26
Mar 09

Format swap: Heston’s Feasts versus Big Cook Little Cook

FT/Post a comment • 1,763 views

I’ve noticed many people saying the only thing wrong about the crazy world of the Heston’s Feasts series has been the celeb diners making their inane comments. So yes, the format is great — a talented man’s fabulous cooking inspired by myth, fable and history — but the guests he’s cooking for are (mostly) rubbish.

I’ve not, so far, seen people making the complementary complaint about cBeebies ‘Big Cook, Little Cook’. A long description of the show can be found on an old post on Richard Herring’s blog, but in short the eponymous cooks have to cook for a character from nursery rhymes or fairy tales (Snow White, Old Macdonald). The problem is that as a show meant to inspire children to cook, the options are limited to recipes involving mashing together cottage cheese, crushed up crackers, toast and food colouring, with specially shaped-cutters (stars, fish, etc) to theme it up a bit. Though there is some oven-action it’s limited as they have to keep reminding you to “Get your adult helper to do this as the oven is hot hot hot!”.

So here we have uninspired cooking by a couple of height-mismatched fools for a fabulous-character from myth/fable WHO YOU NEVER SEE. The cooks just get a nice message through the café hatch saying “I loved my mashed banana sandwiches cut in the shape of the Empire State Building, love Kong”.

FORMAT SWAP

If Heston’s childish-wonder-meets-Wilf-Lunn-science approach to cooking can make soup and a magical drink straight out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland, why not give HIM the fairy-tale guests. Leave Big Cook Ben and Little Cook Small to stuff their blue cottage-cheese sculptures into the faces of Kim and Aggie or whoever the hell else they dredge up.

Another difference will be that as a lot of the Heston show was in the presentation — the theatre — of presenting the food to the diners, the fabulous characters have to actually appear via CGI/animatronics. Even better, that means the celebrities wouldn’t appear on BCLC. They just leave their little card of thanks: ‘Food is nice – Matthew Fort’.

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