Halloween Cake Off (Food Network)


Halloween Cake Off (Food Network) – Premieres 8th October

Another Halloween inspired cooking competition, but in this host Duff Goldman has four bakers going up against each other in a bid to win $10k.

The competition is split into two rounds. In the first the four bakers have to create a halloween themed cake within 3 hours that incorporates the stipulation set before the round starts. After the round is finished the cakes are tasted and evaluated by Duff and two other judges, where the cake deemed to be the worst is eliminated.

In the second round, the remaining bakers have to pick an envelope that contains a word that their final cake has to adhere to. Then the bakers head off to their home bakeries for five days for them to make a super sized cake with less than regular additions to it.

When the five days are up the bakers return to the competition where they have 20 minutes to do the finishing touches before they are presented to the judges. Then when the cakes are ready, the judges check out if the cakes fill the brief they were given, along with actually tasting them. And the best is crowned the winner.

While the show is a run of the mill competition, some of the cakes are an impressive sight. And while it’s a solid enough competition, there’s not too much going on that separates it from the other similar types of show.



Haunted Gingerbread Showdown (Food Network)


Haunted Gingerbread Showdown (Food Network) – Premieres 7th October

A Halloween based cooking competition where three bakers that specialise in making gingerbread showpieces go up against each other, for the chance to get to the grand final where they would have the chance to win $25k and a feature in Food Network Magazine

Over the course of two days the bakers have to make a gingerbread scene based on a certain theme. Where the final product has to fit within the parameters of being 90% edible and 70% gingerbread, along with the bakers being allowed to bring in a certain amount of gingerbread that was produced at home in preparation.

During the 1st day of baking where they have 9 hours available, the three bakers are also challenged to create an additional edible creation to their scene. Where the person who wins the side challenge is give a bonus where they can put the other two bakers in a 20 minute time out.

Then when the bakers have finished the second day where they have 3 hours to do the final touches of their scene. The three judges assess each of them and then announce the winner who’ll progress to the final.

As baking shows go, it does what you’d expect from a Food Network programme. And if you like the usual competition shows they have on there, then this is more of the same.


Big Truck Food Tip (Food Network)


Big Truck Food Tip (Food Network) – Premieres 19th September

A food travel show that also plays out as an unsuspecting competition, as Andrew Zimmern heads off to a US city to check out three popular food trucks. where after checking them out, Zimmern gives the one he considers the best a $10k tip, and the remaining two a $1k tip.

In the show as Zimmern arrives at a food truck the programme has the owners explain how they started and has them show how they make their signature dish. After that Zimmern has a chat with them and then samples food, going through what makes it stand out from the crowd.

After the three trucks have been visited, the programme gives a brief recap, along with Zimmern pondering over which truck to give the money to. Before showing the winning owners as they see the money get put in their tip jar.

The programme is very similar to the usual food travel shows like Food Truck Nation, Seaside Snacks and Shacks & Comfort Food Tour, making the prize aspect seems to be an afterthought to add something different. That said it’s an easy enough watch and one of the better of these types of shows.


Bite Club (Food Network)


Bite Club (Food Network) – Premieres 6th September

A cooking competition where host Tyler Florence heads off to a US city, gets five of the tops chefs in the area, and has a competition to finds out who’s best.

In the show only three of the five chefs get to battle it out, and after drawing lots, the chefs find out if they are going to be cooking or judging the dishes. After the contestants are picked, they then go through two 30 minutes rounds.

In the first round the competing chefs have to incorporate a dish that uses all three secret ingredients that the cooking chefs have brought with them. Then after everything is cooked and served the worst performer is eliminated.

In the final round the remaining two chefs have to incorporate the two ingredients the now judges have brought with them. And at the end of the round the best dish gets the chef the victory and a shiny trophy.

As a cooking competition, it’s a nice change to see professionals going against each other. And the programme itself is an easy watch, so if you like these types of shows it’s one to check out.


Baked (Food Network)


Baked (Food Network) – Premieres 3rd September

Hosted by comedian and amateur baker Tom Papa, this follows him as he heads off to a US city, visits bakeries and restaurants, and finds out about and samples their baked goods.

In the episode Tom heads off to four places famed for their baked goods, where he chats with the owner about how and why they got into baking, what they do, and then learns how to make the items. Then after going through the process Tom gets to sample the finished product where he gives the usual food show descriptions.

While the set up is like Comfort Food Tour, Seaside Snacks and Shacks & Food Truck Nation, Papas enthusiasm about the food makes it an enjoyable watch compared to the aforementioned. So while it is similar to the usual Food Network programme it is one of the better ones to watch.


Let’s Eat (Food Network)


Let’s Eat (Food Network) – Premieres 12th August

A Sunday morning cooking show, where hosts Brandi Milloy, Jamika Pessoa & Stuart O’Keeffe knock some food up in front of a studio audience.

With each of the chefs creating something within the theme of the episode, they go through some exceptionally basic stuff at a breakneck pace. All of which is greeted with oooh’s and ahhh’s from the audience. Then to round off the show, a guest chef is brought in to to give a briefest of run throughs on how to make one of their signature dishes.

With the show only being 20 minutes long, and with the amount of content it has, it all feels very rushed. Like a condensed take on Saturday Kitchen, but with awkward interactions and any real lack showing what to do. Altogether it’s an unenjoyable bit of viewing.


Reality Cupcakes (Food Network)


Reality Cupcakes (Food Network) – Premieres 6th August

A show that follows Ashley Foxen, who runs the Reality Bites bakery which specialise in making cupcakes look realistically like other things.

In the episode, Ashley and her team made up of family members, receive orders from three different clients. Where after receiving the brief, begin to create the order.

During the making of the cupcakes Ashley highlights various parts of the bake that are either unique to it, or are more difficult than usual. All the while the rest of the family help out or jape around. Then when the cake is finished, it’s delivered to the client where they watch the guests get their mind blown at what they’re really eating.

While the show is similar to programmes like Texas Cake House, Dallas Cakes & Ridiculous Cakes!. This doesn’t offer anything new to make it stand out, and with the episode going through three orders, gives the show a very rushed feel to it all that makes it all very forgettable.