Sugar Rush (Netflix)


Sugar Rush (Netflix) – Premieres 13th July

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.


Girl Meets Farm (Food Network)


Girl Meets Farm (Food Network) – Premieres 24th June

A standard Food Network cooking show along the same lines as Valeries Home Cooking where Molly Yeh is entertaining some guests at the farm she lives on with her husband.

The programme starts off with Molly talking about the event that coming up, and shows what she’ll be cooking to feed the people arriving for it. Then during the show Molly shows how to make the dishes, where at the end of the programme everything is presented to the visitors for the meal.

As a cooking show, the meals produced are more technical than the stuff shown in Giada On The Beach, though everything in it seems really basic and doesn’t come close the stuff done in It’s Suppertime.


Cooking On High (Netflix)


Cooking On High (Netflix) – Premieres 22nd June

A show that takes the premise of Bong Appétit and turns it into a 15 minute cooking competition. Where two chefs go head to head to be crowned the bestest chef to use cannabis edibles in a meal, and win a gold pot and a lovely sash.

The show kicks of with the host introducing the two judges. Where they chat about their love of weed and how stoned they usually are, before the chefs are brought in.

From there chefs are told the theme of the dish they will have to produce, along with a weed expert bringing in the strand they will have to cook with. Then after describing what they will be making, the chefs cook their dishes in front of the judges. Where after they are eaten and scored, a winner is crowned.

Even for a 15 minute cooking show this one goes along at a slow pace and is a bit of a chore to get through. Especially if listening to folks talking about how stoned they’ve got isn’t your thing.


Giada On The Beach (Food Network)


Giada On The Beach (Food Network) – Premieres 20th May

A cooking show hosted by Giada De Laurentiis, where her and her daughter have moved to a beach side apartment, and in a lucky turn of events, the show is featuring creating simple dishes be enjoyed in an outdoor situation.

In the programme Giada goes about creating three dishes and a drink, that range between simple to insultingly simple to make. Before Giada starts making each part of the meal she explains why she’s cooking what she is. How she first learned how to make it, and then where she got the ingredients from.

As cooking shows go this one at times barely does anything that resembles cooking. And with the speed it takes to make the items Giada is creating, it means there’s a lot of padding which adds to the tedium of the show. It’s a hell of a grind to get through.


Dallas Cakes (Food Network)


Dallas Cakes (Food Network) – Premieres 30th April

A programme that is similar in structure to Ridiculous Cakes!, where in the episode it follows three Dallas based bakers as they create gargantuan elaborate cakes.

In the show it follows each of the bakers from when they receive the brief from their client. Then shows them as they come up with an idea that fits the wants of the client, and follows them as they make and then finally deliver the cake to the overjoyed recipients.

For what it is the show does what you’d expect, and with it following such a well used format it doesn’t offer anything different from other similar programmes.