A Fylde family cooked up an impressive performance to go so close to being crowned winners on a national TV show.
Andrew Whitaker, who owns the Mode Hotel on St Annes Promenade, was joined by his wife Qidi and teenage daughter Jasmyn on the Family Cooking Showdown, which featured nightly on BBC 2 – and far exceeded their own expectations by reaching the final.
Each competing family had to prepare a succession of dishes and from a field of 16, the Whitakers won through to a showdown with the Mistrys from Croydon, who were judged the series winners.
The programmes were recorded in Cardiff in the summer and the Whitakers’ who live in St Annes, were sworn to secrecy regarding the outcome ahead of broadcast.
“It was a great experience,” said Andrew.
“There is no disappointment that we didn’t end up the winners. We never imagined we would get as far as we did, and it really was wonderful to get through to the final.
“We were also delighted to highlight local ingredients such as Lytham shrimps.”
Andrew, who bought the Mode Hotel in 2015, trained as a chef and has worked in the hotel trade for years but says it is his wife and daughter who are the prime culinary enthusiasts in the family.
The family has lived all over the world and been influenced by the places they have visited.
Qidi, whom Andrew met while working in Beijing, is a housewife as well as an entertainer, TV host, actress and singer in China.
Her great grandfather was the last Emperor of China and she still goes back to China on an ad hoc basis to appear in TV shows.
Jasmyn, 17, is studying theatre, performing arts and music in Manchester. She has previously appeared as an actress and singer on Chinese TV shows and especially enjoys writing her own music.
After its prime time daily showing on BBC 2, the programme is now set to feature on BBC Worldwide and be streamed on Netflix.