by Maria Russo in Shows, October 15th, 2014
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 15th, 2014
In true evilicious fashion, Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown has been known to not only sabotage chefs’ ingredients, but also to disrupt their means and methods of preparing and cooking them so as to guarantee the most hilariously challenging situation possible. And during tonight’s second preliminary heat of the Superstar Sabotage tournament, he proved he wasn’t about to forgo those unfavorable trials simply because of the all-stars’ celebrity status when he auctioned off mandatory — and inferior — mixing and cooking vessels during the Round 1 pancake test.
A colander and a Bundt pan took the place of two chefs’ bowls and skillets, as the chefs were doomed with sabotages that forced them to both combine all of their ingredients and cook their pancakes in those sole vessels. Given that pancakes ought to come together with both dry and liquid ingredients, would it be possible to prepare a batter in a colander, and what would happen when they tried to cook round pancakes in a fluted pan? It turns out that the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team had similar questions before these items were sold at auction, and they tested the sabotage ahead of the battle to make sure the challenge was feasible.
by Maria Russo in Shows, August 24th, 2014
For the Cutthroat Kitchen judges to be wowed by a dish in front of them, the offering must be not only appealing to the eyes and tastes, but it must be at least somewhere reminiscent of the classic rendition of the challenge dish. When it comes to crispy rice treats — those gooey, marshmallow-laced desserts mixed with rice cereal — the need for a crispy element is baked right into the name, so it’s no surprise that when Alton Brown auctioned off a sabotage that would threaten that crunchy texture, chefs had every reason to be concerned.
Instead of cooking with true crisp rice cereal, one competitor would be forced to work with soggy, milk-soaked cereal. How could he or she resurrect the crispy texture from such a limp state? Is it even fair to ask a chef to make crispy rice treats with mushy cereal? It turns out that it is indeed possible to turn out a solid finished dish, as the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team tested this sabotage before Alton opened it up for auction.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, July 27th, 2014
The mini kitchen is no stranger to Cutthroat Kitchen
, as chefs have been asked to work in kid-size constraints challenge after challenge. But on tonight’s all-new episode, Alton Brown
unveiled a different tiny tool capable of doling out similar great trials during the Round 3 chocolate cake test: the toy stand mixer. Would this kid-friendly apparatus consisting of little more than a short, hand-powered wooden whisk and a shallow plastic bowl be enough to serve as a chef’s sole means of mixing? After all, to make chocolate cake, a competitor would need to be able to incorporate both wet and dry ingredients.
Before Alton auctioned off this doozy of a sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen’s culinary team tested on the mixer to make sure it was indeed possible to execute within the contest, and Chelsea, a food stylist on set, wondered, “Does the cute factor, you think, count as extra points for this challenge?”
Click the play button on the video above to see the test in action, and learn how the mixer earned an “approved” rating.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, July 13th, 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 6th, 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, 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.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, June 22nd, 2014
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.
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 25th, 2014
On this week’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen
, competitors had to cook the perfect breakfast sandwich — a standard dish that involves toast, eggs and meat. It may seem easy enough, but not on this show, where the competitors are sabotaged in every way, from ingredient swaps to the removal of cooking utensils. While some of these sabotages may seem completely outlandish, they are indeed possible; Food Network’s culinary team tests each ingredient, heat source and kitchen appliance to make sure that the contestants will be able to create a dish with the sabotage within 30 minutes. In this round, one competitor had to give up all of his or her heat sources and use a paint-dryer to cook all of the ingredients.
How is this possible? See for yourself by clicking play on the video above, in which the Food Network culinary team tested the sabotage beforehand. Also see which heat source didn’t make the cut.
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 13th, 2014
No matter what recipe you’re cooking, when it comes to being prepared in the kitchen, few things are more important than a quality heat source. From live flames from a gas stove to the warmth of an oven or the power from a microwave, heat is needed to make critical things happen, and without it, or with an inferior heat supply, cooking anything well can be nearly impossible. On tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen
, host Alton Brown
auctioned off a sabotage that would seem to spell doom for one competitor: Instead of being able to prepare a clambake on a conventional stove, one chef would have to use tiny flame cubes set within a miniature prop. Was this too much to ask of a contestant in a 30-minute round? No, the sabotage was indeed fair, as the culinary team had tested the obstacle beforehand.
Click the play button on the video above to watch how this test unfolded, and learn which elements of the sabotage were approved and why some parts weren’t successful.
With one swift auction and a bit of bad luck, Cutthroat Kitchen
competitors could have all of their seemingly necessary tools and food products taken away from them and replaced with inferior items. From salt and knives to the stove and pans, nothing is safe in Cutthroat Kitchen, including the chefs’ workstations. On tonight’s all-new episode, contestants bid on a game-changing sabotage in Round 2′s enchilada challenge that forces one person to abandon his or her standard setup and fashion another one using a stocked toolbox. The catch? The workspace, heat source and cooktop must be built in and confined to a shopping cart. Was this challenge taking the competition too far and asking too much of one person during a 30-minute challenge? It turns out that the answer is no, as Food Network’s culinary team vetted and approved this sabotage prior to air.
Click the play button on the video above to watch the test unfold and see how one grocery store staple became a fully equipped cook space.