by Maria Russo in Shows, October 22nd, 2014
by Maria Russo in Shows, October 19th, 2014
To survive — and thrive — on Cutthroat Kitchen, it’s not enough to be able to work quickly under pressure or to deliver a well-seasoned plate; chefs must be able to strategize their every move, budget their $25,000 bank account and bid productively with three rounds of competition in mind. Fans saw what happened when a contestant didn’t take that approach during tonight’s Heat 3 of the Superstar Sabotage tournament. For Chef Johnny Iuzzini, it didn’t matter how much he spent during Rounds 1 and 2 so long as he advanced to Round 3, while Chef Eric Greenspan frugally saved his money for charity — until the last round, when Chef Johnny was forced to compete with only $100 and Chef Eric was armed with a full $25,000.
“Once you’re down to $100, you can’t fight back. It doesn’t matter how good you are,” Alton Brown revealed to judge Simon Majumdar on the host’s latest After-Show. “This is a game, and you have to be able to play the game. And if you walk into a final round with a $100 bill in your hand, you’re going to have a really tough time winning regardless of how good you are.” Thanks to the force of his full funds behind him, Chef Eric was able to saddle Chef Johnny — a famed pastry chef — with a duo of sabotages during the lemon bar test, and that maneuver ultimately set up Chef Eric for the win. “Eric said it was just now even,” Alton told Simon of their Round 3 matchup.
by Maria Russo in Shows, October 12th, 2014
It’s no secret that Cutthroat Kitchen judges are secluded from the sabotages taking place during competitions and forced to evaluate the dishes based solely on what’s in front of them — such a strategy guarantees the focus remains on the food at all times. But on tonight’s all-new Alton’s After-Show, judge Jet Tila revealed that after learning what one chef had endured in the name of sabotage, he felt a tinge of guilt — especially after his decision led to the contestant’s elimination.
“You feel so bad after the fact. Now I realize,” he admitted after Alton spoke of how Chef Alex had to use only kitchen tongs to cut her wrap ingredients. “I was dinging so badly on her just horrible knife cuts. They literally looked like she’s just tearing things apart. But now I get it.” Alton went on to explain that because the judges are blind to the sabotages, they’re forced to evaluate on “flavor, presentation and ‘does it remind me of the thing it’s supposed to remind me of.’” But he admitted, “It doesn’t mean they’re all equally weighted. The truth is is anybody’s who’s a chef is going to more heavily weight flavor above all.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, October 8th, 2014
From funny food puns to inventive plays on a key ingredient, Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown will stop at nothing when it comes to dishing out appropriately themed sabotages to align with each round’s dish. On tonight’s all-new episode, he stayed true to his ways by forcing one chef to put a literal spin on coffee cake — something that’s traditionally made without coffee — by holding a tray of cups of coffee while cooking in Round 3. “Coffee and oysters will kill me,” judge Simon Majumdar said on the After-Show after learning that the drink played a part in the challenge. Sure enough, though, Alton knew this, and he noted that the terms of the sabotage included starting over should the contestant spill coffee into any element of the dish.
While this sabotage may seem daunting, it turns out that the competitor saddled with the test, Chef Alberico, took it in stride and was able to overcome it for ultimate glory. “The fact that he … was able to create a cake of any sort I think is really remarkable,” the judge explained looking back on the contest.
by Maria Russo in Shows, October 5th, 2014
“I don’t know what to say sometimes to these things,” judge Antonia Lofaso revealed to Alton Brown on the host’s After-Show after learning of a particularly shocking challenge that befell Chef Michael. Tonight’s all-new episode marked the preliminary heat in the first-ever Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage tournament featuring A-list chefs, so of course the sabotages proved to be as over the top as the crop of talent facing off in the kitchen.
After hearing that within the French toast offering Chef Michael gave her were slices of “crispy, old cheese bread” harvested from the top of French onion soup, Antonia was quick to understand, though not excited to admit, “That’s what I ate.” She also proclaimed that when it came to one chef being forced to simultaneously prepare a salmon dinner and walk on a treadmill, “There can’t be more.” Sure enough, however, Alton noted: “There’s always more. It’s Cutthroat Kitchen.” And then he revealed a critical station swap that would ultimately do in Chef Susan.
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 28th, 2014
For a competition as entrenched in evil as Cutthroat Kitchen, the contest would have to turn especially ghostly to spook the chefs in the midst of battle, and that’s just what happened on tonight’s first-ever Halloween-themed episode. With the help of costumes, devilish-sounding dishes and terrifying tests, host-turned-vampire Alton Brown pulled off a fright-night battle like no other, and he filled in judge Jet Tila, who was appropriately dressed in judicial garb, on all of his scary secrets during his exclusive After-Show.
“It was a very spooky day here in Cutthroat Kitchen,” Alton revealed before a crew member rolled in the first sabotage: a coffin, which served as a makeshift prep station for one unfortunate competitor. Jet mused as to whom he would have sabotaged with this test during the first-round deviled egg dish: “The tallest person — for sure.” And sure enough, that’s what Chef Emme had in mind when she picked Chef Caulden for the challenge. Despite the creepy conditions, however, Chef Caulden managed to earn Jet’s praises, as the judge said: “Wait, so he composed his entire dish in there. The foam, the green, the everything. He did quite a good job.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 21st, 2014
While challenge dishes featured on Cutthroat Kitchen are classics and easy to prepare, many, like Thai coconut soup and falafel, aren’t necessarily appealing to children. On tonight’s all-new episode, however, the competition took a turn for the kid-friendly, as Alton Brown introduced one dish that’s perhaps enjoyed more by children than by adults: chicken fingers. “The chicken finger is featured on pretty much every single kids’ menu on the planet,” Alton told judge Jet Tila on this week’s After-Show. To celebrate the plate and honor one place many chicken fingers are eaten, Alton auctioned off a giant highchair, one intended not for kids but for an unlucky chef saddled with sabotage. “Look at the view,” Alton said jokingly to Jet, who willingly climbed onto the chair to experience the test for himself. “You can see further in Cutthroat Kitchen than ever before.”
While the sights may have been ideal up there, the working conditions were not, as Chef Joel found mini utensils, plastic plates and an electric cooktop waiting for him at the table of the highchair. Lucky for him, though, he didn’t stay there long, as he won the mid-round sabotage and forced Chef Oz to take his place and finish prepping the dish there as his own. He “simply cannot recoup,” Alton noted to Jet, who surely tasted the struggle in Chef Oz’s dish, as the judge sent him home after a failed chicken-finger offering.
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 7th, 2014
Considering the ruthless sabotaging that takes place on any given day on Cutthroat Kitchen
, it would surely take something over-the-top evilicious to stop host Alton Brown
in his tracks, and that’s exactly what happened on this week’s all-new episode. Just moments into his After-Show
, Alton revealed to judge Jet Tila
, “This one may be my favorite — ever.” And Alton added, “We definitely had our best round of cooking, I think ever, today.”
While Round 1 saw a doozy of a bento box challenge and Round 2 welcomed a toy crab claw sabotage, it wasn’t until the pineapple upside-down cake test began that Alton saw what he deemed “the round that I believe to be the finest Cutthroat Kitchen round that I have ever witnessed.” As judge Jet listened to the details of the history-making Round 3, Alton noted the competition’s first-ever Hammock Station, which made its debut after Alton and the Cutthroat crew looked for “something else that goes upside down in an inconvenient time and way.” What resulted forced Chef Alexis to work exclusively on the hammock (with the exception of the cooking) as he prepared his cake. Simply put, it was “unspeakably wonderful” to watch, according to Alton. But what came next in judging was perhaps the most-unexpected ending to the contest: a tie. “For the first time in Cutthroat Kitchen history, the judge decides on a tie,” Alton explained; and Jet told him, “I had to.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 31st, 2014
There are days in the Cutthroat Kitchen
arena when the challenges seem simply too great for any chef to overcome, but of course, all of host Alton Brown
‘s evilicious sabotages have indeed been tested
and proven possible, so surely victory is achievable, if only through sheer determination and perseverance. One chef learned that lesson firsthand on tonight’s all-new episode after facing — and ultimately overcoming — what judge Simon Majumdar
deemed “two of the most-heinous sabotages.”
Chatting with Alton on the host’s After-Show, Simon proclaimed, “I think this makes Chef Todd the best chef that’s ever come into Cutthroat Kitchen” after he learned of the double-decker of doom that the competitor had to endure in Round 3′s crepe suzette test. Not only did Chef Todd face a rotating work station that forced him to walk in circles as he prepared his dessert, but he was also saddled with a warped crepe pan. It turns out that, despite the contestant’s difficulties, he managed to achieve the proper tastes in his offering, and often that’s enough to earn the win on Cutthroat Kitchen. “I can fully understand why it was just a complete mess,” Simon said of Chef Todd’s finished dish, before adding, “but all the flavors I wanted were there.”
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, August 17th, 2014
From souffle suits to Greek-inspired togas, Alton Brown
‘s not one to shy away from costumes, as the Cutthroat Kitchen
host has gleefully auctioned off the gamut of creative getups. On this week’s new episode, he brought back the idea of dress-up to what he called on his After-Show
“the golden American age of the ’50s.” In celebration of the casserole round, one chef was forced to don an apron and oven mitts a la those commonly worn by housewives several decades ago.
“Can I just say these are very, very sweaty inside,” Simon Majumdar noted to Alton after the judge put on the outfit. Chef Ian had to undergo this challenge, but as Alton told Simon, “things get a little bit spicier” when the same chef was forced to balance a cooked pie on one of his hands for the duration of the round. Although Chef Ian managed to present his casserole on time, Simon admitted that the double-decker of interference ultimately did the contestant in. “He’s a good enough chef not to undercook bacon and not to undercook zucchinis, and added to that, the lack of sauce,” Simon said when explaining that sabotages were likely to blame in this elimination.
Click the play button on the video above to hear more from Alton and Simon, and see Simon in costume.
It was a double-whammy this week on Cutthroat Kitchen
, with host Alton Brown
creating an elaborate sabotage that hit not only one, but two chefs with the biggest set ever created on the show. In the TV dinner round, two chefs had to do all of their cooking and prep in a 1974 version of Alton’s living room, complete with a couch, television, coffee table and even a smiling photo of Alton himself.
Chef Mitch won this challenge for a whopping $9,100 and gave it to his opponents. “Would you have been OK with this?” asked Alton to judge Jet Tila on this week’s After-Show. “With four components here — a dessert, a starch and a protein, a little tough. So no, I wouldn’t have been OK with this one,” said judge Jet.
Click play on the video above to see the living room up close, and hear judge Jet’s reaction.