Few phrases will make you feel instantly old as that uttered by Accrington wannabe chef Serena, who on walking into the Hungry For It (BBC3, 14 June, 8pm) studio kitchen exclaimed: “This is siiiick, it’s proper legit and everything.”
She was one of 10 fresh-faced rookie cooks hoping to win “the ultimate crash course on how to make it in the food business”.
The format was essentially the MasterChef round in which contestants work in real restaurants, with Gregg Wallace and John Torode replaced by grime MC and TV cook Big Zuu, and private chef to the stars Kayla Greer.
But everything had an ‘appeal to the young’uns’ spin. The studio was the ‘Hungry for It Hub’, and one round saw contestants ‘level up’ ordinary food into extraordinary dishes. Presenter Stacey Dooley – in possibly her last hurrah as go-to voice of the yoof – told participants to “shake it off”. “Are you gassed?” shouted Big Zuu at random moments.
Following this theme, the cooks shared a house for the duration of the competition – good experience for a life without the prospect of home ownership – and camera crews followed them as they partied into the night.
While there were bonus prizes scattered along the way – in episode two, the chefs fought to produce a winning marinade, which will be sold in every Nando’s in the country – the ultimate prize proved slightly underwhelming.
It is… a trip around the world working in various restaurant kitchens. Paid fairly? “It’s global work experience,” explained Dooley. Yay.