• Ellen Frazer

Great British Bake Off vs. Le Meilleur Pâtissier - The Brits vs. The French


Everyone knows the Great British Bake Off (GBBO). The tears, the fallen bakes, the Hollywood handshake. It takes up 12 glorious weeks of our lives every summer.


Well, if you’re missing the bake off, there’s good news for you!


Le Meilleur Pâtissier (LMP) is the French version of the Bake Off. Same format, but feels wildly different. It can be found on the M6 player (episodes don’t last long on it so you have to be quick) and Youtube. Youtube is your most reliable bet but I didn’t tell you that. You’ll have to switch on the English subtitles or if you really want a challenge just watch it in French. Trust me it’s not too hard to get the gist of what is going on!


Now for the comparisons, how different are they … or similar? Obviously you know the judges of GBBO, the silver fox himself Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith (can we talk about how crazy her jewellery is??). The judges of LMP are Cyril Lignac, a nicer version of Paul who always flirts with the younger girls and Mercotte, the French version of Mary Berry. There is only one presenter Julia Vignali, who is just there for a good time.

Both bake offs have their tents on the grounds of beautiful stately homes and three challenges. The only thing is LMP is two hours long. Yes, two hours. It’s a bit too long to watch all in one go so I usually split it up by the challenges and watch it over a few nights.

Instead of biscuit week or pastry week, LMP has more themed weeks like Belgian week, American week, 50 shades week (yes 50 shades as in the books and movie … oh so French). The cakes are more mousse based and they tend to stick to those types of cakes rather than what we would consider a normal cake. The star baker of the week on LMP gets to wear a blue apron for the next week (tablier bleu).


Overall there is a lot less drama in LMP (who could forget Bin Gate on GBBO). If a cake falls or doesn’t cook right, so be it. They make another one. Yes there are sometimes tears, but nowhere near as many as on GBBO. It’s a programme to watch if you want a laugh at how crazy the contestants are and sometimes how absurd the programme is. There is less focus on technique than on GBBO and although most of the bakes follow the same style throughout the series, it’s fascinating to watch them make it as it is completely different to the cakes and bakes on GBBO. If you love the Great British Bake Off then you’ll love Le Meilleur Patissier!


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