UK TV review: Crazy Delicious
James R | On 24, Jan 2020
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets Bake Off. That’s the pitch for Channel 4’s new cooking contest, which manages to lose some of the magic of each in its determination to over-egg its own pudding.
The concept is impressively bizarre, as we see three chefs duke it out to become the favourite of the “food Gods” – three judges who genuinely hover above the set, dressed in white, waiting for them to ascend with their offerings. The three gods? American food guru Carla Hall, Swedish traditionalist Niklas Ekstedt and eccentric magician Heston Blumenthal. And the set? That’s apparently all edible, from chocolate soil to a Prosecco brook.
The result is a strangely hallucinogenic experience that’s compered by Jayde Adams, making jokes at every opportunity while chomping on the scenery (literally).
The problem, though, is that the actual competition isn’t really very unique at all, with the first round recalling Britain’s Best Home Cook as they have make one ingredient shine, and the second round borrowing an element from Netflix’s Sugar Rush, as the winner of round one gets a bonus of additional time.
The recipes are certainly interesting, from strawberry cheesecake chicken wings to reinventing the hot dog and making a birthday cake with edible glitter and parsnips. The best of the bunch (Hannah), however, is unfairly overlooked, despite coming up with a hay creme pat in a trifle that really buys into the concept of eating their natural surroundings – when that happens, you wonder what exactly the show is trying to reward or celebrate.
There are moments of foodie fun, such as when Heston wonders why he didn’t think of inserting vinegar into a triple-cooked chip, but it’ll take another few recipe tweaks to get this enjoyably mad but disappointingly uneven mixture right.
Crazy Delicious is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.