For the first time on Sunday night (at 10|9c), the contestants taking their turns on Cutthroat Kitchen won’t be everyday chef-competitors; instead the judges, Antonia Lofaso, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jet Tila and Simon Majumdar, will enter the throes of sabotage and battle against each other for Cutthroat glory. Although the group is most familiar with simply tasting the aftermath of a challenge, they’re keenly aware of the kinds of evilicious obstacles Alton‘s been known to auction off. Just ahead of this weekend’s special episode, FN Dish checked in with Alton to find out what he has planned. Read on below to hear from Alton in an exclusive interview and learn his thoughts on the competition plus his advice for the judges.
Regardless of who’s competing — contestants or judges — what is one key piece of advice you think everyone should know before beginning a Cutthroat battle?
Alton Brown: Shop for the unexpected. It’s easy to grab ingredients for a specific dish, but remember … in Cutthroat Kitchen you never know what sabotages might be coming your way. Don’t just load for bear; load for monsters.
What are your expectations for the judges going into this competition? Do you anticipate them having a different approach to bidding because of their experience with the game, or do you expect them to be able to better overcome the sabotages?
AB: I expect them to suffer. Sure, they know the game. But they don’t have any idea what I may have planned for them. I’m a baaaaad man.
All four of these judges have history battling in various food competitions, but of course, nothing is quite like Cutthroat Kitchen. How do you recommend they prepare for this kind of contest?
AB: There is no way to prepare for Cutthroat Kitchen … for anyone.
When deciding on sabotages for this episode, will you make them intentionally difficult because of the high caliber of the competitors?
AB: Oh, I’ve made very special plans for them. The sabotages are, in a word: epic.
Do you think Geoffrey will be at a disadvantage in the competition because of his relative inexperience with Cutthroat Kitchen or at an advantage because of his time competing on The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America?
AB: Simply put, Iron Chef Zakarian is one of the best cooks I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I want to be him when I grow up.
Who do you think is the likely judge to win it all this weekend, and why?
AB: I do have a horse that I’d bet on if I was a betting man, which I’m not.
Don’t miss the Cutthroat Kitchen judges’ battle on Sunday, June 1 at 10|9c.