Fred Sirieix promises tears and tension in Snackmasters series 2 – and responds to his Kit Kat controversy
The "food competition like no other" is returning to Channel 4 with new episodes, including a Christmas special.
How do they make Kit Kats, Quavers, or a Dominos pepperoni pizza? Channel 4's Snackmasters reveals the truth – bar any secret ingredients – as it pits two gourmet chefs against each other in a battle to recreate Britain's best-loved snacks.
Fred Sirieix is returning as host for the second series, which gets underway on Channel 4 this week and will also see chefs competing to produce the best replica Snickers and – in a Christmas special – their own version of Quality Street (even the Purple One).
"It's two chefs going head-to-head and chefs have very big egos," Sirieix told RadioTimes.com.
"The secret of Snackmasters is the matchmaking – it's just like in boxing. Styles make fights. It's about matchmaking the right chefs together so that when they are going head-to-head, the dynamic is right – it's all about that chemistry between these two chefs and how they bounce off each other.
"It's a real fight – the tension is incredible in the kitchen at the finals, it's great!"
Having been tasked with replicating a particular foodstuff, the two chefs then see their final efforts judged by a panel of snack experts, who pick the winner. The premise might sound ridiculous – and part of the show's appeal, according to Sirieix, is its "almost Monty Python-esque" humour – but the chefs involved take this "food competition like no other" incredibly seriously throughout.
"I tell you something - we had some tears with the chefs this year, because it means a lot to them.... it's tears of joy, because of the sheer pressure and what it means to them to win Snackmasters.
"It's not easy! Can you imagine if you had to create a Dominos pizza or a Quality Street... where would you start? Put yourself in their shoes... where would you start? That's why it's so exciting – nobody has a clue! Can you really recreate something that's made in a factory and has taken years and years to produce to that standard? It's really tough. That's why it's so exciting."
When it comes to Snackmasters, it's not just the chefs that take it seriously either – the first series (which aired in late 2019) sparked controversy when, in an episode all about the Kit Kat, Sirieix dared to snap the chocolate-covered wafer bar in half rather than breaking it up into four fingers, sparking a (good-natured) social media backlash.
Sirieix's response? "Listen, in life we can do whatever we want, and I will carry on doing whatever I want, because at the end of the day, whether I do the KitKat that way or this way, I am not doing anything really bad to anybody!
"If they're upset, it's their choice! It's mad, but there you go!"
His enthusiasm for snacks undimmed, Sirieix told RadioTimes.com that he's keen to return to Snackmasters for more culinary clashes in future – and he even has a top pick for which snack he'd like to see the chefs go to war over.
"I'd love to do a Digestive," he revealed. "I'm currently drinking a tea and I've got some milk chocolate Digestives and I'm dunking them in my tea, so I'd love to have that on Snackmasters. That's another British faux pas – you can't dunk stuff in your tea!"
Snackmasters returns to Channel 4 on Thursday (10th December) at 8pm on Channel 4 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide