by Maria Russo in Shows, September 9th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 6th, 2015
For the first-ever Camp Cutthroat tournament finale, you can be sure that host Alton Brown held nothing back in the name of diabolical sabotages — not even a pitcher of bright-red trout soaked in an eye-catching, crimson-colored bug juice (read: fruit punch). Chef Monterey, who was saddled with this doozy of a challenge, chose not to cook around the sweet flavor, but rather to embrace it with ingredients that complemented that taste. She did not, however, make enough amends for the sugars, and the trout’s skin stuck to the grates of the grill during cooking, and its flesh ultimately turned red.
According to to Alton and judge Antonia Lofaso, this fate didn’t have to befall Chef Monterey, as they explained during the After-Show. “Had Chef Monterey actually cooked the skin properly, it would have looked less red and probably a little bit more brown,” Antonia told Alton, who added his own idea for how to avoid the stuck skin altogether. “With the added sugar that that soaked up, she had to put a lot more oil on it to keep it from sticking, and she did not do that,” Alton said. “And so she lost the skin to the grill.” But, Antonia adds, even with the torn skin and lackluster appearance of the fish, there were ways to dress up the dish. “She also had a really beautiful salad, and I felt like had she put the salad on top of the fish, I may not have noticed it so much,” Antonia admitted. “I mean, this was just a giant red fish on a plate.”
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, September 3rd, 2015
Given the high-stress competition, the pressures to cook within just 30 minutes and, of course, the sting of sabotages, Cutthroat Kitchen is the fiercest of fiercest of environments and perhaps no place for a grandmother — or so it would seem. On tonight’s special episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, four home-cook grannies took their places in the arena, ready to prove their seniority in the kitchen. “I was always taught to respect my elders, so I just want to say right now I’m very, very sorry for everything that happened here tonight,” host Alton Brown said with a sly grin as he opened the After-Show with judge Jet Tila. The guys looked back on a momentous three rounds, which ultimately had one grandma using her experience as a home cook to her advantage.
Come the Round 3 pie challenge, after being saddled with the mandate to shop and cook from the confines of a slow-moving power chair and being forced to use her mouth to fish for ingredients buried in pie, Grandma Nancy enlisted the help of a trusty appliance: the microwave. “Nancy, running out of time, knows that her custard is a real problem. She goes over to the microwave and she starts microwaving, stopping, whisking, microwaving,” Alton explains to Jet. “She cooked that custard, poured it before it had set, and the only thing you busted her for was it was too firm,” added Alton. Shocked by the realization of how Nancy’s pie came to be, Jet admitted, “I’ve never even heard of that technique.” And Alton noted that’s likely because of her skill set as a home cook. “Restaurant-trained chefs [are] never taught to use the microwave. This is a home cook from Grandmaville, from Texas, and so for her, it’s a completely viable tool,” Alton said. And indeed the microwave managed to save the day for Nancy, as she was crowned the champion.
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 2nd, 2015
The rock walls, the bouncy houses, the blindfolds and, of course, Bob the Bear — Camp Cutthroat isn’t short on eviliciousness, thanks in part to Camp counselor extraordinaire and host Alton Brown. Last night’s Round 4 battle — the last one until next Wednesday’s finale — was full of diabolical outdoor sabotages, including the now-infamous lookout tower from which one chef had to make a skillet breakfast high atop the campsite. While all of the drama played out on TV, Alton Brown took to Twitter @AltonBrown to offer you fans an insider’s look at the competition and answer a few of your most-pressing Camp questions. Read on below to see some of his best tweets.
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 26th, 2015
Though the judges may not be privy to the evilicious extents of host Alton Brown‘s sabotages, what each chef has been forced to endure is ultimately illuminated when Alton breaks down the challenges on his After-Show. It took nine seasons and multiple special tournaments full of diabolical sabotages, including the likes of canned haggis, human rotisseries and warped pans, but for the first time tonight — after the fourth heat of the Camp Cutthroat tournament — one judge finally admitted to feeling sorry for a chef.
The challenge in question didn’t involve any oddball ingredient or over-the-top suit of armor. Instead, it was none other than Alton’s lookout tower, from which Chef DeMarco was forced to cook his skillet breakfast high above his cook station using extremely long utensils. “Any food had to be simply dropped into the pan,” Alton told Jet Tila, as the judge took his place on the tower to try his hand at landing chopped ingredients in the pan. “I officially, for the first time in Cutthroat Kitchen, I feel bad,” Jet admitted. Though Chef DeMarco may have earned Chef Jet’s sympathies, they were perhaps not needed; the competitor managed to not only survive the first-round battle, but also outcook Chef Trevor in the chili-and-cornbread test and score a place in next week’s finale.
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 19th, 2015
By now fans know that no one is safe from the diabolical sabotages up for auction — not even the judges. After the third round of outdoor eviliciousness on Camp Cutthroat tonight, host Alton Brown caught up with the judge of the day, Jet Tila, and wasted no time in putting him to work in some of the most-trying challenges of the day. Up first: the bouncy-house obstacle course. “I have to go over this thing?” Jet yelled as he made his way through the course. “This totally sucks.” No matter his dislike of the sabotage, though, he indeed made it through unscathed, and in less than a minute.
But perhaps the real doozy of a sabotage came in the form of the rock wall, which, just like Chef Jessica did, Jet attempted. Not only was he snugly strapped into the harness, but he also pulled himself up the wall, only to meet his fate at the top when he attempted to concoct a sandwich. “I don’t care,” he admitted, after quickly giving in to the sabotage, stuffing a sandwich into his pocket and rappelling down the wall in the hopes of feeding Alton.
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 16th, 2015
Not one to shy away from even the most-dramatic Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages, judge Simon Majumdar has been known to enjoy a hands-on attempt of some of the challenges of the day — just last week on the After-Show, he chugged a shot of fish sauce with abandon. And lucky for fans at home, it turns out that Simon hasn’t lost his diabolical spirit just because the competition has moved outdoors. After tonight’s episode of Camp Cutthroat, the judge willingly partook in several of the battle’s most-evilicious sabotages, including going face to face with a powerful wind gust. “I like that. I like that a lot. We need to use that more,” Simon said, after a Bob held the powered-up wind machine near Simon’s face.
When it came time for the dodge ball demonstration, however, it wasn’t Simon who was getting pelted with plush balls; instead, Simon and Alton joined forces to take down a Bob. “Beat him while he’s down!” Simon joked. In what was perhaps Simon’s most-adventurous challenge, he yanked up his waders and hightailed it down to the lake at Camp, where he used the same oversize skimming rod that Chef Candice had used to pick up ingredients. “If you feel anything nibbling at your feet or your legs,” Alton warned Simon, “it’s probably either the catfish or the snapping turtles.” But in true superjudge fashion, Simon enjoyed the outing in the water. “Could I keep these?” Simon asked Alton about the waders. “They’re rather fun.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 12th, 2015
Responding to emergencies, running into burning buildings and rescuing the injured — firefighters are trained to perform these heroic actions on a daily basis. So going face to face with a little sabotage should be no problem for them, right? Right. While there was no shortage of eviliciousness on tonight’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, featuring four firefighters at the helm, the dishes turned out shockingly stellar, according to judge Antonia Lofaso, who was on hand to sample the plates of the day.
“This whole day, everything was cooked well,” Antonia said during the After-Show, and not just because she had just learned what challenges these cooks had to endure: burned chicken in a blazing building and fries that had to travel the length of a 50-foot hose. “All of their dishes were legitimately really good,” she said. According to host Alton Brown, the chefs gave stellar performances because the demands of a Cutthroat battle aren’t unlike what they’re used to. “They’re very resourceful and they don’t panic under pressure,” he explained to Antonia.
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 9th, 2015
The chefs on Camp Cutthroat — all returning competitors — were surely expecting to endure sabotage in the great outdoors. But nothing could have prepared them for “Bob the Bear,” as host Alton Brown called the oversize, furry and downright diabolical bear that invaded the campsite in the first round. As Chef Emmanuel worked to hoist his foods into a tree, the bear showed him little mercy, trying furiously to knock the products from the chef’s grasp.
On tonight’s brand-new installment of Alton’s After-Show, judge Simon Majumdar was introduced to “Bob the Bear,” first as a ferocious creature — and then as a dance partner. That’s right: While Alton demonstrated how Chef Emmanuel had to haul his food up a tree with the help of a bucket, Simon and the bear danced a few soft, smooth swings arm in arm. As might be expected from a wild animal like this, Bob had a clear agenda for how he wanted the dance to go and yelled “I lead! I lead!” to Simon. “The bear wants to lead? The bear can lead,” Simon said simply, letting his dance partner take charge.
by Maria Russo in Shows, July 26th, 2015
There are the drinking games you likely know and love — and then there are Cutthroat Kitchen drinking games. On tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown took shots to a diabolical level when he auctioned off a tray of shot glasses filled not with liquor but with spicy, tangy and downright funky ingredients — not all of them liquid. Hot sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce and garlic made up the five evilicious glasses, and the unfortunate chef saddled with this sabotage was forced to take a shot of one each time he wanted to taste his food.
Alton brought this doozy of a challenge to the After-Show to show off to Simon Majumdar, and Alton was quick to turn the tables on the judge, saying to him, “I double-dog dare you to shoot the fish sauce.” Ever the cooperative judge, Simon wasted no time in throwing back the classically Asian ingredient in one fell glug. As is only natural, of course, Simon didn’t hesitate to challenge Alton to an equally cringe-inducing ingredient: the hot sauce. “Alton’s been giving it lots and lots of this,” Simon said, while making the chatter motion with his hand. While Alton was quick to refuse the hot sauce — “I’m not going to play that game!” he declared — he indeed put back a swig of Worcestershire sauce. “No way was I doing the hot sauce! I’m not insane,” Alton said. While both guys survived their tastings, the competitor stuck with this sabotage didn’t last into Round 2.
Famous for its (hilariously wonderful) outlandish sabotages thrown at innocent chefs, Cutthroat Kitchen has forced its share of mandatory oddball ingredients into competitors’ dishes — anyone remember that canned whole chicken? On tonight’s all-new episode, host Alton Brown took that idea of diabolical eviliciousness one step further by introducing canned haggis during the Scotch egg battle in Round 1. If you’ve never before heard of haggis, here’s what you need to know: It’s a hodgepodge of animal, often including stomach, liver and heart, and it’s often mixed with spices. Instead of traditional sausage to envelop the egg, one chef had to use this mystery canned meat — this particular can full of lamb heart and liver, pork fat and dehydrated onion — much to the horror of Jet Tila, the judge of the day.
“And you know who had to eat that,” he told Alton sarcastically during the After-Show, adding that Chef Plum, who was saddled with this doozy of a sabotage, “failed to turn that haggis into a good Scotch egg.” Turning the tables on the judge, Alton asked Jet how he would have approached this challenge, and Jet explained that it’s all about masking the natural flavor of the haggis. “More seasoning — maybe onion, lots of dry spices, maybe some fresh herbs as well. You would have to cook that gaminess out of it,” he noted.