Much-missed cookery programme Ready Steady Cook has returned to television screens and we have to say that we're loving it thus far. Tapping into some of the current trends and issues surrounding food, such as healthy eating, cooking on a budget and managing food waste, the new series is a refreshing break from some of the more serious TV cookery competitions such as MasterChef. Filmed in front of a live studio audience and featuring amateur cooks of all different levels, Ready Steady Cook is all about making cooking seem more accesible while also remaining forever entertaining.
The original Ready Steady Cook ran for a mammoth 21 series, with Fern Britton hosting from 1994 to 2000, before she stepped aside to let Ainsley Harriott take over presenting duties until the show’s end in 2010. Since then, many fans have been calling for its return and much to their delight it's now back on our TV screens, demonstrating that the British public still love a little bit of nostalgia. This follows on from other recent reboots such as Supermarket Sweep which originally ran 1993 to 2001, before also returning to our screens earlier this year.
The new series of Ready Steady Cook features an entirely new line up of chefs who are there to lend a hand to the amateur contestants, and has also been filmed on a swanky new set. However, many things have stayed the same from the orignal series, with the two teams still wearing red and green aprons to represent a green pepper and a tomato. It's also guaranteed that in every episode there'll be a touch of mayhem, with mad dashes to get everything finished in time and the odd dropped bowl or spillage. But that's what we love about Ready Steady Cook right? Below we've put together a guide of everything you need to know about the reboot of this classic show.
When is Ready Steady Cook on?
Having kicked off on 2 March, Ready Steady Cook airs on weekdays at 16:30 on BBC One.
Who is the host?
The new series is headed up by former X-Factor and Big Brother star turned presenter Rylan Clarke-Neal who is having a busy year after also being named as the host of the revamped Supermarket Sweep. On his appointment as host of Ready Steady Cook, Clarke-Neal said: "To be asked to host such an amazing show for the BBC is such a privilege. After making the finals of Celebrity MasterChef, I know how tough cooking under pressure can be. I'm sure that the mix of new challenges, fantastic chefs and enthusiastic cooks will be a recipe for success, maybe with the odd disaster!"
Who are the chefs?
Five chefs are featured in the series, with only two helping out in each episode. These chefs have a mixture of different backgrounds with some running lauded restaurants and even large scale restaurant chains, and others fronting big cookbook publishing companies. What they all have in common though is that they're incredibly experienced and know how to knock up a top notch meal in very little time! Those stepping up to the plate are:
Mike Reid - Executive chef of M Restaurants
Romy Gill MBE - Ex-owner and head chef of award-winning Romy's Kitchen in Thornbury
Anna Haugh - Owner and head chef of Myrtle in Chelsea
Ellis Barrie - Owner of Lerpwl and The Marram Grass
Akis Petretzikis - Greek chef and cookbook writer
Who are the contestants?
Each episode features two brand new contestants who usually know each other in some way. The new series sees everything from brothers and lifelong friends, to a married couple pitting their cookery skills against one another.
What is the format of the show?
Every episode sees two contestants up against each other, while both of them are also paired with one of the professional chefs. The first task involves the contestants being given a budget of £10 to buy whatever ingredients they wish, before having just twenty minutes, with the help of chefs, to create a few exciting dishes using only those ingredients and a small larder.
The second task involves three rows of cards which all have an ingredient written on the back of them. The contestants have to pick at random one card from each row and then, with the help of their chef, have to create a dish or series of dishes using those three ingredients. However, the bottom row is full of wildcards meaning that contestants have to find ways of incorporating things like a tin of baked beans into their dish.
After both tasks the audience decides which team they think has performed the best over the two tasks.
If you’re obsessed with cooking shows, check out everything you need to know about this year’s Great British Menu.