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Great British Menu Series 8


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Old 24-03-2013, 21:31
degsyhufc
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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this further back but.......

How are the chefs actually chosen for the programme?

Does the BBC ask individual chefs if they want to apply to take part or does a general request go out in "Cheffing Weekly" asking for interested chefs to apply?

Do the chefs know the brief before taking on the challenge?

Just wondered, as so many of the chefs this year have said "It's way out of my comfort zone" and have not shown a single element of "comedy" in their dishes, some being totally aware of the lack of humour and stating that their food is good enough to stand on its own without any gimics, i.e. clearly ignoring the brief rather than just missing it. It seems odd that if you know that the brief is comedy, that you enter a competition with the intention of ignoring the brief totally.

Maybe the lack of a laugh will be used in the final judging??
They tried to shake it up a few years back when they had Fort going around regional restaurants to choose the best chefs.
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:17
Gooby
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I've been trying to think of a way of rejigging the show to better represent that the judges are choosing individual dishes from chefs rather than a whole menu.

Instead of each week having a region you could have a course.

So the first 4 weeks are heats for each course.

A chef can then decide if they want to enter more than one course or not.

Each day 4 chefs cook a dish for the round and 2 get through to the final on Friday - The the Judges taste all the dishes that got through and choose 3 to go to the final.

Finals - The judges now know the 3 different dishes for each course and they have to choose which ones go best together to create the overall banquet.

The problem here though is that the series is much shorter - only 4 weeks of heats. Also filming wise, if a chef wants to enter more than one course they will have to give up more time to filming.

Anyone any better ideas?
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Old 25-03-2013, 16:16
fustacluck
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I've been trying to think of a way of rejigging the show to better represent that the judges are choosing individual dishes from chefs rather than a whole menu.

Instead of each week having a region you could have a course.

So the first 4 weeks are heats for each course.

A chef can then decide if they want to enter more than one course or not.

Each day 4 chefs cook a dish for the round and 2 get through to the final on Friday - The the Judges taste all the dishes that got through and choose 3 to go to the final.

Finals - The judges now know the 3 different dishes for each course and they have to choose which ones go best together to create the overall banquet.

The problem here though is that the series is much shorter - only 4 weeks of heats. Also filming wise, if a chef wants to enter more than one course they will have to give up more time to filming.

Anyone any better ideas?
I think the format is ok. The regionals help the show as they allow the audience to learn who the chefs are and also give a reason for the filler, like this season's "what we did to try out our food and do something Comic Relief-y" bits, to extend the show to the time that it is.

I think it's the judging that is the problem, and has steadily got worse over the last couple of seasons. Changing the judges might be an answer, as they seem to have forgotten what their job is (getting the best of the dishes that fill the brief for the banquet), to this season where they have marked their favourite food, even if it doesn't so much as touch the brief.

All that's really needed, though, is for them to be kept honest. First of all, they shouldn't be allowed to know who is cooking which dish, this is just common sense in a competition based on subjective judging. Secondly, the 10 points should be split between the food and the theme. If they have 5 points each to mark from, I don't think there would be as much anger and disbelief as there has been this season. The amount of times this season I've seen 8s and 9s given out to dishes that have ignored the theme completely and thought to myself that even if the food was perfection, that means that they're marking the Comic Relief side a 3 or a 4, or above average. This would also have the knock on effect of chefs going into the contest knowing that if they're ignoring the brief the best they can hope to score is 5 out of ten, and so would light a fire under their collective arses. We would then see more imaginative creations instead of just the best food on their menu.

It would also be good if they could give more guidance to the chef moving on. The amount of times that the marks have been destroyed by one unnecessary element or one element of the dish just having a mistake has been incredible. Worse, it get excused for particular chefs. Either way is counter-productive to the banquet. How hard would it be to just take into consideration the dish as a whole, and whether changing that one element would make the difference, then when the marks are given just tell the chef in question that they need to change or remove that element?
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Old 25-03-2013, 16:40
degsyhufc
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I've been trying to think of a way of rejigging the show to better represent that the judges are choosing individual dishes from chefs rather than a whole menu.

Instead of each week having a region you could have a course.

So the first 4 weeks are heats for each course.

A chef can then decide if they want to enter more than one course or not.

Each day 4 chefs cook a dish for the round and 2 get through to the final on Friday - The the Judges taste all the dishes that got through and choose 3 to go to the final.

Finals - The judges now know the 3 different dishes for each course and they have to choose which ones go best together to create the overall banquet.

The problem here though is that the series is much shorter - only 4 weeks of heats. Also filming wise, if a chef wants to enter more than one course they will have to give up more time to filming.

Anyone any better ideas?
This was my suggestion
It's been discussed and argued over for years about the format. It's two competitions in one.
The Great British Menu at the final banquet is made up from the menus that made it to the final.

The standout problem here is that there are many excellent dishes that are dismissed at the heat stages.


A possibility could be to judge the dishes individually and have the top three go through.

You could have four categories to judge the dish awarding a maximum of 5 points in each.
Taste
Execution
Presentation
Brief

So a dish could have a maximum score of 20 points. The top three from each course go through to the final. The final menu is chosen from the winning dishes.
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Old 25-03-2013, 16:42
mindyann
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First of all, they shouldn't be allowed to know who is cooking which dish, this is just common sense in a competition based on subjective judging.
Sorry for snipping just for space issues

The problem is, that the judges are nearly always going to know who cooked what anyway. They know enough about the individual cooking style of the chefs to have a fair idea of which dish belongs to which chef.

I know it's an extreme example, but none of the judges would have looked at the plates of food put up by Mary Ann and think it likely that it came from Richard even if they didn't have prior info.
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Old 25-03-2013, 17:09
fustacluck
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Sorry for snipping just for space issues

The problem is, that the judges are nearly always going to know who cooked what anyway. They know enough about the individual cooking style of the chefs to have a fair idea of which dish belongs to which chef.

I know it's an extreme example, but none of the judges would have looked at the plates of food put up by Mary Ann and think it likely that it came from Richard even if they didn't have prior info.
Don't worry about editing my post down. I can have diarrhea of the keyboard at the best of times .

Yeah, I understand that would be the case as I remember a couple of previous seasons where there has been a solitary asian chef, so it wasn't a surprise who cooked the asian menu.

But why change the rules for the worse (although it was already compromised when, if memory serves, last season they had the judging chef join the judges at the end of the week)? When it was completely blind I remember them being surprised quite a few times as they thought a dish belonged to the other chef.

Plus if they split the points as in my earlier post, pushing the chefs to be more creative, it should be further difficult to recognise a chef based on previous experience of their food.
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Old 25-03-2013, 18:49
Whodini
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Hopefully tonight is an enjoyable show that focuses on the food, which as we are so oft of hearing is the most important thing.

Also I can imagine some red faces, let alone red noses, when the chefs see each others mostly pathetic job at being funny with food.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:03
strictmachine
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Evening all, I was nearly so distracted by my salted caramel ice cream I forgot to switch on.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:05
planets
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eveningall......ooops i nearly didn't turn on till 7.30pm was doing a random flick through the channels!
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:05
fender101
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evening people

disappointing lack of foam this year.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:06
planets
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oh no will all the chefs find nan's china and titanic hysterically funny?
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:06
chloe_26
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Please let the chef's rip the Titanic apart
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:09
Mishcoll
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Not sure about this chefs judging aswell business, can see some low marks coming, hope I'm proved wrong

At least they aren't doing the your not cooking unless you've changed the dish we really didn't like thing again
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:11
vixyvic
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Evening everyone think this is the only evening I'll be able to watch live this week so I'll be relying on the thread to give me the full nuance of what unfolds.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:12
planets
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prue seems to have had magic mushrooms in her mushroom cream....
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:14
vixyvic
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It's a good thing you can't serve fish and chips for dessert... Twist on a classic
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:15
planets
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It's a good thing you can't serve fish and chips for dessert...
next year's brief: fish and chips for every course...
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:15
fender101
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bit quiet on here tonight, think there might be one or two confused FMs logging on at 7.30...
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:16
Iphigenia
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Oops, I hadn't realized there was an early start, thanks guys! and thank goodness for tivo, that will let me rewind, even a channel I wasn't watching!!
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:16
planets
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bit quiet on here tonight, think there might be one or two confused FMs logging on at 7.30...
yup i only saw it was on early by a random flick through the channels....
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:16
chloe_26
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hmm I can see the chefs down marking each other deliberately
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:17
vixyvic
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You said it Patricia - fish and chips are nice but not particularly funny.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:18
planets
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i like colin
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:18
chloe_26
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You said it Patricia - fish and chips are nice but not particularly funny.
she's actually talking a lot of sense
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:20
strictmachine
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I didn't see that tomato dish before.
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