Eating With the Enemy



James Martin


Food critics ("The enemy"): Jay Rayner, Kate Spicer, Toby Young, Charles Campion


RDF Television West for BBC Two, 21 July to 5 September 2008 (20 episodes in 1 series)


Two home cooks prepare meals for a panel of food critics, who then pick the winner. The critics' reviews are also published in the contestants' local newspaper.

Not an earth-shattering format (it's basically a mishmash of elements from Masterchef Goes Large and Great British Menu) but brought to life by the banter between Martin and the contestants, and the discussions amongst the "enemy". Incorporating the critics' reviews into the programme is a neat idea - after all, they're not just food experts, but wordsmiths too - and it all breezes along quite affably. If they can somehow compress this 45-minute format to half an hour (which shouldn't be difficult since it doesn't really get going until about 20 minutes in as it is), there's a potential early-evening hit lurking in here.


Gita Mistry (website)


The judges' chamber was directly below a noisy railway line. They had to stop filming every time a train went overhead.

The series actually debuted on New Zealand's Food TV channel several months before airing in the UK. Australian (and, curiously, Swiss) viewers also got to see the show before the BBC found a slot for it.

Theme music

James Dorman


Image:Eating with the enemy cast.jpgJames Martin with The Enemy: Jay Rayner, Kate Spicer, Toby Young and Charles Campion


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