Britain's Best Home Cook

Britain's Best Home Cook

Mary insists it will be different to Bake Off

Brand new series, Britian's Best Home Cook starts tonight! And although many have noticed similarities between The Great British Bake off and Mary Berry's new show, she insists there are differences. The main one being that the show will be "kinder" to contestants than the 'Great British Bake Off'.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, she said: "Yes, the judging certainly is different. We wanted to avoid tears. All three [her and the other two judges] of us encouraged people and told them where they went wrong, and said: 'Next time do it like this'. This will help the viewer.

But Mary - who will co-judge alongside chef Dan Doherty and produce importer Chris Bavin - didn't want to humiliate the contestants and wanted her remarks to help them improve. 

She explained: "It was quite different. I've spent seven series on '...Bake Off' and so it was very refreshing. I couldn't have chosen two people more knowledgeable in their fields.

"I haven't changed my principles of judging. I want to get the best out of people and encourage them if they've made a bit of a cock-up. We don't want people to be upset but ready for their next challenge. 

"We are totally different from 'Bake Off' because it is all about cakes and baking and it has got quite complicated, with all sorts of equipment to ice, flavour and colour, and very intricate.

"Home cooking is totally different so this will appeal to different people, as well as maybe people who like 'Bake Off', because, after all, we have got to eat some wonderful family meals. I can't tell you how excited I was as I've always done real home cooking."

What is the show about? 

We were so sad when Mary Berry left The Great British Bake Off after it moved to Channel 4 so we were very excited when we heard about her new project.

Britain’s Best Cook will see Mary returning to a judging role in this new cooking contest on BBC. The show will put amateur British cooks to the test in cooking traditional British dishes, celebrating all our favourite comfort food dishes our parents and grandparents made for us.

Mary will be judging alongside chef Dan Doherty and food service expert Chris Bavin. Dan is currently chef director at London restaurant, Duck and Waffle, whilst Chris started out as a market trader, and after working in food importing, wholesaling and retailing, he can often be seen on TV programmes such as Eat Well for Less and Food: Truth or Scare.


The three will be judging ten home cooks from across Britain in a range of culinary challenges across the eight-week series, in order to be crown Britain’s Best Cook. The show will be presented by Strictly host, Claudia Winkleman and is set to start on BBC One later this year.

Why Mary thought she wouldn't judge again

Although Mary is a very experienced cook and has seven years experience of judging on the Great British Bake Off, the 83-year-old doubted she would ever judge again after her time on the show came to an end. 

"I love judging because by now I know what I'm about - but I really wanted to do it well. I asked myself if I was doing the right thing and I realised this person on my left [Claudia] would be roaring with laughter and making it all very relaxed. The bonus point for me was having her."

Why home cooking is key to a happy family life

She told the Radio Times magazine: "There's no froth. None of this stacked food. No layer upon layer and a drizzle on the top. Our contestants don't want to be professional chefs. The most important thing about a show like this is sincerity, it must be genuine. My aim is to get everybody in Britain cooking at home."

Mary is keen to promote how important home cooking is to maintaining a happy family life. 

She explained: "If you sit down and feed your family round the table, they'll talk to you. Children tell you all sorts of things when they're happy and full and everyone is together - it makes them ready to chat."

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