A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Big Family Cooking Showdown is a British kitchen competition series where three-member teams of family members vie to wow professional judges with meals they've prepared. The series emphasizes family camaraderie, creativity, and diverse cultural inspiration in meal preparation, but its main focus is promoting cooking as a whole family activity. Tensions can run high as the contest progresses, and the participants let their disappointment be known when mistakes are made, but on the whole it's an inspiring series that warms the heart with its presentation of multigenerational families sharing the joys of cooking.
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What's the story?
THE BIG FAMILY COOKING SHOWDOWN is a British series in which teams of family members compete in cooking challenges. Hosted by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain, the competition begins with three-person teams representing 16 families, and each episode pits two teams against each other, with the winner moving on to the next round. Judges Rosemary Shrager and Giorgio Locatelli pose three tasks to the contestants, who must race the clock to produce savory dishes from their own repertoires.
Is it any good?
Foodies will enjoy this kitchen show and its heartwarming emphasis on family togetherness. Contestants are encouraged to put personal touches on simple dishes in three challenges: a lunch for four on a modest budget, a cozy dinner for the judges in the cooks' own home, and two meals that will impress the neighbors. The hostesses are there for encouragement, chatter, and gentle reminders of elapsed time as the cooks race the clock to present their masterpieces to the judges, who offer positive reviews and honest criticism on their work.
With cooking and baking competitions rampant on TV today, it's difficult for one to distinguish itself in what becomes a formulaic format. Happily, The Big Family Cooking Showdown's focus on family and the joys of cooking together, honoring family heritage, and sitting down to a shared meal at home does create a special and heartwarming niche within this genre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how realistic The Big Family Cooking Showdown is. The contestants often talk about having practiced numerous times before the actual contest. Is that what you expect from a cooking contest, or should it be more off-the-cuff? Does their preparation add to the authenticity or detract from it?
How do the contestants incorporate their families' cultures into the dishes they make? Does this kind of creativity always work to the cooks' advantage? To what degree is cooking a subjective art to judge?
What activities does your family enjoy together? How do you make family time a priority amid everyone's busy schedules?