BBC One has revealed 10 home cooks that will compete in Britain’s Best Home Cook, living in a shared house for the brand new eight-part series hosted by Claudia Winkleman and judged by the queen of home cooking Mary Berry, produce expert Chris Bavin, and top chef Dan Doherty.
This is the ultimate immersive cooking competition with home at its heart, bringing passionate home cooks from across the country together while they compete for the crown. From South Wales to Glasgow and from Salford to Kent, the 10 home cooks will leave their own homes from around Britain to live under the same roof during the competition.
Over the weeks they will face a comprehensive range of culinary challenges, from fabulous feasts to the nation's favourite dishes, and all things in between. Each of the home cooks will bring a piece of home with them to personalise their kitchen stations in the studio with their treasured items and photographs.
Over eight episodes Mary, Chris and Dan will set challenges that will ask the cooks to demonstrate individual flair, skill, creativity and breadth in their home cooking, with a high-pressure elimination round sending someone home every week.
Meet the 10 home cooks:
Katie is a 32-year-old 999 Police Emergency call handler and dispatcher who lives in Neath, South Wales. She always cooked with her mother but fell out of love with cooking until she met her husband, Alan, which ignited her passion for home cooking. She is very proud of her Welsh heritage and her family recipes, some of which are three or four generations old. She describes herself as an "everyday home cook" who loves to cook homely recipes, stews and casseroles to feed her friends and family.
Dipa is a 44-year-old civil servant from Wolverhampton. She was naturally interested in cooking from an early age and by the age of 11 was making curries. Dipa says her father’s Kenyan heritage and mother’s Indian heritage is her inspiration and she loves cooking with fresh spices. She never uses a cook book and relies on her instincts, simple ingredients and straightforward methods to prepare dishes for her husband and three children.
Fiona, 59, is a retired shop keeper from County Down, Northern Ireland. She started collecting Robert Carrier Cookery magazines when she was 15 and her hobby became an obsession. She loves cooking homely, farmhouse kitchen style food for her four sons, two daughters and her husband – creating feasts that make her family happy.
Cyrus is a 27-year-old wine consultant and entrepreneur from York. He started cooking properly when he was 16 and he loves creating French or Italian dishes. The process of combining ingredients and flavours to create dishes is what fascinates Cyrus and he strives to be ambitious in his home cooking.
Josie, 37, is a Wealth Client Executive at a bank and lives in Glasgow. Intrigued by her grandparents and mother cooking, she was once asked to peel an onion and from that moment on she was smitten with cooking. Certain recipes remind Josie of being back in the Philippines. She loves to recreate her favourite Filipino dishes and prides herself on being an instinctive cook – she never follows a recipe.
Philip, 48, is a maths teacher from Surrey who has loved food ever since he can remember. Growing up in the Seventies, traditional British cuisine is what he most loves to cook; prawn cocktail, a roast with all the trimmings and Black Forest gateau with a more modern take would be his ideal menu. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course is still his cookery book bible, as it was a huge source of inspiration while growing up.
Pippa is a 28-year-old home cook from Salford. She works as an oncology research biobank technician and was taught to cook by her grandma who made really homely food. Her granddad used to take her to a dim sum restaurant with a Chinese supermarket underneath which she would peruse. It was this that drew her to cooking and her love of Asian food.
Q, 38, is a children’s A & E nurse from Balcombe in West Sussex. She grew up in Slovakia where food was central to family life. Food is never far from her thoughts and she cooks with her mother’s knife which she has used for years. She describes her style of home cooking as very continental with French influences using simple ingredients.
Tobi, 27, from London is a compliance manager who started cooking with his mum and gran when he was just seven-years-old. He became the stand-in cook for his three brothers whenever his mum and dad were busy. Cooking is in his soul, he loves cooking food inspired by his British Nigerian heritage and love of all things French!
Trevor, 29, is a farmer from Kent whose love of cooking came from his mum, grandmother and Auntie Irene. Coming from a farming background, Trevor is inspired by, and has a heartfelt appreciation of ingredients and the time and effort that goes into producing them. He enjoys cooking with spices and loves bold flavours in his home cooking.
The search for Britain’s Best Home Cook begins Thursday 3 May, 8pm-9pm on BBC One