I’ve devoured every Italian meringuethrew my way, devoured season after season of and sipped . But a new Netflix TV series , serves a bold twist on competing cooking shows by turning the competition on its head.
It just eliminates the elimination. In contrast to displacement competition, everyone is allowed to stay in the tent. Nobody is asked to pack their whisk and leave.
Moderated by a Swiss born chef Amaury Guichon, whose TikTok videos of amazingly intricate and realistic chocolate creations Receiving millions of views, School of Chocolate is a masterclass in engineering that eight professional pastry chefs – and all of us – can see firsthand. Chocolate sculpture with interactive hinges. A chocolate octopus that looks incredibly real (see below). Edible surprises, layered in sophisticated cakes that are instantly delicious and too delicious to eat.
Keeping every chef in the kitchen makes the show richer, more awe-inspiring, and somehow more compelling than watching the attendees individually selected – which, when you think about it, is actually pretty boring compared to seeing devastatingly beautiful chocolate art unfolding (though the people who spentmay disagree). More about my theory in a moment.
As in the school proper, the School of Chocolate cohort stays intact throughout the competition, shedding tears, getting cheesy, vying for position – and a cash prize of $ 50,000 – and creating, bit by bit, amazing, towering, gravity defiant show art made of pure chocolate and pastries that sometimes makes me gasp in awe.
The point of it all is for participants to learn advanced techniques and improve through challenges that marginalize their skills and reveal the breakout chocolatiers we can’t help but achieve star status.
Netflix may call the show “feel good,” but that doesn’t mean it’s all fondant and buttercream at school.
The tone is a lot sharper than the good-natured, sometimes frothy and sugary Great British Bake Off. Since the beginning of the eight-part season there has been great tension and the missions feel surprisingly real. Bad actors have to skip rounds and only the top two fight for the final challenge. Spielgeist raises his head amid reluctant pats on the back.
But while the cream rises quickly to the top, holding the class together offers viewers who are more interested in the stunning creations and less in the sneaky, a wonderful gift: more.
Instead of discarding seasoned professionals who had a bad day or failed to fully master an architectural challenge, we lovers of the art of food would find it hard to try. Salmon roe “nigiri” has to be seen to be believed).
School of Chocolate is by no means perfect. Preferred candidates were too obvious, and one episode literally split the strongest and “weakest” players in the group – remember, these are all seasoned professionals – into two blatant tasks. By maintaining many of the usual competitive elements and structures, more time is spent on character triumphs and fears than I would like, and less time on the bubbly confections that I have come here to devour.
However, the decision to keep more candidates in the overall mix ultimately spoils the audience more Cake and chocolate in total, no less. This paves the way for limitless creativity and dares to imagine chocolate not just as a temporary pleasure, but as a profoundly challenging medium for artistic expression that appeals to the eye and mind as well as the tongue. Technical, spirited and ultimately short-lived.
I’m ready for a second serving.