BBC, Former 'Great British Bake Off' Judge Mary Berry to Look for Britain's Best Cook

Courtesy of © Mark Bourdillon
Mary Berry

"At a time when British cooking has never been more varied, inspiring or of such high quality, this series will test the real-life expertise of truly great home cooks," says the public broadcaster.

U.K. public broadcaster BBC said Tuesday that its flagship channel BBC One would launch a cooking competition with former The Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry serving as a judge.

The show with the working title Britain’s Best Cook will presented by Claudia Winkleman and consist of eight hourlong episodes. 

"At a time when British cooking has never been more varied, inspiring or of such high quality, this series will test the real-life expertise of truly great home cooks and will celebrate the food people make for their loved ones every single day," the BBC said. "Mary Berry is returning to her first love; with more than 75 cookery books to her name, her authority in the home kitchen is beyond question, and she is the natural choice for the lead judge."

The search for a second judge is underway. "I am never more at home than when I have my judging hat on," said Berry. "This series is going to encourage proper home cooking which I have always championed and I cannot wait to start."

Charlotte Moore, the director of BBC Content who ordered the show together with David Brindley, head of commissioning, popular factual and factual entertainment, said: “Home cooking has quietly become one of the nation's favorite obsessions and so there is no better place than BBC One to compete for this crown."

Over the course of the series, 10 contestants will need to "demonstrate skill under pressure and individual flair, as they’re asked to serve the most perfect version of dishes that define modern British home cooking as well as create their special take on well-loved classics," the BBC said.

The show is being made by Keo Films, with executive producers Andrew Palmer, Matt Cole and Claire Nosworthy. 

Berry and the BBC had cooked up other shows together since the public broadcaster lost Bake Off to Channel 4. Mary Berry's Secrets From Britain's Great Houses was designed to show Berry sample "the culinary histories of stately homes and create new recipes inspired by her visits," while Mary Berry Everyday was ordered to let her "celebrate the food and ingredients she turns to most as she proves that you don’t need an exotic larder or a chef’s repertoire to create delicious dishes every night of the week."

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