Hot on the heels of the Great British Bake Off final arrives this new offering from the silver fox himself, Paul Hollywood. Pies and Puds explores Hollywood’s long standing love of baking and features some of the blue eyed maestro’s favourite recipes.
The series begins, fittingly enough for this paper, in the nearby town of Otley: “Yorkshire is considered the home of great British grub”, Hollywood informs us, but unfortunately spends little time there before rushing back to his stark white kitchen to chop a few onions and bask in his own brilliance.
The set itself is a far cry from the quaint cheeriness of the Bake Off tent: spartan and monochrome, it is not a visually stimulating watch, which the presence of Hollywood does little to improve. That said, although hardly animated, his presenting style is straight forward, and he conveys his recipes in a no nonsense manner which is easy to follow. Paul goes on to revisit his old stomping ground in the pastry kitchens of the Dorchester hotel, where he reminisces about stapling hats together (oh, what larks!) and gets in the way of the current chefs, none of whom seem to be that pleased to see him.
Whilst Pies and Puds offers some wonderful ideas for some truly delicious dishes, out of range of Mel and Sue’s teasing, Hollywood comes across as a rather smug and self absorbed teacher. He lacks the charm of Nigella Lawson or the exuberance of Jamie Oliver, resulting in a rather lacklustre programme, which is, dare I say it, a tad underdone.
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