by Maria Russo in Shows, July 7th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 28th, 2015
You know those sleepy summer camps that encourage community, camaraderie and nighttime kumbayas by the fire? This is not that. Led by none other than the master saboteur himself, Alton Brown‘s Camp Cutthroat takes everything you know and love about classic Cutthroat Kitchen — the over-the-top challenges, demanding judges and tight time constraints — and brings it to the great outdoors for a five-part tournament that shines a (hilarious) light on the most-evilicious sides of summer camp.
Premiering Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 9|8c, Camp Cutthroat takes place not in the cozy confines of the traditional Cutthroat arena but outside in the rural woods, which means that the 12 chef contestants will have to contend not only with each other, but also Mother Nature and, of course, the themed sabotages Alton has up his camp-uniform sleeve. From unforeseen wild animals and pesky fellow campers to a murky lake on the grounds, this adventure will test the competitors in downright diabolical ways before ultimately culminating in a finale that crowns one rival the Camp Cutthroat Champion.
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 14th, 2015
While surely all Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are designed for a bit of shock-and-awe factor, perhaps no single challenge delivered as much wow-worthy reaction as the brand-new dollhouse that was rolled out — literally — for tonight’s Round 3 oatmeal cookie battle. For host Alton Brown, this is quite simply “the most-spectacular thing that we’ve ever done here on Cutthroat Kitchen,” he said to guest judge Susan Feniger during the After-Show.
He explained that in this at once oversize and miniature house, one chef not only had to prep all of the cookie ingredients, but also cook them in there by way of the mini kitchen. “This was like a miniature kitchen dropped into the middle of hell,” Alton told Susan, adding that in true evilicious fashion, this sabotage wasn’t just what met the eye.
Aubrey, who works on the show’s team bringing the sabotages to life, explained that this house featured “some challenging ways for the chef to have to use the kitchen.” Think hanging through wall cutouts to reach the kitchen and crawling along stairs to get to the bathroom, where Chef Demarco, who was gifted this unprecedented challenge, chose to use the shower basin as a mixing bowl. “Our Cutthroat Kitchen workshop wasn’t big enough to build the whole thing in one piece, so we had to build [the house] in two separate pieces,” Aubrey explained, “and then when we rolled it into stage, we could actually put the roof on.”
Check out more photos below to see inside the dollhouse and get an up-close look at what this sabotage entailed.
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 7th, 2015
In a Cutthroat Kitchen episode where the name of the game was The Best of the Worst, in which Alton Brown was to unleash a flurry of the most-diabolical sabotages ever created, it was expected that chefs would fall to these downright evilicious — and hilarious — challenges. While that was indeed the case a few times tonight, in Round 1 a chef stumbled not entirely because he’d been sabotaged. In fact, it was due to his own poor shopping that he faced an early elimination.
The task was to cook an all-American breakfast, and as Alton explained, “Chef Joe came out of the pantry without eggs and without meat.” For judge Jet Tila, who learned of this misstep on the host’s After-Show, the question was simply, “What was he thinking?” Both he and Alton agreed that in this case, it wasn’t the challenges that took the chef down, as they said in tandem, “He sabotaged himself.” And Jet noted of Chef Joe’s decision, “If you’re going to call something French toast and not have an egg custard, you’re done in my book.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 31st, 2015
Given the time constraints on the clock and the process of adapting to a brand-new kitchen, cooking in Cutthroat Kitchen can be tricky — and that’s not even taking into the consideration having to maneuver sabotages. Add in those unexpected and downright diabolical challenges, and it may seem like all bets are off when it comes to turning out winning food. But that wasn’t the case on tonight’s all-new episode, when in the first two rounds, the two chefs who did not have any sabotages to contend with were sent home.
In Round 1’s French omelet, Chef Craig was gifted by Chef Paul a tightly coiled pan in which he was forced to make his omelet, and he did it — and did it well. But Chef Paul, who had enjoyed a round of sabotage-free cooking, was eliminated, as judge Jet Tila explained, “It was just a weird plate. Nothing about that plate reminded me of an omelet.” Host Alton Brown noted that Chef Paul had focused on making an accompaniment for his eggs, and Jet warned against that: “Cook to the expectation of just the dish. Don’t go crazy.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 17th, 2015
From blueberry suits for a blueberry muffin test to the all-out costumes Alton Brown wears in honor of the special-edition Halloween episode, Cutthroat Kitchen surely appreciates a solid theme, and the team works hard to embrace it fully — and eviliciously. Tonight’s all-new episode celebrated the start of the summer season with a Grill or Be Grilled competition, and you can be sure that all three rounds of cooking, as well as the sabotages, celebrated this seasonal event in full.
For fans watching at home and even judge Simon Majumdar, perhaps no other challenge today was as memorable — and downright diabolical — as what Alton deemed “the human rotisserie” for Round 2’s skewers test. Telling Simon about this “big kahuna for the day,” Alton explained that one chef was tethered to a rotating poll, forced to prep and cook while spinning slowly. “Completely brilliant,” Simon said upon learning of the sabotage, laughing at the hilariousness that was this monstrous setup.
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 10th, 2015
What with its penchant for ruthless sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen is surely an every-chef-for-himself-or-herself competition, but that doesn’t stop host Alton Brown from auctioning off a few strategically chosen team challenges. These unexpected tests force the rivals to learn to work together in the midst of their efforts at self-preservation, as was the case tonight during the fifth and final round of the Evilicious tournament, in which four previous victors came back for the chance to score the ultimate win and take home an additional $50,000.
With not one but two team sabotages up for grabs throughout the battle, the contestants quickly realized that their success was dependent on someone else’s agenda during the prep time. “This is a real test of teamwork,” Simon Majumdar noted of the Round 2 seesaw sabotage during the After-Show. He wondered how the two rivals split their time between working on their own dish and waiting for the other person to prep, and Alton told him simply, “They had to work it out.” Both Chef Yaku and Chef Jernard indeed managed to complete their dishes despite their teeter-tottering high above the arena, though Alton admitted, “This does explain why both of those chefs delivered the small amount of food they did.”
by Sara Levine in Events, Restaurants, May 5th, 2015
Just when you think you’ve seen it all on Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown unveils a next-level sabotage that just may take the cake in terms of creativity — and downright hilariousness. During tonight’s Heat 4 of the Evilicious tournament, the Round 2 dish was veal Milanese, and in true Milanese style, fashion was the name of the game. Two chefs strutted their stuff and struck more than a few poses as they walked from one catwalk to another, donning culinary getups complete with all of their allowed cooking tools. For Chef Tregaye, who, along with Chef Yaku, was saddled with this sabotage, the fashion show was less of a challenge and more of an enjoyable time for dress-up. “This might be the funnest sabotage ever,” she said. And it appears that Alton and Simon Majumdar, the guest of the day, would likely agree after the two of them attempted this very sabotage as well.
“No, you look like a deranged Terminator,” Simon jokingly told Alton after the host showed off his runway moves. To show Alton how it’s done, the judge took the floor, ending his impromptu catwalk with a fierce “sizzle.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 3rd, 2015
Chicago pride was on display last night at the 25th James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, which have temporarily migrated from New York for a three-year run at the Windy City’s Lyric Opera. The ceremony’s host, Food Network’s own Alton Brown, may be a Southerner, but he was joined on stage by gala co-chairs Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan, three of Chicago’s greatest chefs. Rich Melman, founder of prolific Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award with a speech packed with pride for his hometown. Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the city’s food scene on the red carpet and in remarks on stage. When Food Network asked the mayor if he had any favorite places to travel outside of Chicago for great food, he didn’t miss a beat in retorting, “Yeah, Chicago!” And every time Chicago took home an award, the opera house boomed with cheers. Read more
by Sara Levine in Events, Restaurants, April 29th, 2015
From climbing atop an oversize highchair to donning the now-infamous blueberry suit, Jet Tila will stop at nothing to prove his Cutthroat Kitchen allegiance and attempt to understand what chefs had to endure in the throes of sabotage. On tonight’s all-new After-Show, Jet, alongside Alton Brown, took his devotion one step further by trying his hand at a particularly sweet sabotage as they reflected on the challenges to befall the Evilicious tournament chefs.
The name of the game was doughnuts in Round 3, and in true diabolical fashion, Alton auctioned off a timesuck that forced one competitor to use only his mouth to free a row of doughnuts suspended from strings. Upon learning of this sabotage and seeing it for himself, Jet could do little other than laugh in sheer disbelief, though Alton was quick to challenge him to an impromptu attempt. “I’ll meet you in the middle,” Alton told him. And Jet admitted, “This sucks,” after just a few seconds of grabbing at the first doughnut. “I can’t do this!” he joked, later taking a light-hearted approach to the game, while Alton used all of his determination to power through the task at hand.
After 24 years in New York City, this year’s prestigious James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards — often dubbed “the Oscars of food” — are moving west, to Chicago. More than 2,500 of the country’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food-media people will descend upon the Windy City this weekend, and FoodNetwork.com editors will be there to fill you in on all the action. But the proud, food-obsessed host city has plans that extend well beyond Monday night’s awards ceremony and gala, hosted by our own Alton Brown. Whether or not you’ve got a ticket to the coveted awards, here are some fun ways to celebrate Chicago’s impressive dining scene — all are open to the public, and some are even free.
Need Chicago restaurant recommendations? Check out Food Network’s Newcomer’s Chicago Eating Tour to get our picks for the best burger, pizza, new restaurant and more can’t-miss eats.