Crazy Delicious, Channel 4

If you mashed together Masterchef, Bake Off and Ru Paul’s Drag Race, threw in a sprinkling of Good Omens (I’m thinking angels in white suits) and pan-fried it on the set of Alice In Wonderland: The LSD Years, you’d come pretty close to the conceptual madness of Crazy Delicious, Channel 4’s new cookery show. The last days of the Roman Empire probably looked a lot like this, though even Nero would have baulked at a birthday cake made from lobster, macaroni and cheese.

Luckily Heston Blumenthal is made of sterner stuff. This is the man who gave us egg and bacon ice cream, after all, and who is singlehandedly to blame him for the silly and surreal turn British cuisine took in the 1990s. Unsurprisingly he’s at the heart of the new show, one of three white-clad ‘Gods of Food who look down on proceedings from a sort of culinary Mount Olympus as three contestants battle it out in the Garden of Eden below (and yes, Crazy Delicious is as theologically dissonant as the recipes it showcases). It’s good fun, though, don’t think it isn’t.

Joining Blumenthal in his lofty cockpit were chefs Niklas Ekstedt and Carla Hall, the first Danish and Michelin starred, the second American and a former catwalk model. Collectively they looked like a 1980s pop band about to shoot a comeback video on a set designed by Rachel Maclean. Acting as a sort of link between them and the mortals was host Jayde Adams, done up to look like Alice herself – if Alice was a redhead with blue eye-shadow, horn-rimmed specs, a strong Bristol accent and a neat line in Noel Fielding-style quips.

At least the basic format was familiar even if the dishes and the judges weren’t. The three contestants were commanded to “forage” for ingredients in the magic garden (chocolate soil, a lemon meringue tree, a prosecco fountain etc.) and then to cook their way through three rounds. After the end of the second round the judges consulted, à la Gregg Wallace and John Torode, and one of three went home. The remaining duo battled it out to be pronounced the winner. Now as it is with gifts from aunts and uncles, so it is with gifts from Gods – they can be of variable quality and value. The gift given to Ariadne by Aphrodite, for example, was a fabulous crown but all she gave the mariner Dexikreon was advice to take on water. How’s that for fickle? The winner of Crazy Delicious gets to take home the Golden Apple. Or at least to hold it for a while for the cameras.