Quisine (ITV, 1996-1998)
This is a daytime game show that I remember from the mid-90s, back in the days when I tried to not fall asleep whilst having my lunch. Quisine was a show that was all about food and cookery, imagine Ready Steady Cook with some questions thrown in. The opening sequence featured a spoon being put on a plate so it resembled a “Q” (how clever), and the show was sponsored by Crosse & Blackwell.
Quisine was hosted by Chris Kelly, who was also the host of BBC2’s Food And Drink for many years. Two teams of two took part, aiming to show off some of their cookery knowledge for some prizes in return. They would also be joined by a celebrity chef who changed every week, and was usually someone like Antony Worrall-Thompson. There were plenty of rounds.
These included one where the chef was making a meal as the points value (beginning at 20) went down, so the earlier a contestant buzzed in and guessed what it was, the more points they scored. There would then be a few more questions asked on the buzzer (with a nice “beep-beep” noise) for five points each. There was also a round where contestants were asked questions individually against the clock for ten points each, and going into the break there was a phone-in competition for the viewers at home.
One of the more memorable rounds was Stock The Larder. There were nine squares with point values, three worth five points, three worth ten points, and three worth 15 points. The teams had to run over and put various food on a table into the squares, and then they would pick the squares to answer questions about the food with one minute on the clock, so they would usually go for the 15 point questions first even though they were the hardest.
Also featuring was a round where teams had to write down some of the ingredients that they thought the chef used in making a meal after a taste test for 20 points each, along with even more questions on the buzzer for ten points. The winning team won a weekend break at a luxury hotel, while the losing team took away the consolation of some kitchen equipment and a Quisine-branded recipe book (I think viewers could buy these too).
I also noticed when watching again recently some familiar names in the credits, including Simon Greenall (probably the same one who was in I’m Alan Partridge?), and Tim Whitnall (the same one who was in Mike And Angelo maybe?). Quisine ran for a couple of series, and then rather surprisingly, about a year after it ended on ITV, there was a repeat run in the afternoon on BBC2, although it was in a 25-minute slot because there were no adverts of course.