Bake It Like Buddy (Discovery Family)


Bake It Like Buddy (Discovery Family) – Premieres 8th September

A cooking competition hosted by baker Buddy Valastro, where two teams made up from two family members go against each other to win $1k and some professional kitchen supplies.

The competition is held over just the one round, where after Buddy gives the theme that the bakers have to work within, they have four hours to produce their confection.

During the round while the teams work away, Buddy and his two other judges chat to the contestants and each other as they highlight possible problems, what may have gone wrong, or things they are looking forward to. Then at the end of the round, the baked goods are tasted and judged, and the winner is crowned.

As a more family centric cooking competition it’s an easy piece of viewing, and comes across as a condensed version of similar shows. But while it does what you’d expect, it’s not one you’d seek out to watch.



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.


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.


Ultimate Summer Cook-Off (Food Network)


Ultimate Summer Cook-Off (Food Network) – Premieres 5th August

A cooking competition where six chefs go head-to-head over 4 weeks in a barbecue based competition to win the grand prize of $25k.

The show is split into two rounds. In the first, the chefs have 30 minutes to make  6 portions of the item required. Before they begin cooking the chefs also have to select a cooler at random which contains an ingredient they have to incorporate into the final dish. The when the food is prepared, tasted and judged, the winner gains an advantage for the next round.

In round two the chefs have 60 minutes to create two versions of the same dish. One set to a certain set of parameters and the other to their own creation. During this round the winner from the last is given access to a selection of ingredients only available to them. And at the end of the round the worst performer is eliminated from the competition.

For a Food Network competition, this one does seem to have more of a focus on how and why the competitors are cooking their variations of the dishes. Which makes it one of the more of the interesting cooking competitions that they’ve released. That said it’s doesn’t have any unique twists like Sugar Rush to make it stand out from the rest, though if you like this type of programme it does the job.


Sugar Rush (Netflix)


Sugar Rush (Netflix) – Premieres 13th July – Renewed

A competitive baking show that adds a new wrinkle to the genre, where four teams go head-to-head as they try to win the $10k prize.

The competition is split into three rounds, and before the competition starts, the judges reveal the theme of the episode. Where everything made has to fall into that remit.

To add to the challenge the teams have to complete the first two round within a three hour time limit, where any time left over gets added to the three hours allotted for the third and final round.

Before the first round of cupcake production starts, the judges introduce an added stipulation they have to incorporate within their cupcakes. And during the round as soon as the teams finish, they stop the clock for the judges to taste the food.  Where they then instantly lead into the second round of confectionaries.

When all the teams have finished the first round, the judges then announce which team has been eliminated, leaving the remaining three teams to continue on with the second round. After all three teams finish the second round the judges eliminate another team leaving two to go head to head.

In the final round the judges introduce another stipulation, and the teams have three hours, plus the time they save over the first rounds to produce a cake to fulfil the judges requirements. Then at the end of the show, both cakes are sampled and the winner is crowned.

For a cooking show it’s a decent addition to the genre, with the time management aspect leading to some teams underdelivering to earn more time for a round they might not get to. It’s a nice tactical element you don’t usually see.

If you like cooking competitions it definitely one to check out.


Carnival Kings (Cooking Channel)


Carnival Kings (Cooking Channel) – Premieres 12th July

Hosted by chef Richie Farina, this is a mix between Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson and Big Bad BBQ Battle, where Ritchie challenges a carnival food stall owner to a competition as to who can make the best version of their signature dish in two hours.

It starts off with Richie heading to a carnival, where his competition shows the dish he will be going against, along with showing how its made. After Richie meets the challenger and the smack talk is exchanged, he heads off to visit other vendors to sample what they’re making, and to get some inspiration. Richie then returns to his food truck where he makes the dish that he’s devised, and after it’s been sampled, notes what parts need to be fine tuned.

The show finishes off with the competition, where Ritchie and the challenger have two hours to create 30 potions of their dish. Then the crown of carnival attendees judge whose food is best, and a winner is crowned.

For a short 20 minute show it goes along at a decent pace, and has enough variation in the programme to keep your interest. For what it is it’s a lot more enjoyable than most of the current food competition shows.


Wedding Cake Championship (Food Network)


Wedding Cake Championship (Food Network) – Premieres 25th June

A Food Network clone of the Great British Bake-Off, but with the twist that it’s only focusing on the making of wedding cakes. In the competition six teams of bakers go up against each other, where the last remaining team wins $25k.

In each episode the teams have to go through two rounds. The first round is a one hour challenge where the judges set the theme for them to create a wedding cake item. After the had been produced, tasted and critiqued the winning team ends up getting an advantage for the next round.

In round 2 the teams are given 5 hours to produce a wedding cake for an engaged couple. The bakers have to incorporate what the the engaged pair have asked for, while the round 1 winners get an extra piece of information to help with their cake.

Then after the cakes have been made, both the judges and couple sample the them, where the engaged couple gets to reveal which team won the episode. After that has been announced the judges then reveal the worst two performers, and then eliminate the weakest team.

As baking shows go it does have most of the Bake Off staples in it, with the marquee where the bakers compete in, to the hosting pair that wander around chatting and dropping innuendos to contestants as they bake. Though with all the similarities, it isn’t watchable as Bake Off. And with the whole show based on the one theme it has more than a small chance to become repetitive.