by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, August 10th, 2014
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, August 3rd, 2014
As this week’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen
demonstrates, sometimes the most-obvious sabotages don’t involve ingredient swaps or fancy equipment, but simply taking away a chef’s most-desired tool: his hands. In the falafel round, two chefs had to hold hands the entire time they were preparing their dishes.
“That’s so sweet!” said judge Antonia Lofaso on this week’s After-Show. But she learned how difficult the challenge could be when host Alton Brown explained to her that they couldn’t move their cooking stations closer together. “That defeats the purpose of peace,” said Alton. Still, the chefs made it through in the end, thanks to each of them having the opposite dominant hand in the round. “What are the chances?” said Alton.
Click play on the video above to see how the chefs worked through the sabotage, and hear what judge Antonia had to say about it.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, July 27th, 2014
This week on Cutthroat Kitchen
, history was made as an ingredient was sold for the highest amount ever paid for a sabotage on the show: $16,500. The sabotage in question was none other than the pickled ginger that replaced all of Chef Christina’s ground ginger in the gingersnap cookie round, as host Alton Brown
tried to trip up the contestants by having them use ingredients that they were unfamiliar with in dishes that they know and love.
Judge Simon Majumdar, however, didn’t think that the ingredient should have gone for that much. “It has a flavor,” said judge Simon. “If you can use other spices alongside of it, you can get away.” This is exactly what Chef Christina did, and she secured the win. Alton explained, “I actually like that stuff in cookies, because I feel like it balances the sweetness, as well as the bitterness, of the molasses very well.” Chef Christina walked away with a whopping $18,500.
Click play on the video above to see how Chef Christina made use of the pickled ginger in her dish, and hear judge Simon’s reaction.
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 23rd, 2014
Creating tiramisu can be time-consuming, as it involves soaking lady fingers in an espresso mixture and topping them with a sweet mascarpone cheese-based cream. This specifically requires the use of superior utensils, like whisks and mixing bowls, in order to make sure each layer has the perfect flavor profile. Host Alton Brown
decided that the contestants on Cutthroat Kitchen
needed to forgo these tools – one of the contestants had to replace all of his cooking tools with coffee strainers and stirrers. This made the dish especially difficult, because the coffee filter didn’t allow the mascarpone creation to be mixed properly, and it also starting soaking up all the espresso meant for the lady fingers. How could the Food Network team deem it an appropriate sabotage for the show?
Click play on the video above to see how the Food Network culinary team could create the tiramisu with this sabotage.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, July 20th, 2014
is in full swing (now in its fourth season), and with time also come lessons learned — many lessons learned. Frequent judge Simon Majumdar recently revealed the mind
of a Cutthroat judge to FN Dish, and now host Alton Brown
is sharing survival techniques. From the pantry to the kitchen, Alton breaks down the most-common mistakes that can easily be rectified, as well as how a chef should best prep himself or herself for sabotages.
Click play on the video above to learn Alton’s tips for acing round after round in the Cutthroat arena.
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 16th, 2014
host Alton Brown
‘s sabotages can involve any number of evilicious plans, such as replacing a contestant’s prime ingredient with an inferior one or taking one’s cooking tools away. While these sabotages are bad enough themselves, Alton took evil to a new level in the fondue challenge, where he took away all of one chef’s ingredients and replaced them with his ‘Party Fondue Pot’, a large container of melted nacho cheese that hid a number of ingredients in its depth.
Chef Tom was given this sabotage and had to hunt through the 35 gallons of cheese to find something he could use for the fondue. Alton noted to judge Jet Tila on this week’s After-Show, though, that Chef Tom didn’t use any of the cheese from Alton’s pot in his fondue. “I would have used a little of this just as an emulsifier,” said Alton. “Because then you don’t have to worry about texture! This stuff’s never going to clump.” Still, Chef Tom walked away the winner, thanks to Chef Matt’s lack of starch in his cheese sauce.
Click play on the video above to see the Party Fondue Pot up close, and hear Jet’s reaction.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, July 13th, 2014
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Alton Brown for a day? It’s not easy. I mean, sure, there are numerous perks and fun moments. But to tape a TV show, in this case Cutthroat Kitchen
, takes a lot of work. FN Dish had the opportunity to shadow the host of this evilicious show and capture the ins and outs of a full day of taping (one day equals one episode). He opened up the door to his trailer, and showed us where he gets his coffee and how he enters each show and interacts with the culinary production team. Have you ever asked yourself whether the money in that briefcase is real? Alton dishes on that too.
Click play on the video above and follow Alton as he goes from his trailer to the set of Cutthroat Kitchen.
by Maria Russo in Shows, July 9th, 2014
While Cutthroat Kitchen
often involves sabotages that take away a contestant’s desired cooking utensils like knives or spatulas, most chefs would agree that the most valuable tool in the kitchen is one’s hands. That’s why this sabotage is especially diabolical: It makes sure that the contestants aren’t allowed to touch their food without using some kind of tool to pick it up. The chef is given a pair of white gloves and isn’t allowed to get them dirty under any cost, which causes major difficulty when trying to assemble a club sandwich, as it involves a plethora of ingredients: Chicken, salt, mayonnaise, lettuce, bacon and more. A lot of foods need to be handled, but is it possible to do so without using your hands?
Click play on the video above to see whether the Food Network culinary team could create a dish with this sabotage.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, July 6th, 2014
From The Next Iron Chef to Iron Chef America, Simon Majumdar is no stranger to a judges’ table, but the difference between the evaluations on those shows and those on Cutthroat Kitchen is that with the latter, he isn’t aware of all that led to the chefs’ finished dishes. Round after evilicious round, Simon and the other judges are introduced to seemingly innocent plates, and they’re unaware of the oddball products and the perhaps inferior utensils and tools used to create them; it’s then up to Simon and the other judges to review chefs’ offerings as simply as the food they are, not as the results of sabotage. FN Dish checked in with Simon recently to chat about his experience judging on Cutthroat Kitchen, plus his memorable dishes from the show and the process of being hidden from the competition.
What are you most looking forward to as Cutthroat Kitchen continues to evolve into more seasons?
Simon Majumdar: Alton’s getting into his stride with it, so I think he loves the fact that it’s getting more and more evil .… There’s a lot more [that's] elaborate coming up. I mean there are fat suits, there are mini kitchens, there are – I mean it’s getting seriously crazy. I walk out of the studio sometimes to the trailer where they put us and I walk past the challenge producers — the ones who devise all this eviliciousness — and I have no idea what they’re doing. There are carpenters out there, bouncing table-tennis balls, I mean, and it’s basically becoming like Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and I think that’s what people love. Because I think people were worried at first; they were like, “It’s not a cooking show, and how can you eat that food?” but the thing is that some of the food is really good.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, June 29th, 2014
On Cutthroat Kitchen
, there is nothing worse than an ingredient swap. Ingredients can make or break a dish, and switching out quality ones for those that are inferior can completely ruin the elevated flavors the competitors are trying to accomplish. In this week’s episode, the contestants have to make biscuits with gravy, so the culinary team was experimenting with an ingredient swap where the butter was replaced by cooking spray. While the team realized that the cooking spray could be gathered and solidified to develop a butter-like consistency, the real test was whether the cooking spray could provide the same taste and texture that butter could in a buttermilk biscuit. The taste of the biscuit alone would determine whether the cooking spray swap would work for the episode.
Click play on the video above to see whether this sabotage was approved or rejected by the Food Network culinary team.
Many times on Cutthroat Kitchen
, host Alton Brown
demonstrates his truly evilicious side by taking away the contestants’ ingredients, their heating appliances and even all their knives. In this week’s episode, Alton takes evil to a whole new level — he takes away all pots, pans and mixing bowls, and replaces them with a bread bowl for one of the contestants and a soup ladle for the other. The two contestants have to make both a soup and a salad without all their mixing equipment. This challenge didn’t come without its share of difficulty — the soup ladle was extremely small and could heat up only a small amount at a time, and the bread bowl kept soaking up all the liquid for both the dressing and the soup. While sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen have to slow the contestants down and make things difficult for them, they can’t make it impossible for them to make a dish.
How did these two sabotages get approved by Food Network’s culinary team for this episode? Click the play button on the video above to find out.