Bake Off: Crème de la Crème
Bake Off: Crème de la Crème is a British television baking competition on BBC Two featuring teams of professional pastry chefs pit against one another through two different challenges. It is a spin-off from The Great British Bake Off, and its first episode was screened on BBC Two on 29 March 2016. The eight-episode first series of the programme was presented by Tom Kerridge, with Benoit Blin, Cherish Finden and Claire Clark serving as judges. The second series is presented by Angus Deayton, but Claire Clark did not return as a judge.
|Bake Off Crème de la Crème|
|Directed by||Emma Reynolds|
Claire Clark (2016)
|Theme music composer||Tom Howe|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Executive producer(s)||Anna Beattie
|Producer(s)||Kate Baller, Laura Smith|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Love Productions|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Original release||29 March 2016– present|
|Related shows||The Great British Bake Off|
The series is a competition between teams of professional pastry chefs from high-end hotels and restaurants, as well as supermarkets, armed forces and other companies and organisations. The competition aims to find the finest pastry chefs in the country, who can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary and can create desserts that have "stunning visual impact, phenomenal flavour, and texture." Teams of pastry chefs are chosen for the competition, with three pastry chefs in each team, one of them the team captain. In the heats, the three teams are given two challenges and are awarded marks from the three judges for each of their creations, the team with the best total score after both challenges is guaranteed a place in the semifinal. The team with the highest total score throughout the whole of the heats is also guaranteed a place within the semifinal.
- Miniature Challenge
- In this challenge each team have to create a batch of 3 different types of miniatures. All must be uniform in appearance, finished to the very highest professional standards and will only have three hours to make all 108 pastries. Each miniature is marked out of 30 with a total of 90 points available.
- Showpiece Challenge
- In this challenge each team are asked to reinvent a popular British dessert and present it as a fine-dining showpiece display. Each judge has 50 points they can award with a total of 150 points available.
The format changed between the first and second series. The first series started with 15 teams, three teams in each of the five heats, with the winning team each episode guaranteed a place in the semifinals, with one additional wild card from the heats. Three teams were selected from the two semifinals to compete in the final. The second series started with ten teams separated into two groups of five, with one team eliminated each episode over two sets of three heats before the semifinal. The two winners from the two semifinal then compete in the final.
|1||8||29 March 2016||17 May 2016||Squires Kitchen Cookery School||Hilton Park Lane|
|2||9||4 April 2017||31 May 2017||Military Chefs||Cocorico Patisserie|
The first series of the competition was filmed at Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, It was presented by Tom Kerridge, and the competition was judged Benoit Blin, Cherish Finden and Claire Clark.
There were fifteen teams of pastry chefs in the first round. The team from Marks & Spencer, British Armed Forces, London's Boulangerie Jade, London Hilton on Park Lane, and Leed's Lauden Chocolate winning their respective heats to reach the semifinal, while Squires Kitchen Cookery School from Surrey also went through as the best scoring runners-up. The Squires Kitchen and Hilton teams won their semifinals, with Boulangerie Jade chosen for the third spot in the final. The competition was won by the team from Squires Kitchen led by Mark Tilling with his former pupils Helen Vass and Samantha Rain.
Ten teams competed in this series, some of whom also competed in the first series. The final was between a returning team, the Military Chefs, and a team from Cocorico Patisserie of Cardiff. The competition was won by the Military Chefs with Liam Grime the team captain and two other RAF chefs, Ian Mark and Chris Morrell.
Early reviews were largely negative, with many reviewers comparing it unfavourably to The Great British Bake Off, suggesting that it had lost the crucial elements that made the original Bake Off a success. Michael Hogan of The Daily Telegraph complained that the new show "bore no resemblance to it whatsoever, thus seemed to be merely piggybacking cynically on the Bake-Off “brand". He also found two of the judges' accents as well as the scoring system "impenetrable", the baking "bafflingly scientific" and the teams not "terribly likeable". He concluded that Creme de la Creme "was nice but dull", and that as "a Bake-Off spin-off, it was a soggy-bottomed disaster. " Many of the viewing public concurred with the assessments of the critics and found the show lacking the "charm, fun and warmth" of the original. Chitra Ramaswamy of The Guardian thought that when the professional version of Bake Off gets serious means that "it gets silly", and he "found the format convoluted, which telly like this should never be." Gabriel Tate of The Times found the show a to be a "bloodless, uninvolving affair at once frenetically busy and yawningly free of incident, full of astounding technical proficiency and jawdropping invention, but devoid of passion and identity."
|1||29 March 2016||4.63||2|
|2||5 April 2016||4.09||2|
|3||12 April 2016||4.15||2|
|4||19 April 2016||3.81||2|
|5||26 April 2016||3.59||2|
|6||3 May 2016||3.59||1|
|7||10 May 2016||3.39||1|
|8||17 May 2016||3.68||1|
|1||4 April 2017||2.66||4|
|2||11 April 2017||2.85||3|
|3||18 April 2017||2.60||3|
|4||25 April 2017||2.66||1|
|5||2 May 2017||2.70||3|
|6||9 May 2017||2.49||3|
|7||16 May 2017||2.66||3|
|8||24 May 2017||2.22||6|
|9||31 May 2017||2.35||6|
- Alexander, Saffron (29 March 2016). "Everything you need to know about Bake Off: Creme de la Creme". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Great British Bake Off gets professional spin-off show". BBC. 2 December 2015.
- "Bake Off Creme de la Creme is staying on the BBC – with a new host". Radio Times. 20 January 2017.
- Lisa Jenkins (17 May 2016). "Team Tilling crowned winners of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème". The Caterer.
- Jenkins, Lisa (31 May 2017). "Military team triumphs as winner of Bake Off: Crème de la Crème". The Caterer.
- "The grand home of Bake Off Crème de la Crème - Welbeck Abbey". Radio Times. 29 March 2016.
- Middleton, Howard (18 May 2016). "Bake Off: Crème de la Crème – the final". Great British Chefs.
- Bevan, Nathan (31 May 2017). "Cardiff's Cocorico Patisserie have narrowly lost out in the final of Bake Off: Creme de la Creme". Wales Online.
- "Bake Off: Creme de la Creme gets a creaming from the critics". The Week. 30 March 2016.
- Hogan, Michael (30 March 2016). "Bake Off Crème de la Crème, review: 'a soggy-bottomed disaster'". The Daily Telegraph.
- Shepherd, Jack (30 March 2016). "Bake Off: Crème de la Crème is The Great British Bake Off without the 'charm, fun and warmth' according to Twitter". The Independent.
- Ramaswamy, Chitra (30 March 2016). "Three teams of professional pastry chefs compete in the Bake Off: Crème de la Crème". The Guardian.
- Tate, Gabriel (30 March 2016). "Bake Off: Creme de la Creme; The A Word". The Times.
- "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.