by Maria Russo in Shows, March 13th, 2016
by Maria Russo in Shows, March 6th, 2016
It’s the name of the Cutthroat Kitchen game: Chefs don’t know which sabotages in particular will befall them in any given round of competition. But two contestants on tonight’s episode were in for perhaps the ultimate shock when host Alton Brown unveiled the “shock-shuka” challenge.
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 28th, 2016
On tonight’s new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the name of the game in Round 3 was concrete, both literally and figuratively. Not only were chefs tasked with prepping this frozen concoction, but a doozy of a sabotage mandated that one chef had to make the dessert in — what else? — a cement mixer. Such a challenge was new for competitors and the Cutthroat culinary crew alike, so the team behind the scenes attempted the sabotage before host Alton Brown could sell it at auction.
Cutthroat Kitchen food stylist Abel Gonzalez took control of this latest test, pouring the essentials for classic custard — eggs, sugar and cream — into the deep, wide-mouthed mixing machine. “So I have to say, this is looking great,” Abel admitted after using the machine and his own whisk to thoroughly blend the ingredients. “I have a custard base here.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 21st, 2016
It’s not every day that famed producer, director and actor William Shatner drops by on Cutthroat Kitchen, so when he does, it’s no surprise that special attention must be paid. The guest joined the judges’ panel tonight for a brand-new man-cave-themed episode, and as the “manliest of all men,” he was well-equipped to critique chefs’ dishes of bacon, burgers and booze. Come the After-Show, host Alton Brown showed off some of the day’s challenges — and even let Shatner shoot a bit of pool on set — but the real surprise for the judge came not from a sabotage but from Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team member Chelsey.
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 14th, 2016
Where there are cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, there’s also likely a wingman, and that principle of barhopping held true on tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. Host Alton Brown turned one chef into a literal winged man during a cocktail-and-hors d’oeuvres challenge, strapping Chef Joshua’s arms into a feathered harness that outstretched both of his arms for the duration of Round 1. But before this feathered sabotage could make an appearance at auction, the Cutthroat culinary crew had to bring it to life in a test — not with a set of wings yet, but with perhaps the next-best thing, a broom handle.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 31st, 2016
Where there’s a kitchen mixer there’s often a mixing bowl, right? Wrong, in fact. At least insofar as Cutthroat Kitchen is concerned. On tonight’s brand-new chocolate-themed episode, chefs were forced to prep chocolate cookies with a trio of diabolical mixing devices, including a stand mixer that forbid the use of an accompanying bowl, which meant one competitor was left using his hands to keep the batter fixings together. If such a challenge seems too evilicious to overcome, the Cutthroat culinary crew is here to dispel those worries: Jamie Peterson tested this very sabotage and the results were downright surprising.
“I’ve set up a baking sheet underneath my stand mixer because I’m going to need to catch all of the product that’s going to come running out of it and going everywhere,” Jamie explained of his first steps of prep. After that, the name of the game was keeping the speed on slow and using his hands to form the ingredients. “Time is definitely going to be an issue with this sabotage,” he explained as he attempted to combine the butter and sugar. “This is a very time-consuming process.” Despite the minor chaos of the flour mixture being incorporated — “It’s going everywhere,” Jamie revealed — he managed to combine the dry ingredients with the wet ones, and he was able to form the dough into balls for baking. “No bowl, no dignity — I still came out with chocolate cookies,” he said after tasting the results. While perhaps a bit tricky to manage, this sabotage was indeed ready for auction, thanks to the golden finished product.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 24th, 2016
Fresh off the chopping block, Ted Allen joined the ranks of eviliciousness tonight when he stopped by for his first-ever turn as a Cutthroat Kitchen guest judge. The Chopped judge is used to watching chef competitors try their hands at downright oddball ingredients in their mystery baskets, but on Cutthroat Kitchen, he had no knowledge of chefs’ struggles with sabotages — until he experienced them for himself on the After-Show.
Alton Brown and Ted faced off in prepping — what else but — a chopped salad, which was the Round 1 dish of the day. And in true evilicious fashion, they could use only garden tools for their utensils. “Oh, no. Oh, no,” Ted said as he learned of the sabotage. He ultimately chose to work with the weed whacker in his mini battle with Alton, who was left to use a tiller to prep his salad. “Look at that. That’s gorgeous,” Ted proclaimed after successfully shredding lettuce with the weed whacker, though he found out later that the device “doesn’t work as well on the cucumber.” He admitted, “I don’t think I’m going to get an A+ in weed-whacker knife skills on that one.” Though Alton appeared to struggle a bit when it came time to chop a red pepper, he managed to serve a completed salad to a Bob, all while Ted was still working his way through ingredients.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 17th, 2016
It’s not uncommon for Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages to throw competitors off their A-game, but one challenge in particular knocked them off their feet tonight — literally. Ever a fan of culinary puns, host Alton Brown auctioned off a sabotage that challenged two chefs to prep flatbread as they laid flat on their backs. In theory the execution seems simple: Just use your hands to feel, right? But what happens when it comes time to roll out the dough or chop ingredients? Simon Majumdar learned these lessons the hard way tonight, when he experienced the challenge firsthand during the latest installment of the After-Show as he was challenged to make flatbread.
“Chapati is a wheat-flour Indian bread,” Simon explained of the dish he set out to make, though in true Cutthroat fashion, he wasn’t allowed to prep it in a straightforward manner. Enter the flat-top prep table. “I want you to experience this the way that the competitors had to,” Alton told Simon. “So just hop up on here and lay flat.” While Simon managed to roll out his dough on a block atop his torso and ultimately move it to the stove, he dodged slicing duties, thanks to Alton. The host took over chopping the cucumber for Simon’s raita — and once again Simon’s midsection proved to be a worthwhile prep area, and Alton set up another cutting board there so the judge could lie down. “Lay still now. This knife is sharp. I’ve never cut on a moving surface like this, and I could slip,” Alton joked as he maneuvered the knife just inches from Simon’s face.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 10th, 2016
Just when you thought nothing could be funnier than the time Alton Brown and Jet Tila bobbed for doughnuts together, the Cutthroat Kitchen host-judge duo delivered what may be the most-hilarious After-Show to date. And that’s thanks in part to a key piece of equipment, or, rather, wardrobe: the sumo suit.
After a sabotage forced two chefs to don sumo suits and wrestle for ingredients during the yakitori round, Alton and Jet too found their way inside this oversize getup, only they made bananas Foster. And while they weren’t forced to tackle each other in the hopes of grabbing the necessary ingredients, the guys couldn’t resist a few friendly scuffles and some good-natured jostling while enduring the weight of the suits.
“This is the best day of my Cutthroat life, right here,” Jet admitted before he and Alton got started on their dessert face-off. But no sooner did they begin than the scuffles started. After Alton side-bumped Jet as they prepared to race to the pantry, Jet grabbed Alton’s suit, holding the host back from going inside. It didn’t take long before Alton threw what he deemed to be “counter measures,” aka the contents of a container, at Jet as they were shopping; soon afterward, Jet bombarded the host at the refrigerator. Though it may seem like the guys were focused more on play than prep in the kitchen, they indeed managed to turn out impressive bananas Foster, Jet even going so far as to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 3rd, 2016
The garlic crusher, lemon squeezer, apple corer — each seems to serve only one purpose in the kitchen. But on tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, one chef proved that another such item, the popcorn popper, isn’t just for popping kernels. The name of the game was jalapeno poppers, and a sabotage forced a competitor to make that dish using only a traditional tabletop popcorn machine for a sole source of heat. Before host Alton Brown auctioned off this downright diabolical challenge, the Cutthroat culinary crew got to work in the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages to make sure it was in fact feasible.
“Let’s get this party popping,” food stylist Abel Gonzalez joked as he prepared to drop his stuffed and breaded jalapeno into the pot of hot oil within the machine. Though it may seem easy enough to let the popper cook in the oil, he noted that there’s “a spinning, agitating device” inside the small container, and it would “mess with my poppers,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s going to, like, knock most of the breading off,” he added. While the breading stayed mostly attached to the pepper, removing the popper from the oil proved to be trickiest moment of the test. “This isn’t as easy as it looks,” Abel said as he tried to maneuver his tongs into the machine and grab the popper. He managed to grab it once and for all, and what emerged from the oil was indeed a jalapeno popper that he deemed “pretty decent.”
While some Cutthroat Kitchen chefs are able to endure the wrath of sabotage and survive to cook in the next round, many past competitors have met their doom when a downright diabolical challenge presented them with a test they couldn’t pass. On tonight’s all-new After-Show, host Alton Brown explained to judge Simon Majumdar that such was the scene on the latest episode for two contestants who were ultimately sent home on account of evilicious sabotages.
“We had two sabotages today that sent people home,” Alton said. “They were game-changing sabotages.” And sure enough, Alton added that it was those very same sabotages that he and Simon would be trying their hands at as well. Enter the weathervane and the ladle set; the former was Chef Sarah’s sole cooking vessel, and the latter Chef Matthew had to mix in and cook with. While the competitors had to prep chicken cacciatore and doughnuts with their sabotages, respectively, Alton and Simon were set to put scrambled eggs on the table instead.