Channel 4 has announced a spin-off for its popular cooking show/social experiment, Come Dine With Me.
The long-running programme, which has aired for some 17 years, usually sees four home cooks prepare a three-course meal for each other at their respective homes in the hope of winning £1,000. Each is judged and scored by the three not cooking, often with results equally disastrous and amusing. The show has also occasionally run starring celebrities and couples.
The format will now adapted to feature professional chefs and restaurateurs, cooking in their professional kitchens and plating up in their restaurants, while in the middle of a normal service. The winner will be named the best independent restaurant in their town or city.
Teams of two will compete — likely a head chef and the restaurant’s maître d' or owner — with scores out of 20 given for the food, atmosphere and service. The cash prize will be shared between the staff at the winning restaurant.
Happily, the shows’s sardonic narrator, Dave Lamb, will voice the show, which will air as part of Channel 4’s daytime schedule.
Though no details have been shared of the professionals who are signed up to compete, the channel’s press release mentions that local and independent restaurants will face off against each other, meaning it is unlikely viewers will watch the local chef at Côte compete with the latest neighbourhood Ivy. There’s also been no word on whether the UK’s biggest culinary names are set to sign up — though all hope has not been yet dashed for Marco commenting on Gordon having all the grace of a reversing dump truck without any tyres on.
Show producer Tim Carter told the Sun: “For 15 glorious years, we’ve been celebrating the culinary creations and epic fails that pour forth from the nation’s home kitchens.
"Now, as they recover from the battering of the last couple of years, Come Dine With Me cheers on Britain’s restaurants with its customary love note to gastronomic endeavour.”
Sadly, no word on whether the producers have plans for Come Dine With Me: The All Stars, which would see the likes of Peter “What a sad little life, Jane” Marsh take on Kevin, a contestant who thought it wise, while on national television, to stick an entire whisk into his mouth.