In this fifth episode two more family teams are competing to impress judges Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager for a place in the semi-finals. The Ayoubi family (pictured above) from Essex are up against the Herberts from Gloucestershire.
The Ayoubi family originally hail from Syria and their food is steeped in history. Mahmoud (53) and his two daughters Mirna (26) and Lydia (21) now live in Essex. Mirna, who recently married but still returns to the family home every Sunday to cook and hang out, is a design manager working in construction. Her younger sister Lydia is studying at Nottingham University.
The Ayoubis remember always being in the kitchen together as they were growing up, learning from their parents how to cook traditional Arabic food. Many of the recipes they cook have been passed down from their grandparents. They’re hoping their clever use of simple ingredients and generous sharing dishes will have the judges coming back for more – but to secure a place in the next round they need to outcook the Herberts.
For the Herbert family, cooking, particularly baking, runs in the blood. Brothers Charlie (32) and Archie (23) grew up in a large household in Gloucestershire with four other siblings. Their family’s baking business has been running in the medieval market town of Chipping Sodbury since the 1920s.
Anna (38), the boys’ sister in law, is married to the oldest Herbert sibling Tom, who is one half of the Fabulous Baker Brothers. When the family get together for large gatherings, food is always a main focus of the event. They love to experiment with weird and wonderful flavours, but will this be a recipe for success or a step too far for the judges?
The Big Family Cooking Showdown Episode 5 (of 12) airs on Thursday 14 September 2017 from 8.00pm-9.00pm on BBC Two.