Candidates get sent to various experts for a couple of days to learn a specific skill that they then have to put into practice at a professional level.  Judges, from memory, were Christophe Michelak (World champion Pâtissier 200?), Christophe Adam (l'éclair de génie) and Pierre Marcolini, chocolatier. 

 

When I last looked all the France 2 episodes were on YouTube together with the most recent Meilleur Pâtissier full episodes.  Hope you enjoy!  If you want any advice on the recipes perhaps PM me and I'll send you a translation.

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7 hours ago, DianaB said:

 

I don't speak Italian but I enjoyed the bits of their version of Bake Off that I found on YouTube nonetheless.  Sounds like you have a basic understanding (at least) of French, I would think that plus your knowledge of baking would allow you to enjoy these programmes even if you don't get every word.  Because the shows are longer recipes tend to be more detailed anyway.  

 

The alternative (France 2) series for professional pastry chefs is, in my view, worth watching purely because it showcases some of the best pastry and chocolate making in France.  Candidates get sent to various experts for a couple of days to learn a specific skill that they then have to put into practice at a professional level.  Judges, from memory, were Christophe Michelak (World champion Pâtissier 200?), Christophe Adam (l'éclair de génie) and Pierre Marcolini, chocolatier. 

 

When I last looked all the France 2 episodes were on YouTube together with the most recent Meilleur Pâtissier full episodes.  Hope you enjoy!  If you want any advice on the recipes perhaps PM me and I'll send you a translation.

 

 

 

 

Indeed...these shows and in particular the experts are far more informative and professional than the recent ghastly  creme de creme show with its judges straight from central casting..the comedy Frenchman, the pushy Asian lady and the  inane frumpy woman who is obviously more than partial to a lardy cake or 3.

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For those interested in other country's versions of Bake Off the Wikipedia entry lists them all with their various titles.  I seem to recall the Irish version had some YouTube presence, perhaps of interest to those looking to see how the programme works in other English speaking countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_British_Bake_Off#International_broadcast_and_versions

I was hugely disappointed in the UK Creme de la Creme, both programme and the lack of any linked recipes.  There is a book that no doubt explains the lack of supporting free to read recipes, plus the BBC decision to wind down its recipe resource.


Edited by DianaB (log)
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