Whites is a brand new series set in the kitchen of a country house hotel, following the trials and tribulations of head chef Roland White and his long suffering sous chef Bib.
Oliver Lansley, describes how, with co-writer Matt King, the idea for the show came together...
Oliver Lansley writes
So here we are, at the end of a very long and eventful journey awaiting the transmission of episode one of ‘Whites’ on BBC 2. Matt and I started working properly on Whites about four years ago, though in many ways it’s been a much longer journey than that for both of us. For starters Matt worked as a chef for many years in a place not so dissimilar to the fictional Thaxted Manor which features in the series (I was a waiter in another similar place, though that's not nearly so impressive!)
We met working on a channel 4 comedy lab and after a brief conversation about ‘maybe trying to write something together’ we almost immediately began working on ‘Whites’, and four years, a treatment, a taster, a pilot and about a billion scripts later, here we are. Exciting...and terrifying!
If you’re reading this you’ve probably gathered that Whites is a show set in a kitchen revolving around its head chef Roland White. However although we were at great pains to make the cooking action authentic and real (We even roped in Matt’s former sous Chef –Andrew Turner - Now head Chef at Wilton’s, as our chef consultant) to us the show was always much more about the characters and their relationships. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have assembled such a brilliant cast and we had an absolutely fantastic time holed up in Cardiff together for six weeks filming the show, so we hope that some of that shines through on screen.
Although it’s tempting to write a lot of pretentious writer stuff about the process of creating the show I think it’s probably best to just let you watch it and make up your minds for yourself, so here you go...we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.
On day one of filming Matt and I were given video camera and told to film some ‘interesting behind the scenes footage’ - six weeks later and the BBC now have hours and hours of videos of us and the cast ‘dicking about’ - however after scouring the footage the Beeb have put together a few clips which will hopefully give you a little insight into what the making of Whites was like.
This first clip is from the first day of filming when Matt and I came on set and got to see ‘The White House’ restaurant and kitchen for the first time. An incredible experience, walking into what is basically a huge aircraft hanger, going through a door and then suddenly finding yourself inside a kitchen that you invented in your mind, months, even years ago... very surreal!
We ended up spending a lot of time in that studio/kitchen and it really is in many ways another character in the series, it’s the beating heart of the show and it was really exciting to see it come to life....