Battle of the kitchens in The Big Family Cooking Showdown

Battle of the kitchens in The Big Family Cooking Showdown

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Friday, 28th July 2017
Nadiya Hussain & Zoe Ball (Credit: BBC)

BBC Two's brand new cooking competition The Big Family Cooking Showdown is on the search for the best family dishes around the country

The cooking series will be presented by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain, as they visit kitchens around country to find the best classic family recipes.

The recipes will be judged by renowned cookery teacher Rosemary Shrager and Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli. The two judges will set challenges in both the studio kitchen and home kitchens, as they cut down the 16 teams of over eight heats, three semi-finals and one major grand final!

There is a diverse range of families competing with their own renowned cultural dishes. Swedish, Persian, Caribbean, Syrian, Moroccan... pretty endless!

Each episode will see two families battle it out in three rounds:

The £10 Challenge: Each family must show what they can do to feed four people with a budget of £10 in 1 hour 15 minutes.

Home Visits Challenge: The families must cook a main and a dessert for Rosemary and Giorgio in their own homes in 90 minutes.

Impress The Neighbours Challenge: Both families will return to the studio for the deciding round, creating a starter and a main in 2 hours 15 minutes.

Meet the Presenters

Zoe Ball

"It’s time to celebrate passionate foodie families all over the country and this series will show us home cooking at its best, even if it’s using old pans and mismatched crockery!"

Zoe Ball is one of TV and radio's best-known presenters after taking over from Claudia Winkleman on BBC Two’s Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

She wouldn’t describe herself as the world’s best cook, but she has enjoyed learning some new tips from the families competing and from Nadiya while filming the show.


Nadiya Hussain

“Having been through a food competition as an amateur cook myself, I know exactly how tough it can get and so I’ll be there for them, alongside Zoe, as the pressure really builds.”

Bake Off queen Nadiya has worked on a number of personal projects, most recently Nadiya's British Food Adventure.

She loves to cook for her family and get creative in the kitchen, and she she looking forward to finding even more food inspiration during the series.

Meet the Judges

Rosemary Shrager

“It’s wonderful to be meeting families with their own recipes and to be judging good honest family food. I’m hoping to be inspired and surprised by the dishes these families cook at home to put a smile on each other’s faces.”

Rosemary is an accomplished chef with a career including restaurant kitchens, cookery schools and TV. Recently she has been on BBC's The Real Marigold Hotel, but has also been a cuisine teacher on reality television show Ladette to Lady

She is looking for a family with food at its heart that shares both kitchen duties and recipes between the generations.


Giorgio Locatelli

“I strongly believe that cooking at home is at the base of healthy family relationships. For Rosemary and I to be given the opportunity to taste people’s family dishes within their home is such an honour.”

Giorgio dreamt of being a waiter when he was young, but he discovered his love for cooking while working with chefs in his family’s hotel kitchen. He is now a Michelin star chef and runs one of the finest restaurants in London.

He is looking forward to experiencing the all the different family’s heritages through the dishes that they serve.

Meet the Families

The Charles vs The Marks

The Charles family: Betty, Dan & Jean

The Charles family are originally from Bedfordshire but now live in Yorkshire. Betty's husband Dan (centre) has been known to leave betting slips scattered around the house with new recipes scribbled on them.

They take inspiration for their food from their travels across Europe and Asia, to conjure up exciting dishes for their family and friends. Dan enjoys picking fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that they’ve grown to use in his dishes.

The Marks family: Jessica, Torun & Oskar

Torun (centre) was born in Sweden and came to the UK when she was 30 years old. She love to make pastries, dance in the kitchen and have a cheeky gin and tonic every day at 6pm.

The Marks family enjoy cooking Swedish dishes that Torun has passed down to them. Oskar tends to adapt the recipes using more exotic ingredients.

The Dawes vs The Karims

The Dawes family: Sue, Ellie & Sam

Sam (right) and his girlfriend Ellie (centre) met through a performing poetry collective and instantly bonded over their love of food. Ellie and her mum Sue love hosting themed dinner parties at their family home in Hampshire.

Sam loves the science behind food and is always experimenting with different ways to cook, from six-meat lasagne to cryo-blanching beans. He grew up in Hong Kong and his dad’s Chinese cooking has influenced his cooking today.

The Karims; Zakila, Sumiya, Rizwana

Zakila (left) is renowned among her colleagues for her homemade samosas which are so popular she’s even started selling them in the office.

Her niece Sumiya is a student. She is a keen photographer and is constantly taking photos of her cooking and is in charge of presentation on the team.

Zakila’s sister-in-law Rizwana (right) likes to use organic, fresh produce and has cooked traditional Pakistani meals for the last 21 years.

The Hilliards vs The Piggots

The Hillards; Charlotte, Jeanne & Katie

Jeanne, mother to Charlotte and Katie, would describe herself as a traditional cook; her BBQs in the summer have delighted her family and friends for many years.

Her eldest daughter Katie was diagnosed with cancer when she was 23. She became a vegan during her illness after researching foods that could possibly help with her condition. She experimented a lot with recipes, which is where her real passion of cooking stemmed from.

Charlotte has a keen eye for presentation and a love for cooking Caribbean and Asian food.

The Piggot Family; Matt, Ed & Sam

Brothers Matt, Ed and Sam grew up in Oxfordshire. They now live in different cities but enjoy getting together at the weekend to spend the day shopping for unusual ingredients and coming up with elaborate evening meals.

Youngest brother Sam has just finished his Biology degree; he is considered a gourmet cook among his fellow students.

The Gangotras vs The Massaccesis

The Gangotra family; Bobby, Lorna & Monika

Monika originates in Australia and grew up spoilt by her mum’s fantastic home cooking. She loves being the creative cook and is and always on hand to make the food look beautiful.

Bobby went to Thailand where she learnt first-hand how to whip up authentic Thai dishes, whilst Lorna’s love of Yotam Ottolenghi really influences her cooking.

The Massaccesi family; Niamh, Teresa & Giordano

Teresa and Giordano grew up with families that loved to cook. Teresa is Irish and her mum always cooked hearty food from scratch.

Giordano is Italian and works as a waiter. He often plays his accordion in the restaurant and sometimes he can persuade his daughter Niamh, who also works there as a waitress, to join him on the violin.

The Ayoubis vs The Herberts

The Ayoubi family; Mirna, Mahmoud & Lydia

Mahmoud and his wife moved from Syria to the UK and now reside in Essex. The Ayoubis say that food is life. They remember always being in the kitchen together as they were growing up, learning from their parents how to cook traditional Arabic food.

Many of the recipes they cook have been passed down from their grandparents.

The Herbert family; Charlie, Anna & Archie

The Herbert family baking business has been running in the market town of Chipping Sodbury since the 1920s.

Anna loves cooking for her family and Archie and Charlie join in. When the family get together for large gatherings, food is always a main focus of the event.

The Codougans vs The Kings

The Codougan Family; Dom, Jacqueline & Chantal

Jacqueline was born on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Many of her recipes and ingredients are influenced by recipes handed down from generation to generation.

Jacqueline is the chief cook; Chantal is in charge of seasoning; and Dom is the practical one. They love nothing more than dancing around the kitchen together.

The Kings family; Pat, Jackie & Mark

Pat and Mark from London have been married over 40 years and are regular visitors to Lincolnshire, the home of their daughter Jackie.

Pat's love of cooking grew over years of practice and she soon developed an enthusiasm for entertaining and took pride in the presentation of her food. Mark and Jackie both agree that Pat is the best cook out of the family.

The Bellamores vs The Bellamys

The Bellamore family; Ross, Mark & Jo

Jo loves food so much that instead of a novel she sleeps with a cook book by the side of her bed. Ross spends many weekends experimenting in the kitchen trying out new recipes and Mark recently bought chickens that roam freely in his garden and lay the best eggs.

The Bellamy family; Faith, Mojgan & Ocean

Originally from Iran, Mojgan moved to the UK when she was a teenager. She now lives in Bournemouth with her two daughters Ocean and Faith.

Proud of their Persian heritage, Mojgan learnt to cook traditional Iranian food from her mother and she has passed these recipes to her daughters.

The Boyes vs The Rignalls

The Boyes Family; David, Ellie & Sam

One wall of the Boyes family kitchen is dedicated to a whole host of spices they have collected together over the years. They also own more than 100 cook books!

Dave is extremely proud of his homemade pork pies and scotch eggs which have gained quite a reputation in the area.

The Rignall family; Sunita, Jassi & Usha

Jassi is the traditional cook on the team and believes she makes the best pakoras out there. She grew up in Africa, living in Uganda, Kenya and Zambia, and moved to the UK in her twenties. She draws inspiration from this early part of her life when in the kitchen.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown will start on BBC Two on August 15 at 8pm.

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BBC Two's brand new cooking competition The Big Family Cooking Showdown is on the search for the best family dishes around the country