When it comes to certain professions, it takes years of hard work, grit and mistakes before one can call themselves a master of their craft.
The adults who compete on Chopped have years of experience in the kitchen. The children who compete on Chopped Juniormay not have same amount of years in the kitchen. But they have the same drive, passion and want to succeed.
The premise of Chopped Junior is the same as it’s adult predecessor. Also hosted by Ted Allen, four young chefs must make three distinct meals within a short amount of time. One by one, the contestants are eliminated until one is named the winner and earns $10,000.
What I like about Chopped Junior is that even though the pressure is the same as it is for the adults, the kids are willing to help their fellow contestant. It shows, at least from my opinion, not only how talented and driven these kids are, but how open helping one another succeed.
Cooking shows have been around for decades. But it takes a special TV chef to inspire his or her viewers.
The Pioneer Woman has aired on The Food Network since 2011. Hosted by Ree Drummond, the show is set in her kitchen and family ranch in Oklahoma. Drummond takes the viewer through the process of making various meals and introduces them to the ranching life that her family lives.
I’m not usually one who watches cooking shows. I usually watch them when I am home sick or spending a lazy weekend doing nothing but watching television. But, I do like The Pioneer Woman. She is warm, she is open and her recipes look tasty.
When the cats away, the mice play. The same could be said for employees who act one way in front of their bosses and another way when the boss is not around.
Mystery Diners aired on Food Network from 2012-2016. The premise of the show was as follows: A restaurant owner was suspicious that something was going at his restaurant, but he couldn’t quite figure out what the problem was. Enter Charles Stiles and his team. The restaurant is rigged with hidden cameras. As Charles and the restaurant owner watch from a hidden control room, mystery diners are sent in as customers or new staff to get the lowdown from the unsuspecting employees. When there is enough proof, the cover is revealed and the owner of the restaurant makes a decision on what to do about the offending staff.
This is a typical reality show. But unlike other reality shows, there was a disclaimer at the end of the credits. From my perspective, even if it was not 100% “reality”, I still enjoyed it. The element of surprise, for both the audience and the restaurant owner was enough to keep me coming back for further episodes.
The success of a company depends not just on those at the top, but those on the bottom.
Restaurant Stakeout aired on the Food Network from 2012-2014. The premise of the show is as follows: restaurant owners suspect that something that is not on the up and up within their restaurant. Famed NYC restaurateur Willie Degel assists the owners by recording and observing staff via hidden cameras. Using the evidence gathered, Willie is able to assist the owner by identifying and correcting the issues that are plaguing the restaurant.
I like Restaurant Stakeout. I like it because unlike other shows that fall into the sub-genre of “restaurant based reality shows”, the focus is solely on the service that the diners receive. The truth of eating out is that the meal may be the most delicious meal you have ever had, but if the service is not up to snuff, it is unlikely that you will come back for another meal.
The statistics when it comes to the success of small businesses is startling. In the US, most small businesses fail within ten years of opening their doors.
Robert Irvine was trying to change those odds, one restaurant at a time.
Restaurant: Impossible aired on the Food Network from 2011-2016. The premise of the show was to Irvine had two days to help a failing restaurant not only survive, but thrive. The drama comes from the either the owners or the staff, who for any number of reasons, are resisting the changes that Irvine is suggesting.
Restaurant: Impossible is one of those shows that I enjoyed. Robert Irvine reminds me of the tough teacher in school. They were not tough on you because they could be, they were tough on you because they wanted you to succeed. Irvine was tough on the restaurant owners and staff not because he can be, but because he wants them to succeed.
For some food is more than physical sustenance. It is joy, it is pleasure and the creation of the food only adds to that joy. But for others, cooking is akin to a science experiment that has the potential to go very, very badly.
Worst Cooks in America premiered on Food Network in 2010. It has been a staple of the network’s schedule since then. The contestants on the program cannot cook to save their lives. Guided and judged by several well-known and well-respected celebrity chefs, the contestants learn how to create various dishes. The winner of the competition is the contestant who proves to three food critics that they can create a restaurant style three course menu and lose the title of the worst cook in America.
Worst Cooks in America is an interesting program, at least from my perspective. While it falls in the “reality competition show” genre, it also teaches viewers about the proper preparation of food. Learning does not end when we leave the classroom. Sometimes, we can learn something from a reality show.
On the surface, baking seems like a simple process. You mix the ingredients together, put them into the oven and let them bake. But is there something more than the purely physical act of mixing ingredients and putting them in the oven?
Cupcake Wars premiered on Food Network in 2009. Hosted first by Justin Willman and then by Jonathan Bennett, the contestants are put through their paces as they are challenged to create a variety of cupcakes. The winner of each episode wins $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their work at a related event.
I like Cupcake Wars. I like it because the contestants are not just baking for baking’s sake. They love to bake and it shows in their work. I also like the show because it’s an engaging program, the audience is rooting for the contestants and trying to figure out along the way who will win.
There is nothing like a challenge, especially when one goes up against a master in your field.
Beat Bobby Flay premiered on the Food Network in 2013. The purpose of each episode is for one of the contestants to beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a cooking contest. The structure of the game is as follows: Two professional chefs create a meal based around a single ingredient of Bobby’s choice. The winner is chosen by two of Bobby’s celebrity friends who would like nothing more than to see him lose. The winner of the first round then takes on Bobby using a dish of their choice. This dish is judged by three additional professional chefs/restaurateurs. Can Bobby Flay be beaten or will he win to fight another day?
Beat Bobby Flay is interesting because there is nothing like going up against a master to teach you. It’s also a little bit of a nail biter to make a guess as if Bobby Flay will live up to the title of his program.
There is nothing like a challenge to test one’s abilities.
Guy’s Grocery Games has been part of the lineup on Food Network since 2013. Hosted by Guy Fieri, 4 chefs are challenged to create unique three dishes in a faux grocery store. Each challenge has a theme and at least one obstacle. Once the challenges have been completed, three celebrity judges decide who is the winner of that challenge. By the end of the show, one chef is deemed the winner and has to chance to take home up to $20,000.
What I like about Guy’s Grocery Games is that it’s fun to watch. It’s fun to watch the contestants work and guess who will be the winner. It’s almost like a guessing game that ups the ante as the contestants are eliminated.
There is nothing in the world like your favorite local restaurant. Walking into this restaurant and ordering your favorite dish is akin to going home and eating a favorite meal as only a loved one can make it.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (2007-Present) has been a staple of the Food Network schedule for over a decade. Hosted by Guy Fieri, the viewer is taken all over the country (and all over the world) to restaurants that while are not exactly high-end, are extremely pleasing to the taste buds of their patrons. Visiting establishments of varying sizes and cuisines, Fieri takes the viewer to the kitchen where one member of the kitchen staff walks the viewer through the step by step process of creating at least one popular dish from the menu.
I really like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. While it technically falls under the banner of reality television, it doesn’t feel like reality television. It feels like your taking a road trip and along the way, stopping for a delicious meal at a restaurant that you might have walked into, had you not decided to go on the road trip.