mon 06/04/2020

Snackmasters, Channel 4 review - superchefs take the clone-a-KitKat challenge | reviews, news & interviews

Snackmasters, Channel 4 review - superchefs take the clone-a-KitKat challenge

Snackmasters, Channel 4 review - superchefs take the clone-a-KitKat challenge

Preposterous battle to decode the secrets of the world's best chocolate bar

Fred Sirieix (left) with chef Daniel Clifford and renowned snack

The themes of food and cookery have already been boiled until the bottom of the saucepan melted, but TV commissioning editors can’t stop searching for new twists in the formula.

The themes of food and cookery have already been boiled until the bottom of the saucepan melted, but TV commissioning editors can’t stop searching for new twists in the formula. So how about this one – get a couple of prestigious superchefs, and challenge them to make a perfect copy of that famous mass-produced snack, the KitKat.

Our host was French maitre d’ Fred Sirieix (from Channel 4’s First Dates), though could one really expect a Frenchman to grasp the cultural resonance and mythic history of this hallowed name in British confectionary? The four-fingered marvel was originally launched by Rowntree’s of York in 1935 but, despite its vintage, the KitKat formula has successfully repelled attempts to steal its secrets. Fred’s assistant, comedian Jayde Adams, toured the KitKat factory, and declared the KitKat “the best chocolate bar in the world”.

The chosen chefs were Cambridge-based Daniel Clifford, proprietor of Midsummer House with its twin Michelin stars, and Vivek Singh, from London’s Cinnamon Club. Their approaches could hardly have been more different. Daniel immediately went into hyperactive overdrive, hurling himself into the challenge of creating the perfect KitKat mould which would exactly replicate the lettering in the chocolate, and spending a small fortune on a bespoke waffle iron to recreate the pattern on the KitKat wafers. “It’s like Formula One for Kitkats!” boggled Fred.

Vivek, on the other hand, remained calm and philosophical. While Daniel was experimenting with different mixtures of milk and dark chocolate like a sugar-crazed Dr Frankenstein, Vivek just used one. While Daniel drove to Kent and bullied his dad to make him a new cooking plate at his engineering company – “you are my dad yeah, remember all those amazing meals I’ve cooked for you?” he threatened – Vivek pottered in his kitchen, carefully sampling wafer mixtures and refusing to be stampeded into Daniel’s arms race.

As the chefs travelled to York to face judgment by a panel of Nestlé Rowntree employees, the result seemed a foregone conclusion. No spoilers here, but suffice to say that the critical issue for the judges was which pseudo-KitKat made the crispest snapping sound. “It was a wafer-thin result,” Fred declared.

The critical issue for the judges was which pseudo-KitKat made the crispest snapping sound

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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