Cooking With The Stars season 2 has arrived! If you’re ready to see celebs beaten by their blancmange or frazzled by their flambé, then it’s time to tune in to ITV for all the kitchen action over six episodes.
With Emma Willis and Tom Allen back hosting, this series will feature another eight celebrities who'll be mentored by professional chefs, including Jean-Christophe Novelli, Rosemary Shrager, Mike Reid, Judy Joo and Tony Singh. The chefs will guide them through a series of exciting cooking battles in order to take them from passionate amateurs to restaurant level chefs.
“Tom and I had so much fun last series and I’m looking forward to getting back into the kitchen,” says Emma. “The pressure the celebs are under is real and once the competition starts heating up everybody wants to win, but I’m hoping there isn’t as much blood as last series!”
Tom adds: “Last series was so exciting. Emma Willis and I have been polishing our frying pans in preparation – we have so much fun working together. The celebrities are being trained by some of the best chefs in the business and with the clock ticking it’s always tense to see if they’ll improve their cooking enough each week to measure up to the judges’ high standards.”
So here's everything you need to know about ITV's Cooking With The Stars series 2 including the new celebrities taking part...
Cooking With The Stars season 2 air date
Cooking With The Stars series 2 begins on ITV on Tuesday June 7 at 8pm 2022. It's a six-part competition and the episodes run at the same time every Tuesday in subsequent weeks and will become available on ITV Hub.
How Cooking With The Stars works
As a reminder, Cooking With The Stars sees eight famous faces who consider themselves fairly proficient in the kitchen partnering up with renowned chefs, such as Clodagh McKenna and Jack Stein, who will teach them how to make restaurant quality food. The chefs will guide them through a series of exciting challenges and the bottom two contestants will have to fight for their place in the competition by creating a dish without help from their mentor. The dishes will then be blind tested by all the professional chefs and the loser will be eliminated.
Cooking with the Stars hosts Emma Willis and Tom Allen
Emma Willis and Tom Allen are back to host Cookign With The Stars. Emma previously hosted I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Now from 2007-2008 and Big Brother’s Little Brother in 2010. She then hosted Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother itself. She presented The Voice Kids, The Voice UK and The Circle, plus starred in the W documentary Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, where she trained as a midwifery assistant. She currently host The Great Home Transformation on Channel 4.
Comedian Tom Allen is a regular on panel shows such as Mock the Week, 8 out of 10 Cats and QI. He hosted Quizness and The Island and presents on The Apprentice: You’re Fired and The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice.
Cooking with the Stars — the 2022 celebrity contestants
The celebrities putting on pinnies and grabbing whisks in Cooking With The Stars for series 2 are The Chase's Anne Hegerty, Olympic double gold medial winning athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, TV expert Dr Ranj, Strictly judge Anton Du Beke, comedy star Joe Wilkinson, This Morning's Josie Gibson, DJ (and Zoe Ball's son) Woody Cook plus Love Island star Maura Higgins.
Anton Du Beke on taking part with mentor Rosemary Shrager: "I don’t cook at all. I’ve never cooked anything in my entire life. That is difficult for the judges to comprehend and understand really. When I said to producers I don’t cook they said ‘that’s fine but what’s your signature dish’ and I said ‘I don’t cook so I don’t have one’. I don’t cook so the first time I cooked anything was the first morning of training with Rosemary. It was the first time I’d been in a kitchen and cooked something with a pan on a stove.
"I thought I’d like to learn to cook but I’ve never been bothered about cooking. I’ve never been that interested in cooking as I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t be bothered to learn and I had no interest in going through the process of learning really. I ate out my entire life so I didn’t need to cook or have any desire to cook. Then suddenly you get older and I have a family now. My wife does all the cooking but it’s something I felt I’d like to do. During lockdown I had thoughts about wanting to learn to cook but I didn’t as I had no way of learning. When they offered me the opportunity to do this in a scenario that I love, it was really the situation that made me want to do the show. I love having lessons. I enjoy competition."
Anne Hegerty on taking part with mentor Jean-Christophe Novelli: "Nothing made me say that, I said no. I said you are kidding. I have an agent who is very good at working out what sort of things I should do and what sort of things the public would like to see me in. He is very bad at taking no for an answer so, basically, I got leaned on to do it. I did an interview recently with Kelly Holmes and her answer to that question was ‘I believe in pushing myself, challenging myself and expanding the boundaries of what I can do’ and my answer was ‘my agent made me do it’.
"I have no flair for cooking, I really don’t, I have no palette. I really don’t know what I’m looking for when I’m asked to taste the food, I’ve absolutely no idea if what I’m tasting is what it’s supposed to be or not, I just don’t know. I don;'t cook at home a great deal, a certain amount, it depends on how much pressure I’m under. I’ll generally put on a pan of rice with some frozen vegetables and then I’ll make some sort of stew or stir-fry or something, that’s generally what I’ll have.
Dr Ranj on taking part with mentor Clodagh McKenna: "Well, I love food, I absolutely love food and I love going out to eat. I love trying different things and I’m quite adventurous when it comes to food. I am not fussy or anything like that. I eat pretty much anything and I love doing different things and trying different flavours, but I have never really done the other side of it. So, if you gave me a recipe or a set of instructions, I am pretty good, I just never have the time. I live by myself so there isn’t really anyone to cook for. It takes some joy out of it and because I am so busy, food has to be a convenient thing. Grab and go, I always say food is functional. But I wanted to learn the art of cooking and enjoy the making side of it. To have the opportunity to be trained by an expert, of course I would take that!
"Our lives are really, really busy, it’s all go go go! That doesn’t mean I eat particularly unhealthy food. It’s just quick, convenient stuff. Stuff that I can throw together in a salad or a very, very quick stir fry which is basically a hot salad or I order in a lot. Usually like healthier stuff. Every now and then I do like a more indulgent take out and again I do like my desserts as well. I don’t demonise food at all, I love it. But it would always be the more convenient or the quicker option for me, rather than spending time. With cooking as you can see, it can take up to an hour to create something and I'm like well I can use that hour for something else. So, if I quickly order something on my phone, I can then get on with doing other things."
Dame Kelly Holmes on taking part with mentor Ronnie Murray: "During lockdown I got the chance to do more cooking because of course I was forced too. I love flavours and I like to see what’s in my cupboards and fridge and make something out of it. I really enjoy that to be honest. I’m not a chef and I’m not a cook at all but I was getting into it. So, I was being a bit more creative with things. I had cider vinegar and wine vinegar and I’ve never used those things before so I was just making things up which I actually really enjoyed."
"from the show, I wanted to learn some cooking skills and do something completely different to what I do which is motivational speaking and fitness. So, to do a show like this and learn from a professional chef I thought would be a nice thing to do. I've picked up tips, even how to chop up an onion properly and picking up little skills like that. They teach you things like how to use a knife correctly and why you keep a root on an onion so it doesn’t fall apart. The way to chop an onion as opposed to how to slice an onion as it’s completely different. Also, things like how to make sauces and how to mix them up to get rid of the lumps so it doesn’t look like scrambled egg. The first day of filming when we were doing a Spanish dish there were so many ingredients, I couldn’t believe it. Everything of mine is in a tube, you know like my garlic is in a tube but all this is fresh ingredients and you are making it into a sauce which looking at it seems impossible."
Woody Cook on taking part with mentor Mike Reid: "I couldn’t cook so that’s why I wanted to do it. I like pushing myself out of my boundaries and comfort zones. I think cooking is an important skill that I need to learn. When else will I get an opportunity to learn how to cook, have a great time doing it, challenge myself, push my boundaries and maybe prove my surname, can Woody Cook? I'd like to be able to cook something for my family at Christmas, everyone usually makes something. Usually, I just make a fool of myself. So maybe I’d be able to feed someone. Let’s say some girl comes round and she says, ‘can you cook me something?’ before I’d be like, ‘what takeaway would you like’ now I’ll be like, ‘yeah I can, I can cook you several dishes.’
"I’ve loved being on this show. I was really worried coming into it seeing other people cook for the first time, knowing I was going to cook next. I was very anxious, but everyone was very nice, it’s like a big family. I’m gutted that it's all going to be over. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life."
The professional chefs on Cooking With The Stars series 2
This year’s professional mentors on Cooking With The Stars are British chef and TV presenter Rosemary Shrager, chef and business owner Ronnie Murray, chef director Jack Stein, Korean chef and restaurateur Judy Joo, Michelin Starred French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, Scottish chef and restaurateur Tony Singh MBE, author and regular chef on This Morning Clodagh McKenna and restaurateur and TV personality Mike Reid.
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.