Succumbing to Self-Defeat — Alton’s After-Show by Maria Russo in Shows, September 1st, 2013
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When chefs enter Cutthroat Kitchen, they’re likely expecting a bit — or a lot — of sabotage to be dealt upon them by their rivals. After all, it’s this play-or-be-played mentality that makes the competition as fiercely cutthroat at is it. But what they may not expect is that some of their most prominent challenges will likely come not from their dwindling cash supply, another contestant or unexpected ingredient swaps, but rather from themselves and their ideas about how to succeed in Cutthroat Kitchen.
On this week’s After-Show, judge Simon Majumdar and host Alton Brown noticed that in almost every round of cooking, chefs faced significant obstacles — some so damaging that they led to eliminations — on account of their own shortcomings. “He wasn’t sabotaged there,” Alton told Simon of Chef Scipione’s absence of bread in his Round 1 cheese steak sandwich. “He just didn’t make it out of the pantry with any bread.” This oversight ultimately cost Chef Scipione his place in the competition, as Simon noted that the chef’s finished dish “wasn’t a Philly cheese steak in any form that I would recognize.”
For another competitor, the problem proved to be not mere forgetfulness but an inability to work well under pressure. “I think he got stuck,” Simon said of Chef Zadi in Round 3, in which he was forced to make a pizza using a pie. “I think he just didn’t know where to go to make a really good pizza.” While it’s no surprise that competitors are left with few ideas of how to proceed when faced with last-minute ingredient changes and diminishing time on the clock, Alton explained: “Sometimes the cooking wins and sometimes the game play wins. And today, the game play won.” In the end, he warns, “Confidence can kill, but then not having enough will kill too.”
Click the play button on the video above to hear more from Alton and Simon, then chat about the show with fellow fans in the comments below. What did you think of how the chefs handled this week’s challenges? Were the competitors a greater threat to themselves than the sabotages?
Tune in to a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen next Sunday, Sept. 8 at 10pm/9c.