ITV, with co-funding by Marks & Spencer, has commissioned South Shore to deliver a six-part entertainment cooking competition called Cooking With The Stars.
The series, transmitting this summer on ITV and the ITV Hub, will feature eight celebrities, each paired with an accomplished chef who will mentor, teach and take them from passionate amateur to restaurant level chefs.
TV Presenter Emma Willis and comedian Tom Allen are set to host the series where the celebrities will be cooking up a storm week by week in a bid to outdo their rivals.
Trained by their professional chef partner they’ll prepare and present their dishes for judgement. Their mentor chefs then become judges, rating the other celebrity cooks, with the bottom two at risk of leaving the competition. Should they end up in the bottom two the celebrities will be fighting for their place in the contest on their own, with no help from their teacher, as they each present a dish in the hope of saving their spot. This eliminator round is decided by a blind testing from the chefs – unaware of whose food they’re passing judgement over the greatest supporter could swiftly and unwittingly become the worst critic and vote for their protégé to leave the competition.
Emma Willis said: “I absolutely love cooking so I can’t wait to see the celebrities in the kitchen showing what they have or haven’t learnt. What a brilliant opportunity to be trained by some of the best chefs in the business and I’m hoping I can pick up a few tips too. I know it’s going to be a lot of fun hosting with the brilliant Tom Allen so I can’t wait to get started.”
Tom Allen said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Emma and an amazing team of chefs and celebrities. I have a feeling everyone’s going to be put through their paces but we’re going to have a lot of fun along the way!”
Katie Rawcliife, Head of Entertainment Commissioning at ITV said: “This series is set to combine all the ingredients to deliver great entertainment, cooking inspiration, a lively competition and fantastic hosts in Emma Willis and Tom Allen. The past year has seen the nation developing their home cooking skills more than ever and now we’ll get to see how well our celebrity line up can cook with the guiding hand of expert mentors.”
Andrew Mackenzie & Melanie Leach, CEOs of South Shore said: “We’re delighted to be launching this fresh new format on ITV in the hands of such fantastic hosts as Emma and Tom. It’s exciting to see how our celebrity chefs will react to the unique twist of seeing their mentor ultimately become their judge.”
Stuart Machin, Managing Director, M&S Food said: “A key part of our Food strategy is to make M&S more relevant for families and for the full weekly shop, something that will be highlighted by this partnership. We are famous for our delicious prepared meals, but are seeing more and more families shopping with us when they are cooking from scratch too. Working in partnership with South Shore, we have jointly developed Cooking with the Stars to help us to reinforce that. The show has strong family appeal and will feature some products from our high quality range of fresh ingredients and scratch cook essentials. This is the first time M&S Food has worked alongside a production company to jointly develop a new TV show and we are sure it will be a huge success both in the UK and internationally”.
Cooking With The Stars is a partnership between Marks & Spencer, ITV and South Shore.
It was commissioned for ITV by Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning, ITV and Lily Wilson, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, ITV. Executive Producers for South Shore are Andrew Mackenzie, Melanie Leach and Caroline Davies.