Mary Berry’s Fantastic Feasts episode 2: Dame Mary Berry knows a thing or two about cooking up a fantastic feast, so she’s sharing her cooking skills with three novice cooks. Rima, her mother-in-law Diane and her best friend Noreen want to throw a spectacular surprise 30th birthday feast for Rima’s husband Mark. They need Mary’s help to give Mark a birthday surprise he’ll never forget.
Mary has also enlisted the help of Strictly’s Janette Manrara and presenter Scarlett Moffatt. While Mary focuses on getting the novice cooks up to speed in the kitchen, Janette and Scarlett oversee the extras that will make this party extra special. They are also on-hand to offer moral support when temperatures rise in the kitchen.
Rima, Diane and Noreen have had their fair share of cooking disasters. Mark had to teach Rima how to boil pasta, Diane cooks from packets, and Noreen is known for leaving her family reeling with her crazily hot curries. So Mary has her work cut out turning them into cooks capable of serving up a fantastic feast. But it’s a challenge she is willing to take on as it has been a tough few years for teacher Mark, and this party is about celebrating more than just a birthday.
The recipes chosen by Mary for this feast include blinis, salmon en croute and a chocolate ganache cake. Meanwhile, Janette and Scarlett hit the shops to pick up Mark’s favourite thing, cheese. Then it’s time to step things up as they all head to the London Rowing Club on the banks of the River Thames to cook their fantastic feast and give Mark the surprise of a lifetime.
Mary Berry’s Fantastic Feasts episode 2
Dame Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings, known professionally as Mary Berry, is an English food writer, chef, baker and television presenter. After being encouraged in domestic science classes at school, she studied catering and shipping management at college. She then moved to France at the age of 22 to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, before working in a number of cooking-related jobs.
Berry’s first job was at the Bath Electricity Board showroom and then conducting home visits to show new customers how to use their electric ovens. She would typically demonstrate the ovens by making a Victoria sponge, a technique she would later repeat when in television studios to test out an oven she had not used before. Her catchment area for demonstrations was limited to the greater Bath area, which she drove around in a Ford Popular supplied as a company car.
Her ambition was to move out of the family home to London, which her parents would not allow until she was 21. At the age of 22, she applied to work at the Dutch Dairy Bureau, while taking City & Guilds courses in the evenings. She then persuaded her manager to pay for her to undertake the professional qualification from the French Le Cordon Bleu school.
She left the Dutch Dairy Bureau to become a recipe tester for PR firm Benson’s, where she began to write her first book. She has since cooked for a range of food-related bodies, including the Egg Council and the Flour Advisory Board. In 1966 she became food editor of Housewife magazine. She was food editor of Ideal Home magazine from 1970 to 1973.
Her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, was published in 1970. She launched her own product range in 1994 with her daughter Annabel. The salad dressings and sauces were originally only sold at Mary’s AGA cooking school, but have since been sold in Britain, Germany and Ireland with retailers such as Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Tesco. She has also appeared on a BBC Two series called The Great British Food Revival, and her solo show, Mary Berry Cooks, began airing on 3 March 2014.