by Maria Russo in Shows, August 10th, 2016
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 3rd, 2016
Well, we’ve reached a new dawn in the land of Cutthroat Kitchen. On tonight’s special-edition superhero installment of Alton’s After-Show, host Alton Brown and judge Antonia Lofaso abandoned their earthly bodies and became Fry-der Man and Super Judge, respectively. For Alton, his impersonation involved none other than a jetpack-like backpack of oversize french fries, as well as a mask and hand made out of fry baskets; Antonia found herself flying (that is, hanging) in the air parallel to the floor, at the mercy of what Alton called “the four winds,” aka the Bobs. “It’s not my fault. I’m not in charge of them,” Alton explained to Antonia as she attempted to comprehend the predicament in which she found herself.
For this After-Show challenge, both Fry-der Man and Super Judge were tasked with putting their superhero spins on a classic hero sandwich, a simple task to be sure — or so it seemed. “I can’t even reach my olive oil,” Antonia declared at the outset, stretching her arms from the sling in an attempt to grab the bottle. Meanwhile, Alton was dealing with a struggle of his own. Thanks to the fry basket he was forced to carry in one hand, his chopping abilities were severely lacking, so much so that he resorted to simply smashing a lead of lettuce and a few olives for his sandwich. “That is unnecessary,” Antonia noted of the whacking going down on the station beside her. Both managed to put forth sandwiches, but ultimately only Antonia was able to experience the magic of superhero flight as the Bobs swept her around the kitchen to pick up plates.
by Maria Russo in Shows, July 27th, 2016
Anne Burrell is no stranger to the Cutthroat Kitchen arena, as she’s both competed on and judged this evilicious competition before. But the sabotages took a particularly diabolical turn for her tonight, when she returned to her post as a guest judge and later got to experience a few of the challenges for herself during the After-Show. No sooner did she take in host Alton Brown’s “custom cat condo” did she feast her eyes on an oversize shoe for shoofly pie. “But that was really nothing,” Alton Brown told her, as he prepared to unleash a far trickier test that she’d ultimately be wearing. He gave Anne what he called “fly vision,” thanks to psychedelic goggles that severely warped her vision. “They make you feel kind of drunk,” Alton added.
With the oddball specs snugly on her head, Anne did her best to prep a cocktail — but the task wasn’t without its challenges. “This is hilarious,” she admitted after knocking over a glass and attempting to feel her way around the prep station to land the tools she needed. Though she managed to fill up the shaker with a few liquors and even slice a grapefruit while under the influence of the googles, the real test came when it was time for her to pour the drink. “Did I make any of that in the glass?” she asked.
by Maria Russo in Shows, July 20th, 2016
For Cutthroat Kitchen judge Richard Blais, there was no shortage of roller-coaster emotions as he tried his hands — or, rather, his tongs — at not one but two of the day’s sabotages during the After-Show. After host Alton Brown asked him to prep an everyday cobb salad, the judge was mostly pleased with the task. But in true Cutthroat fashion, the challenges didn’t stop there. “Why do you guys have to do this?” Richard joked after being saddled with a duo of challenges. He was forced to carry multiple shopping bags on both of his arms — which sounds easy enough — but then instead of being able to use his hands to prep the salad, he was given salad tongs. And that’s when the situation turned evilicious.
“The lettuce is going to be an issue,” Richard noted after he mangled his mise en place of fresh avocado and grilled chicken. When it came to cracking and peeling a hard-boiled egg, he said simply, “That’s not fun at all.” But once he learned the basic technique of working with tools upon tools, he couldn’t help but feel proud of himself. “Now I’m kind of crushing it,” he admitted, having successfully used tongs to hold a spoon and scoop out mustard for the base of his dressing. As he used the tongs to claw away chunks of bacon from the strips, he explained how downright diabolical this sabotage proved to be, calling it “one of the toughest challenges” he’d seen. Once again, though, the frustration didn’t last long. By the time Richard added the last of his ingredients to the salad, he admitted, “I’m feeling good about this.” Sure enough, he was pleased with the final results.
by Maria Russo in Shows, July 13th, 2016
It’s not often that that Cutthroat Kitchen judges get to choose their own poison, so to speak, when they drop by Alton’s After-Show (usually that’s host Alton Brown‘s job). But tonight Antonia Lofaso enjoyed the freedom to select which sabotage she’d be saddled with. Alton explained that they’d be prepping lobster rolls together — literally, that is — and it was up to her to opt to do so in a giant stockpot alongside Alton or in a harness tethered to him. Ultimately she chose the harness, and we’re glad she did, because what resulted as they both put signature spins on lobster rolls was diabolically hilarious — not to mention downright delicious.
Antonia and Alton agreed that the Connecticut-style lobster roll preparation, which features butter instead of mayo as the binder, is the way to go, but tonight Alton opted for mayonnaise “to contrast,” he explained. After Antonia toasted her bun, Alton oh so gingerly scooted the duo over to his station to work on his lobster. Sure enough, no sooner did Alton get a handle on his prep did Antonia shimmy them back to her table. “This is like a ballet of pain,” Alton noted as they did an impromptu two-step in the kitchen. After what Alton called “a completely neutral Bob” joined them for tasting, the Bob wordlessly deemed Alton’s to be the best of the day — which didn’t actually come as a surprise to Antonia. “It’s true. It’s the mayonnaise. I didn’t put any salt. I’m a failure,” she proclaimed in a series of heartbreaking culinary admissions. And for Alton, that was music to his ears. “Best day ever,” he said.
by Maria Russo in Shows, July 6th, 2016
While some Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages require physical dexterity and downright flexibility (remember that hanging-doughnut buffet and the Double Dare-style obstacle course?), one sabotage in particular from tonight’s new episode challenged the mind more than the body.
On the After-Show, host Alton Brown explained the task to Sherry Yard, the guest of the day, by saying, “We decided to make Jenny lose all of her ingredients and get them back by solving pictographs.” The challenge involved Chef Jenny shuffling through a deck of word-picture puzzles in an attempt to sound out the names and earn the items, which the competitor indeed managed to do. When it was Sherry’s turn to master the cards, the judge initially struggled over the meaning of the designs, but with a little help from Alton, she caught on quickly.
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 29th, 2016
With a statement as bold as that from Alton Brown, you’re likely expecting the challenge in question to be shocks of electricity, a cage-fighting match or a contraption that would (nearly) paralyze the chefs, right? We’re happy to report that none of those sabotages made an appearance during tonight’s all-new special judges’ episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. Instead, what Alton deemed to be “my finest sabotage of all time” was nothing more than a makeshift stool in a dingy, dimly lit “holding area,” where one judge had to sit. How bad could that be? Well, it turns out that it was bad enough to ultimately doom Simon Majumdar and just about guarantee Antonia Lofaso‘s win in Round 3.
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 22nd, 2016
Marc Summers, a first-timer in the Cutthroat Kitchen arena, stopped by tonight to judge the Time Warp Tournament finale, a ’90s-themed extravaganza complete with (a very) up-and-coming boy band and a replica of a Double Dare-style obstacle course. Clad in signature shiny-gold Hammer-style pants, Marc shuffled back and forth and hammered thyme packets into a wall, just like Chef Clay did in Round 2. “And what was the purpose of this again?” the judge asked Alton Brown. According to the host, the purpose was quite simple. “It’s to humiliate whoever’s doing it — and to force them to waste time for about five minutes, when they really could be doing something better,” Alton explained. That’s the beauty of this sabotage and many others; in each and every round, you can be sure they’ll both test the limits of the competitors and deliver on the diabolical hilarity that comes from watching chefs bid on challenges and endure them, no matter the eviliciousness they may bear in the process.
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 15th, 2016
Oh, if only that were all there was.
In the After-Show following tonight’s new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the fourth and final preliminary heat of the Time Warp Tournament, host Alton Brown unveiled a roster of totally righteous sabotages in keeping with the 1980s theme of the battle — and judge Antonia Lofaso was on hand to experience some of the best of them. The Miami Vice-style boat, which made its debut in Round 2’s blackened-fish challenge, looked innocent enough to the judge as she took her seat at the wheel. After all, she had a space to prep and she had a heat source within arm’s reach. “If this doesn’t move,” Antonia noted, “this isn’t that bad.” But of course it did move — and that was only part of what she’d have to endure.
by Maria Russo in Shows, June 8th, 2016
If Cutthroat Kitchen has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. And it’s a good thing we’re ready for anything: In tonight’s Heat 3 of the Time Warp Tournament, host Alton Brown and guest judge Richard Blais shocked fans with over-the-top get-ups worthy of the ’70s.
Clad in a shiny human-sized disco ball costume, Alton welcomed Richard, who donned his own costume of mixed-patterned tops and bell-bottom pants, plus bold eyeliner and a wig, to the After-Show for a review of the day’s challenges. “How hard is that?” Richard asked jokingly as he took his place on the makeshift dance floor, which was revealed as a Round 2 sabotage during the quiche test. But in true Cutthroat fashion, the challenge indeed turned tricky, as Richard found out when he hooked his wrist through a weighted loop connected to a disco ball. After doing a few disco moves to reach the prep station, Richard felt the weight of the challenge — literally and figuratively, that is — as he worked on prepping his own dish of the day: crepes suzette.
In Heat 2 of his Cutthroat Kitchen: Time Warp Tournament, Alton Brown, aka “Sgt. Pepper” this week, and the judge of the day, Mr. Jet “The Beat” Tila, traveled back in time with the four hungry chef competitors for a taste of sabotages a la the 1960s. During the After-Show, they rolled into the arena not in a yellow submarine, but in the SS Mustard submarine, in which three of the four Round 1 chefs were forced to prep their joint party-punch and party-snack offerings. And when it came time to put their own spins on a punch, they were met with yet another of the day’s sabotages: the now-infamous oversize gelatin mold.