Family miss out on cooking show title

Jean, Dan and Betty were so close to winning the final of the Big Family Cooking Showdown
Jean, Dan and Betty were so close to winning the final of the Big Family Cooking Showdown

They made a feast of food including a perfect rhubarb and custard pudding and stunning Italian inspired dishes, but it was not quite enough.

The Charles family’s hopes of winning the first series of the Big Family Cooking Showdown fell at the final hurdle.

Their photos and recipes appear in the cookbook which accompanies the BBC show

Their photos and recipes appear in the cookbook which accompanies the BBC show

Dan, his wife Betty and her mum Jean made it to the final three of the BBC’s big new food programme – which was shown last Thursday evening – but they were pipped to the post.

The judges picked the Gangotra family as the winners of the show, which looked for the country’s best team of home cooks.

Dan said: “I think to get to the final three isn’t bad at all. And we absolutely loved it.

“Without question it has made us better cooks. We did stuff we wouldn’t have done normally and experimentedmore than we usually would, maybe too much in some of the rounds.

“But it has opened doors for us already, from the column in the Free Press to getting requests from people to go round and cook for them at their house.”

When the show started, Dan, who works at the family’s bookmakers in Bridlington, wrote recipe ideas down on betting slips.

But now, the Charles’ recipes appear in print in the cookbook to accompany the show and they have their own section on the BBC Good Food website.

And they have been getting messages from fans around the world.

Dan said: “The programme is on Netflix in countries like America and Spain, and we have already had messages from people in Mexico and Kuala Lumpur asking for tips and recipes.”

Back home, they managed to keep whether they had won or not a secret when 20 friends and relatives gathered to watch the final at Jean’s house last week.

“Hardly anybody knew the result,” Dan admitted.

The show was filmed in Kent and presented by Zoe Ball and former Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

The Charles family eased through the first round and then won their semi-final.

But in the final, the Gangotra sisters from Birmingham impressed judges Rosemary Shrager and Giorgio Locatelli.

Dan added: “In the first round, we were just excited to be there and we didn’t know what to expect. In the end, we were gutted not to win but we enjoyed it all.

“They were very long days, six, seven or eight hours for half-an-hour to be shown.”