The Fabulous Baker Brothers

Debashine Thangevelo

WHERE cooking shows are concerned, it is truly turning into a case of supply meeting a huge demand. And TV networks are making haste while the sun shines.

Aside from cooking icons like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, and Delia Smith, to single out a few from the plethora of chefs/bakers currying favour with food lovers, fresh faces are being introduced into the reality mêlée where talent-scouting shows (such as Masterchef) also have a big slice of the action.

True to form, BBC Lifestyle is whetting viewers’ appetites with concepts that are best described as novel.

For example, The Fabulous Baker Brothers reveals how two brothers earn their bread and butter and continue their five-generation family legacy. Tom Herbert is a passionate baker and his brother Henry, who owns the butchery next door, proves his own adeptness as the owner and, given his chef background, at fine cuisine too.

Their familial bond and love of food – not forgetting the witty banter and them just monkeying around – plays right into the hands of viewers who empathise with their relationship and remain transfixed by their skills with an oven and a blade, respectively.

Dishing out tips on making a slow-cooked cassoulet, delicious pastries and an array of hearty, flavourful dishes, these brothers will leave fans feeling like family.

The series begins in February.

Another virgin face is Rachel Khoo, a cordon bleu-trained chef and writer who specialises in French cuisine. Defying convention, Khoo has opted to run the smallest restaurant in the world – from her cosy Paris flat.

She can accommodate a maximum of only four people but her gourmet dinners, which also boast a Moroccan, Sudanese and Vietnamese influence – not forgetting her heavenly desserts – have made her a celebrated name in the food world.

Her show, The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo, airs in December and looks to be an intoxicating combination of tantalising meals, vital tricks of the trade for amateur cooks, superlative hosting skills and entertainment value that soars with the sprinkling of diverse personalities who appear in the six-part series.

Model-turned-pâtissier Lorraine Pascale proved her talents extended beyond the catwalk with three books (Baking Made Easy, Home Cooking Made Easy and Fast, Fresh & Easy Food) linked to her cooking TV shows. South Africa recently got to witness her baking prowess with Baking Made Easy, and she is returning with Home Cooking Made Easy.

What’s in store this time around?

Brace your taste buds for easy recipes for comfort food, from making a cosy deep orange and seasonally spicy roasted butternut soup with chilli and ginger, to black pepper pasta with creamy pancetta, mushroom and parmesan sauce and Asian chilli jam.

And she also offers ideas on nibbles and no-fuss canapés.

By the way, Ramsay is back, this time with Gordon’s Ultimate Cookery Course, in which, as the title suggests, he imparts the knowledge he has attained from his over 25 years of experience in kitchens; and Nigella Lawson brings the spirit of Italy into the kitchen with Nigellissima, which starts in January.

With such a rich smorgasbord of offerings, there’s only one thing to say: bon appetit!