Whites directed by David Kerr (British Broadcasting Corporation. 2010)
Starring Alan Davies, Darren Boyd, and Katherine Parkinson.

Celebrity Chefdom

In a world where Gordon Ramsay rules, Anthony Bourdain sarcastically entertains, and celebrity chefdom somehow continues to rise, it was only a matter of time before a comedy in the culinary world would emerge to please the masses. I was thrilled to see Whites arrive. But, I was equally as disappointed to see it quickly vanish, cancelled after one season.

Based in Reality

Roland White (Alan Davies) had a seemingly promising career ahead of him. Alas, he is now a past-his-prime chef in a dead-end restaurant, at the White House Hotel. Roland is a gifted-but-lazy chef. The show’s writer, Matt King, used his experience in the kitchen to form the premise for the television series. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, King states,

Whites is totally based on Hanbury Manor, where I worked. It’s a facsimile. Roland is a composite of several chefs I know who can’t be bothered any more. They’ve kind of missed the boat, missed out on Michelin stars and cruise along.”

Interestingly, because of Matt King’s background, the entire cast trained at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen in order to adequately play their roles in a proper culinary fashion. 

Recounting the Tale

In the first episode, we find Roland meagerly sitting in his office writing his “poignant” autobiography while watching his sous chef, Bib (Darren Boyd), flounder in his attempts to keep the busy kitchen afloat. 
Roland, finally noting Bib’s inability to survive the hectic kitchen alone, allows Bib to hire another line cook, named Skoose (Stephen Wright). The only problem is, Skoose vocally covets Bib’s job, as he intends to be a head chef of his own restaurant in only four years.

Time to Develop

What ensues is restaurant hilarity. But, the series was cancelled after only a year. It was not cancelled due to disinterest, but rather because BBC couldn’t secure the money to run the show for a second season. Unfortunately, Whites needed time to develop its characters, a notion writer Matt King laments.

“In our minds, it was a getting-to-know-our-characters series. It’s not a lot of time to explore seven characters. It was always, ‘We’ve set up this world, with series two everyone knows the characters and we’ll explore it from there’.”

Series two could have developed plot after the world was set up, an unfortunate consequence of really taking time to introduce the characters. Series one is a bit slow, but it’s just as funny. With equal parts sarcasm, wit, and slapstick comedy, I found Whites to be hilarious and entertaining. Though the show is cancelled, I think it still entertains. The world needs a chef comedy to interact with the Anthony Bourdains and Gordon Ramsays of the world, it’s sad that this one found its end.

Verdict: 4 out of 5Have you seen Whites? Did you enjoy it? Are you sad it’s been cancelled? Share your thoughts below.

Posted by: Andrew Jacobson

Affiliate Links:  Amazon.com



Leave a Comment