The tension began ratcheting up almost immediately in Boiling Point (BBC1, 1 October, 9pm).
The restaurant – Point North – was full, and a group of potential investors had been seated. “Everything needs to be perfect,” said the tense head chef, Carly (Vinette Robinson). The steaks were on and the stakes were high.
What could go wrong? As anyone who saw the 2021 movie of the same name – for which this four-part series serves as a sequel – will know, the answer is: quite possibly everything.
The likely catalyst for imminent disaster was new line cook Johnny (Stephen Odubola) who we learned was way out of his depth. Asked to prepare a hollandaise sauce, he sneaked off to ask Siri for a recipe.
Throughout, Johnny dropped ticking time-bombs everywhere – he fumbled with raw eggs, put chocolate sauce in gravy boats – making the whole thing an anxiety-inducing ordeal. The intensity was heightened further by long takes, which gave no respite from the heat. The only break came from scenes of former head chef Andy (Stephen Graham) festering angrily at home following the heart attack that ended the movie.
As per the film, we saw flawed humans making flawless food. The fraught relationship between front of house and the kitchen was perilously close to bubbling over. Personal struggles spilled over into the workplace. And the customers only made things worse.
It was a spot-on portrayal of a night behind the scenes at a frenetic high-end restaurant. Exhausting and exhilarating: compliments to the chefs.