by Maria Russo in Shows, May 24th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 17th, 2015
As far as sabotages go, one that’s made out of metal, provides stable support for food and stands up well to heat is practically a gift in the eyes of Cutthroat Kitchen rivals. Or at least it likely seemed that way ahead of tonight’s brand-new episode when Alton Brown auctioned off a perforated French loaf bread pan on which one rival would have to cook a croque madame. Since a French loaf pan is a sturdy metal pan that’s indeed meant to be heated, the bread, meat and cheese elements of this classic French sandwich would be doable, but creating the bechamel — a creamy sauce — would provide downright difficult.
Before Alton could feature this sabotage on the show, it had to vetted by the Cutthroat culinary crew, and during the test, food stylist Hugo Sanchez noted his concern about making a liquid sauce in a holey vessel. “That’s going to be an issue here,” he said simply before getting set to tackle the challenge head-on. His solution involved filling the holes by mixing up a pastelike combination of flour and milk, as he explained: “It is sticky. It’s gooey, which is exactly what we want.” After covering the holes with this mixture, he quickly turned the heat on in an effort to bake the paste into the holes, thus closing them once and for all, and ultimately allowing him to use that now-solid surface to create his sauce — and approve the sabotage.
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 Maria Russo in Shows, May 3rd, 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, April 26th, 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.
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 19th, 2015
By now Cutthroat Kitchen superfans know that when it comes to evaluating the plates before them, judges assess just three elements of the offering: its taste, its presentation and whether or not it reminds them of the challenge dish at hand. While that indeed seems simple enough, Alton Brown and Jet Tila discussed a common mistake chefs make when facing off in battle: muddling their dishes with non-essential components.
During tonight’s installment of the After-Show, the two looked back on Heat 2 of the Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious tournament and a sabotage that introduced what Alton deemed to be “a distraction” to chefs’ dishes. The sabotage at hand afforded one chef sole control over the ingredients needed to make chicken-fried steak and another chef control over the required tools. It was up to them to share both sets of items, considering what they wanted to keep for themselves and what they’d be willing to part with. As for the cornmeal Jet found within the ingredient basket, Alton explained, “That’s a distraction, ’cause what it says is ‘Hey, make a side.'” Jet agreed, adding that the distinction between what’s required of the test at hand and what isn’t is a key to success in this contest. “That is a huge tip,” Jet noted. “Make the challenge and don’t go crazy.”
by Maria Russo in Contests, Shows, April 16th, 2015
As is the nature of the Cutthroat Kitchen beast, the situation inside the battle arena is constantly changing: Ingredients get swapped, chefs move from one station to another, and tools come and go. Aside from Alton Brown‘s evilicious smile, there’s little competitors can count on, thanks to the diabolical sabotages the host doles out. But on tonight’s all-new episode — the first of five heats in the Evilicious tournament — there was one challenge in particular that made at least one element of the battle predictable.
In Round 3’s pound cake challenge, Alton revealed a chemistry set that, while ominous, offered a few opportunities, which food stylist Chelsey found out as she tried her hand at cake baking with the kit during the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages. The challenge would force a competitor to use only the tools within the set — beakers, stirrers, test tubes, a hot plate and a Bunsen burner, among other items — to make a pound cake, and although Chelsey found herself working hard to properly mix the cake batter, she took comfort in the hot plate. “The bottom is cooked,” she said as she flipped her petri-dish cake, “hopefully it will do the same thing on the other side … ’cause it’s science and it does that.” Sure enough, after only a few minutes, the opposite side of the cake was indeed browned; Chelsey said the treat she flipped out of the dish “cuts beautifully,” is “cooked all the way through” and “is delicious.
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 12th, 2015
For the first time ever, on Sunday night, 16 of the most-diabolical chefs to ever compete in a Cutthroat Kitchen battle will return to the arena for a second round of sabotages in the brand-new tournament, Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious. Over the course of five weeks, these unforgettable contestants will bid high and risk big, all in the name of hilariously trying challenges, but ultimately one will take home up to a whopping $75,000 and the fierce title of Evilicious Champion.
Just in time for Sunday’s premiere (at 10|9c), FN Dish is giving fans the chance to show their spirit for sabotage in the form of all-new #Evilicious gear. From T-shirts and mugs to journals and cutting boards, the Food Network Store is chock-full of #Evilicious-branded products ideal for superfans to strut their diabolical sides. You can shop the Food Network Store now and buy these products, but FN Dish is giving two lucky, randomly selected fans the chance to win a selection of several items. One winner will receive an #Evilicious prize pack containing one mug, one computer mousepad and one black T-shirt (size L), and the other winner will receive an #Evilicious prize pack containing one black baseball cap, one black notebook and one horizontal glass cutting board (knife not included), all with #Evilicious proudly displayed. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment below telling us which of these sabotages is your favorite (find them all here).
So, tell us: Which of these Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages is your favorite? (Find them all here.)
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 5th, 2015
It’s one thing to watch Cutthroat Kitchen competitors endure the hilariously evilicious sabotages that have been dealt them, but it’s another to attempt those challenges for yourself, experiencing the struggles they did firsthand and learning to bear them as best you can. As the judges learn on Alton’s After-Show what diabolical situations have led to chefs’ finished dishes, even they are wowed by the lengths to which sabotages have forced contestants to go just to cook a seemingly simple meal. For Jet Tila tonight, that surprise came when he tried his hand — or, rather, his foot — at wearing a 30-pound rum barrel.
“It’s really heavy,” Jet admitted, strapped into the contraption and feebly making his way around the kitchen. Alton Brown agreed that this was indeed a doozy of a sabotage; as he told Jet, “Of all the things I wouldn’t want, wearing that barrel … that’s physically grueling.” But when Jet told him just how “quite uncomfortable” this challenge was,” Alton was quick to remind him that such is the nature of the Cutthroat beast. “Yeah, it’s quite uncomfortable,” said Alton. “That’s why we do these things.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, March 30th, 2015
Canned whole chickens, vending-machine cheese, water-soaked hot dog rolls. Each of these items has been the focus of a Cutthroat Kitchen sabotage, and while they may be cringe-inducing (and downright hilarious) to fans watching at home, they’re nevertheless part of the offerings that the judges are forced to consume, as Simon Majumdar reminded us during the latest Alton’s After-Show.
“I have to eat this stuff; just remember that,” he told Alton Brown as he two looked back on a particularly doozy of a competition round on tonight’s all-new episode. The Round 3 challenge asked the chefs to make carrot cake in this spring-themed battle, and in the spirit of freshness and renewal in springtime, a sabotage forced one chef to “harvest ingredients new ingredients for their cake,” Alton explained. This involved digging through a makeshift garden for individually wrapped fixings, some classic like eggs and others not so traditional, like canned pickled carrots and cinnamon candies. “His sauce was odd, but now I know why,” Simon said of the offering from Chef Jeffrey, who was dealt this diabolical lot and called his dish Carrot Cake Surprise. “It’s Muggins here who gets to eat it,” he joked, adding of his own British sensibilities, “We never say something’s horrible. We go, ‘This is interesting’ or ‘This was a very brave choice.’ His was a very brave choice.”
You’ve watched the evilicious battles unfold on TV every Sunday night, you log on to FoodNetwork.com to check out the latest After-Shows with Alton Brown and the judges, you’ve even found out which sabotage would slay you if you saddled up for competition. By all accounts, you’re a bona fide fan of Cutthroat Kitchen. Now it’s time to learn once and for all whether you’re a superfan — the ultimate in die-hard devotion to all things diabolical. Take the quiz below to see how your knowledge of the sabotages, judges, host and contest rules stacks up.