DRG to globally distribute Expectation Factual’s The Brigade

Independent distributor DRG (UK) announces that it has picked up the exclusive international finished programme and format rights for Expectation Factual’s recently announced commission for BBC Two, The Brigade – a unique new cookery challenge and transformation show.

The Brigade has a simple premise: the best food is cooked by the best kitchen – the graft and craft of a team of talents – and not by one chef alone. The concept on which the show is built was developed in the 19th century by Auguste Escoffier as the ‘Brigade de Cuisine’ and was based on his experiences in the French Army. It is still the foundation for restaurant kitchen structures around the world today.

In the format a distinguished chef (Jason Atherton in the BBC Two version) acts as mentor to ten ambitious chefs keen to prove they have what it takes. Each week the brigade of chefs will be trained and guided by the mentor as they travel to the heartlands of some of the world’s finest culinary destinations, where they will have a week to immerse themselves in the local culture and learn how to cook the local cuisine. As the series progresses from country to country the challenges will get tougher and at the end of each week the brigade will go head-to-head with a rival local kitchen in a dramatic cook-off.

Along the way, the brigade will live and work together as they attempt to demonstrate the necessary skills and techniques required by the mentor’s exacting standards to keep their place in the face of stiff competition: at any time they can be replaced with a reserve brigade member. Under the guidance of the chef mentor the brigade will aim to become a tight knit team capable of competing with the world's best – and prove that their own nation’s cuisine deserves a place on the table.
Dave Clarke, DRG’s EVP of content agreed the deal with Expectation Factual, he comments: 'The Brigade takes a factual entertainment framework and merges it with documentary-style story-telling. By combining this with a rich seam of cooking and travelogue, Expectation Factual has created a fresh, new contemporary cooking format. The intriguing series can readily play out in any territory and its raw energy, renegade spirit, transformative challenges and genuine insight to how kitchens work will appeal to broad audiences worldwide. We are extremely excited to be working with the talented team at Expectation Factual and can’t wait to bring The Brigade to the international market'.

Alexia Edwards, chief operating officer at Expectation, adds: 'The DRG team has a long-standing reputation for successfully representing food formats internationally and therefore readily understood our show and the opportunities it presents. We are delighted that The Brigade is in such good hands and we look forward to developing our relationship with DRG – and to seeing how The Brigade brand can develop - when the show officially launches in 2019'. 

The Brigade is produced by Expectation Factual. Executive producers are Colin Barr and Dominique Foster, the series producer/director is Graham Sherrington. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, controller, BBC Two and Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries. It is due to air in 2019. The commissioning editors are Emily Smith and Clare Sillery.