Chris Kelly


Usually with a guest chef such as Nick Nairn or Antony Worrall-Thompson.


Mentorn Films and Carlton for ITV, 2 September 1996 to 22 January 1998 (61 episodes in 2 series)


Probably thanks to the tremendous success of other cookery game shows (notably all on BBC1) Ready Steady Cook and Can't Cook, Won't Cook, this was originally ITV's response. It was sponsored by the pickling kings Crosse and Blackwell, mind, so don't mess.

Two teams answer questions about food, and the resident chef for the week cooks. There are a couple of nice touches. As the chef cooks, a little microwave style timer counts down in the background and teams buzz in when they think they know what the chef is making - a nice little touch. Then they'd be follow up questions about various ingredients or whatever, but it all seems a little pointless somewhat.

Another credibility downer occurs at the halfway stage, where the teams get to play Stock Your Larder. Teams put food in various pigeon holes of differing values, and have to answer the (maximum nine) questions they nominate in 60 seconds. In reality, it's just a small version of Jeopardy! (except they don't have to respond "What is cous-cous?").

In Ready, Steady, Cook and Can't Cook, Won't Cook, a lot of the entertainment comes in the people, their skill (and lack of) and contestants themselves. Food can't talk. It certainly can't play Twister and it's hardly going to be any good at Karaoke, is it? No, it is inanimate.

The system is fine but the questions would only be able to be answered by (a) somebody with a general knowledge the size of India, or (b) somebody who likes cooking, hardly great for someone who shops down Tesco's every week, is it?

Key moments

The inevitable taste test: Can you name each different cheese by taste alone? That will be something you can play along at home, then.


Based on a format created by Paul Watson.

Theme music

Tim Whitnall


The Beeb caught us by surprise by showing repeats of the show on BBC Two in the summer of 1999, over a year after it ended on ITV.


A full episode from 1997.


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