Bad Canteen: the new reality show about your best mates who can’t cook

If you thought you were bad in the kitchen...

We all have that one mess of a friend who can’t look after themselves even though they’re creeping into their early twenties. Bad Canteen has managed to find six of them. An endearing YouTube reality series about a collective of young Londoners, some of whom barely even know how to boil an egg, it tracks their progress in learning how to cook and setting up their own food outlet.

Today, they are premiering the second episode of the series on Dazed.

“The guys are super close,” explains James Cadwallader, head of creative and co-founder of Kyra TV, which hosts the series. It features DamnShaq, a 20-year-old DJ who James says “put the concept of a 'cooking show led by people who cannot cook' forward”, Scott Cruft, a 20-year-old stylist, artist Tia O'Donnell, also 20, 18-year-old videographer Caleb Kumiko and models Hélène Selam Kleih, 21, and Jordan Charles, 24. The group redeem their culinary shortcomings through easy humour and a big dollop of London charm.

“The guys are all friends and hang out all the time (they are like a family),” James goes on. It shows on screen; there is a friendly, energetic humour that flows between the non-cooks. “It's worth pointing out that Bad Canteen is very organic – they genuinely are on a mission to become amazing at cooking!”

“Scott basically lived off Monster Munch and Rustler burgers for the past 20 years and genuinely tried rice for the first time ever this year” – James Cadwallader, Kyra TV

While the first episode introduced all the characters, their quest to improve their cooking skills and their search for a kitchen to do so in, the latest episode shows the dramatic transformation of a manky, dead-mouse occupying, kebab shop in Woolwich into what has become the Bad Canteen hub; a place where they can begin their cooking journey. Next up is learning to cook and launching the space to the public. It seems a big task for a bunch of non-cooks.

“And they are all genuinely bad at cooking,” James says. “Scott basically lived off Monster Munch and Rustler burgers for the past 20 years and genuinely tried rice for the first time ever this year. The rest of them have next to no cooking experience whatsoever.”

And what can we expect from future episodes? “You can expect everything and anything related to cooking. The format of the show is intentionally very, very loose which means you can expect anything from training with Michelin starred chefs, to opening the Bad Canteen kitchen to the public... and flying to Belgium in search of the perfect truffles. The series will be ongoing, dropping every week.”

There will also be an episode dropping very soon will see the Bad Canteen collective compete against each other in the kitchen (Masterchef style), which will apparently give viewers a better indication of just how much the collective can’t cook and also the varying levels between them. “It's something even we are looking forward to finding out,” laughs James.