I swallowed every italian meringuethrown my way, devoured season after season and slipped , But a new Netflix TV series, Turns the competition head on, offering a bold twist to the competitive cooking show.
It only eliminates elimination. Unlike the throat slit competition, everyone gets to live in a tent. No one is told to pack their whispers and leave.
Hosted by Swiss Born Chef amaury guichon, Whose TikTok Videos of Amazingly Intricate and Realistic Chocolate Creations Grab millions of views, School of Chocolate is a masterclass in technique that eight professional pastry chefs – and all of us – get to see for the first time. Chocolate sculpture with interactive hinges. A chocolate octopus that looks impossibly real (see below). Edible surprises are layered within clever cakes that are instantly mouthwatering and gorgeous to eat.
Having each chef in the kitchen makes the show richer, more impressive, and more compelling than watching the contestants one-on-one—which, if you think about it, compares to watching the truly devastatingly beautiful chocolate art. I’m very boring (though people who spendmay disagree). More on my theory in a moment.
Like the actual school, the School of Chocolate cohort remains intact throughout the competition, tearing up, getting catty, jockeying for status—and a $50,000 cash prize—and stunning, huge, gravity-defying show art. Making piece after piece of pure chocolate and pastry is what sometimes amazes me.
Its main point is for contestants to learn advanced techniques and hone in on challenges that push their skills to the brink and reveal the breakout chocolatier we can’t help but elevate to star status.
Netflix may call the show “feel-good,” but that doesn’t mean it’s all fondant and buttercream in school.
The tone is good-natured, sometimes foamy and saccharin louder than in the Great British Bake Off. There is deep tension from the start of the eight-episode season and the stakes feel surprisingly real. The poor performers are forced to sit out of the round and only the top two compete for the final challenge. In between pats on the back, sportsmanship rears its head.
But while the cream quickly rises to the top, putting the class together gives viewers who care more about jaw-dropping creations and less about stabbing in the back. One wonderful gift: more.
Instead of turning out skilled professionals who had a bad day or didn’t quite master an architectural challenge mere cake-baking mortals would be hard-pressed to attempt, we lovers of the edible art witness even. That the underdogs create feats of incredible culinary imagination (including an astonishing salmon roe “Nigiri” you have to see to believe).
The school of chocolate is by no means perfect. The favorite contestants were pretty clear and one episode literally split the group’s strongest and “weakest” players—remember, these are all skilled professionals—in two clearly unequal assignments. While maintaining many of the usual competitive elements and structure, more time is spent on character victories and rage than I’d like, with less time on the whizzbang confections I came up with.
That said, the decision to preserve more contestants in the overall mix is ultimately up to the audience. more Cake and chocolate overall, no less. It opens the way for increased creativity, daring to imagine chocolate is not only a momentary treat but a deeply challenging medium for artistic expression, engaging the eyes and mind as well as the tongue. Technical, temperamental and, ultimately, short-lived.
I am ready to help.