Cooking shows are awesome, and I think it is safe to assume most of the world feels that way. They inspire us to be better chefs. They inspire us to appreciate food more, and on top of that beneficial stuff, they are just fun to watch. It is like the pressure of professional sports, only for foodies and not athletes. And though there are a slew of great cooking shows to choose from, heck, at times it seems like there are almost TOO many, I have to say Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network is EASILY one of the most entertaining cooking shows I have ever seen. It is like Chopped for sociopaths.
So how Cutthroat Kitchen works is simple. It is just like the other cooking shows in the sense that they find four up-and-coming chefs in the culinary world, and they pit them against each other by ordering them to cook things they are unprepared for in record times. What sets Cutthroat Kitchen apart is the heart of the concept, which is, each person begins the game with twenty five thousand dollars in cash, and as the rounds go on, they get to bid on ways to sabotage their competitors, thus the name Cutthroat Kitchen.
So let me offer an example.
The contestants have to cook tacos in 30 minutes. But halfway through the round, host Alton Brown offers up bologna. He tells them that whoever bids the most cash on the bologna will be able to take one of the competitors meats away, forcing them to use bologna in their tacos. The kicker is, whoever wins the show, wins ALL THE CASH they have left from bidding, but the REAL catch is, the judge who comes in to judge the food has no idea anyone has been sabotaged and doesn’t factor that in to who he chooses as a winner each round, so if someone out bid you and made you use bologna in your tacos, safe to say the judge is going to think that’s gross and vote you and your weird food off. The “sabotage” dynamic really “SPICES UP” the cooking show format.
Sorry to slap you in the face with word play.
But one thing no one suspects in Cutthroat Kitchen is that the best chefs STILL thrive, even when sabotaged, because to a real chef, curve balls like that come all the time, and it just tends to make them better at what they do. And to watch, it is kind of funny when a judge tells someone their mac and cheese is spectacular, yet five minutes before you saw them being forced to use only Doritos as their cheese. See, it blows the mind and changes the way you look at food and the act of cooking.
So if you like cooking shows, and you like human drama, and you are a foodie, and even if you are only one of those things, Cutthroat Kitchen is quite unlike any show you have ever seen, and well worth your time. Heck, it might even give you a good idea what to do with those old chips you have laying around.