by Maria Russo in Shows, February 16th, 2014
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 9th, 2014
“Let nobody ever say that I am not a risk taker,” Simon proclaimed on Alton’s After-Show following this week’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. He and Alton were catching up after the latest rounds of sabotage had unfolded, and they reflected on Simon’s no-holds-barred maneuver of testing the viscosity of Chef Billy New England clam chowder in Round 2.
During what Alton deemed “one of the finest moments,” Simon picked up Chef Billy’s bowl of soup and held it upside down directly on top of his head. “Chef, there’s thick,” Simon told the rival of his soup during tasting, “and there’s you-can-hold-it-over-your-head-without-danger-of-it-splashing-on-my-bald-bonce thick.” According to Alton, Chef Billy “had some starch manipulation issues,” which ultimate turned his chowder into a nearly solid soup. “It was just kind of wobbling there rather threateningly for a while,” Simon explained.
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 2nd, 2014
While some Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages, like mandatory utensils and the exclusive use of salt, are frequently used on the show, some are used far less often. On tonight’s all-new episode, Alton unveiled a never-before-seen sabotage that was enough to turn the kitchen into a party of sorts.
In Round 3′s birthday cake challenge, Chef Jessica was gifted what every birthday girl surely wants on her special day: a tower of beautifully wrapped presents. Some boxes were filled with silly toys and games, but Chef Jessica was after the select few containing critical ingredients needed to execute her cake, including flour, eggs and sugar. “Make them unwrap presents until they found [what they needed],” Alton explained to judge Jet Tila of the objective of this particular sabotage. “It was one of my proudest moments,” he joked with a smile during his After-Show. “If you picked incorrectly, this would take 20, 30 minutes,” Jet mused.
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 29th, 2014
Surviving a round of Cutthroat Kitchen is no small feat, and for most chefs, each of the 30 minutes on the clock is precious. On this week’s all-new episode, however, one competitor learned what it’s like to attempt a round in half that time — in only 15 quick minutes.
In what judge Jet Tila deemed “the worst sabotage I think I’ve heard of,” Alton announced halfway through Round 2′s huevos rancheros challenge that the mid-round sabotage was to begin the entire challenge over again, from scratch. Chef David was gifted this task, and he was ultimately forced to not just start over in cooking, but to also grocery shop and prep his ingredients for a second time. “It totally makes sense why his dish didn’t come together,” Jet noted to Alton during the host’s After-Show. “You can’t hit the reset button,” Alton added.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 26th, 2014
Let’s set the scene: utensils made from aluminum, no salt, missing ingredients and an evilicious grin to top it off. These are all the ingredients that make up Cutthroat Kitchen. Every Sunday night, Alton dishes out sabotages that can trip up even the best of chefs — but here’s the kicker: Alton truly enjoys watching the chefs distribute and overcome the obstacles that are thrown at them.
“I love seeing people play the game, so anything that accentuates that, I’m a fan of. I grew up loving game shows,” Alton recently told FN Dish on the set of his show. “The auctioning segments are my favorite part — I enjoy the strategies used by the chefs,” he continued saying.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 19th, 2014
Alton Brown recently told FN Dish his top pieces of advice for Cutthroat Kitchen competitors, and among them was to “always leave the pantry with something that has salt in it.” This strategy for success would have proved especially useful during tonight’s brand-new episode, as three out of the four chefs were prohibited from using any salt in Round 1 after Chef Emily won the exclusive right to it. But while those rivals may have suffered bland food on account of sabotage, Emily, too, offered an improperly seasoned dish to judge Antonia Lofaso, and it ultimately cost her the competition.
It turns out that what ultimately did in Chef Emily wasn’t a high prevalence of salt but, ironically enough, the drastic underuse of her high-priced ingredient. “There’s something about when you got it, you’re afraid to use it, I guess,” Alton told Antonia as the two dished on the challenges during the host’s After-Show. According to Antonia, Chef Emily’s sweet potato fries were far too sweet, served with maple syrup and bacon. “There was just no balance of anything ’cause it was like a sweet fry, then a sweet sauce,” Antonia explained. “I think maybe, like, rendering the bacon fat and using that — the fat — and the maple and the crushed bacon would have just given it more balance.”
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 14th, 2014
While competitors may not know the dishes they’ll be tasked with cooking on Cutthroat Kitchen, or the specifics of the challenges that will befall them in battle, a few things are certain about the contest: Chefs will sabotage each other and be sabotaged in return. It’s how contestants cope that will ultimately determine the success of their food, and while much of their adaptation involves recipe tweaks and ingredient swap-outs, it also requires strategy in bidding and the assigning of a particular sabotage once it’s been earned.
On this week’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Chef Leah wasted no time in gifting a doozy of a challenge to all three of her rivals during Round 1′s quesadilla test. She paid a whopping $6,900 to force the other competitors to use a high-powered work lamp, a kitchen torch and a hair-straightening flat iron as their sole heat sources. “So, at this point, Chef Leah is hated by almost everyone universally. When the mid-challenge item came up, it was almost a fait accompli that somebody would make sure she got it,” Alton revealed to judge Simon Majumdar on the host’s After-Show. Sure enough, as a form of evilicious retribution, she was tasked with making two pitchers of margaritas using a human-powered blender attached to a bicycle, so she ultimately learned the sting of sabotage as she peddled to make the motor run. “But in the end, I don’t know how bad it hurt her,” Alton explained to Simon. Not only did Chef Leah survive the round, but she went on to win the entire competition after outcooking her rivals in rounds of chicken noodle soup and fish fries.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 12th, 2014
Most fans believe Alton Brown‘s a walking food dictionary (and he is). He’s the ultimate commentator on Iron Chef America, he’s a mentor and judge on Food Network Star and no one will ever forget Good Eats. But there’s still so much to learn about this pillar of Food Network. FN Dish caught up with Alton on the set of his newest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, where he chatted about survival techniques for future competitors and even a couple things you may not know about the man who so many admire and look up to.
1. When Alton was younger, he always thought he would end up directing movies, which is what he trained for. “Only I got sidestepped into commercials for a long time.”
2. Alton spends a lot of time flying airplanes.
3. Alton plays multiple instruments including the guitar. “I always travel with a guitar when I’m on the road.” He also sings with his trio on his live tour.
4. Going along with music: Alton almost always listens to music while he cooks. The playlist depends on the day. “I’m anywhere from opera to Led Zeppelin — and everywhere in between. My daughter is 14 and listens to a lot of pop stuff, so I tend to gravitate way, far away from whatever she’s listening to. I have music on in the kitchen all the time. The last 10 things I cooked were probably to mid-’70s Elton John,” Alton shared with FN Dish.
5. Alton is terrified of calf’s liver. “I’ve tried it and I can’t make it edible. I don’t like anyone else’s either — and mine is just worse,” Alton adds.
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by Maria Russo in Shows, January 6th, 2014
From competition and available prize money to chefs’ hopes and judges’ expectations, Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t short on anything, least of all sabotage. But tonight the contest took a turn for the pintsize in Round 3, when Chef Midgley found himself cooking strawberry shortcake in a tiny kids’ kitchen, equipped with a miniscule sink, toaster oven and induction range, as well as petite utensils.
“If you can only imagine in your mind’s eye big ol’ mitts on that guy using these little-bitty tools,” Alton said to Simon after he revealed the play-size setup to the judge on his After-Show. “I probably would have cried and run off into the corner,” Simon joked of how he may have approached this challenge, as he and Alton crouched down next to it. It turns out, however, that Chef Midgley found success with this sabotage, as he completed the round on time and presented Simon with a dish superior to his rival’s balsamic-soaked plate.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 5th, 2014
Now into its second season, Cutthroat Kitchen has welcomed dozens of chefs into the arena for a competition based on culinary skill, determination and, above all else, sabotage. To succeed in this cutthroat battle, it’s not enough to turn out deliciously inventive dishes; chefs need to think quickly and adapt in order to survive challenges that will inevitably befall them, like mandatory oddball ingredients, prohibited utensils and unconventional cooking devices.
Just in time for yesterday’s special episode of Cutthroat Kitchen wherein Alton hosted his first-ever guest judge, the queen of Italian cuisine, Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network looked back on some of the most-hilarious, unbelievable and downright evilicious sabotages to ever befall competitors. Many of the most-memorable challenges have involved inferior gadgets and utensils: mini pots, cheese graters and whisks made for children, plastic knives instead of steel ones and chopsticks in place of all other tools.
From prohibited cooking utensils to forced ingredient swaps and mandatory products, Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are the ultimate in culinary challenges. While these sabotages may send contestants into fits of panic during the competition, most rivals manage to turn out acceptable dishes for the judge of the day. No matter if chefs unapologetically show off or brilliantly hide the obstacles that befell them, it’s up to the judges to taste the plates before them and unknowingly eat sometimes hilariously inferior ingredients.
That’s what happened on today’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen when special guest Giada De Laurentiis stopped by to judge. In Round 2, Chef La Salle presented her with a dish of chicken and waffles, but instead of using fresh chicken, Chef La Salle featured canned chicken. This chicken, which was packed in liquid, was first ground through a food processor and ultimately turned into chicken pate. When Giada finally saw — and smelled — the canned chicken firsthand during Alton’s After-Show, she couldn’t help but look away and hold her nose to avoid the stench. “The whole thing really reeks,” she admitted of the meat before Alton told her, “You put that in your mouth.”