by Maria Russo in Shows, January 26th, 2014
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 19th, 2014
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.
Keep reading for more
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.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 3rd, 2014
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.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 29th, 2013
Fans of Cutthroat Kitchen
may think that, given the timed pantry shopping, high-stakes bidding and ruthless sabotaging that takes place in each and every round, there would be few opportunities for laughs or games in the midst of the competition. But Giada De Laurentiis
disproves that idea this week when she drops by to guest judge a special episode of the show. She and Alton Brown
, longtime colleagues and familiar judge-mentors on Food Network Star
, have seemingly developed an almost sibling-like relationship, so it’s no surprise that when they teamed up on Cutthroat Kitchen, playful bickering and well-meaning, friendly scoffs ensued.
Just in time for this Sunday’s episode with Giada, airing at 10pm/9c, we’re giving FN Dish readers the first look at some of the most-hilarious bloopers from the show. Click the play button on the video above to watch bonus outtakes of Giada and Alton in action, and see how these two worked together.
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 22nd, 2013
While Cutthroat Kitchen
judges are quick to taste the food before them in each round of evilicious competition on the show, they don’t know exactly how that dish came to be, what ingredients were used to prepare it and which methods were undertaken to produce it. For help in clarifying the unknown, host Alton Brown
sits down with the judges in his Web-exclusive After-Show
to break down the ins and outs of the challenges; this week, he and Antonia Lofaso chatted about the latest contest to unfold.
Traditional wonton wrappers may seem like a must-have ingredient for chefs tasked with preparing pot stickers, but in Round 1, three of the four competitors were forced to work with wontons in other forms, like honey-soaked wontons, frozen wontons and wonton soup. Thinking about the offerings she had just tasted, Antonia correctly guessed that Chef Velez was the one fortunate enough to work with the fresh product. Although she was initially hesitant about Chef Miranda’s dish, which was crafted out of frozen wontons and featured cabbage-wrapped bites, Antonia ultimately told the finalist, “I’m not mad at it.” Later she explained to Alton: “When someone says ‘pot sticker,’ you have this idea in your head of exactly what you want. So when I walk over and there’s cabbage, and I’m like, am I going to get that texture on the outside? Am I going to get that little bit of, like, char? And then I really enjoyed it.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 15th, 2013
For the first time this season, Antonia Lofaso took her turn judging four competitors in the latest round of evilicious contest on Cutthroat Kitchen
, and because no judge is privy to the bidding for sabotages and cooking, she joined Alton Brown
on his After-Show
to learn what had gone down.
The chefs had to create gnocchi during Round 1 of the competition; though a hand masher may have been an appropriate tool for the job, it became an obstacle for Chef Gentile when he was forced to have it duct taped to his arm for the duration of the round. “He was looking for garnish that was going to build a dish,” Antonia told Alton, realizing that this impediment is what prevented Chef Gentile from breaking down ingredients and cooking with more precision.
Having been a judge on the premiere season of Cutthroat Kitchen
, Simon Majumdar is no stranger to the tricks and challenges that befall competitors in each round of cooking, but after eating set cheese and soupy ice cream on tonight’s all-new Season 2 premiere, he needed a few clarifications on how the dishes came to be. Host Alton Brown
— who’s not only privy to the sabotages, but in charge of auctioning them off as well — filled in Simon during the latest installment of his After-Show
It turns out that the patty melt-inspired dish that Chef Stratton gave Simon was mushroom-heavy on account of the Freeze Dried Meat product he was forced to work with after Chef Wiginton assigned it to him. “There was no patty in the dish, really,” Simon told Alton. “It was mushroom-heavy, and I guess that’s what he did to try and compensate, but it kind of overcompensated a bit.” This ingredient was so unlike fresh meat that it prevented Chef Stratton from turning it into a traditional patty.