I’m competitive. I’m obsessed with TV. And I love to eat.
So you can imagine that televised cooking competitions are like a perfect storm of entertainment. The only thing that could make them better would be if the food literally popped out of my television screen and landed in my lap.
Until someone invents a TV you can taste, here’s my take on the 5 cooking shows that are currently heating up my DVR:
CHOPPED (Food Network)
Host: Ted Allen, best known for being the foodie on Queer Eye
Premise: Chefs compete in a dungeon to create meals from mystery ingredients
Catch phrase: “You’ve been chopped”
Pros: Seeing someone make a meal out of grapefruit, chunky peanut butter and ground beef
Cons: Pretty much everything else – this show isn’t good, even by my forgiving standards
Rating: 2 stars
HELL’S KITCHEN (FOX)
Host: Chef Gordon Ramsay, best known for calling contestants “donkeys”
Premise: Wannabe chefs compete to run a new celebrity restaurant
Catch phrase: “Hang up your chef’s coat,” which they do, on a meat hook
Pros: The theme song, Fire, is perfection
Cons: Does serving Jell-O at a nursing home really qualify you to run a restaurant?
Rating: 4 stars
MAN VS. FOOD (Travel Channel)
Host: Adam Richman, I really have no clue what he’s known for
Premise: The host takes on eating challenges across the country
Catch phrase: “In the battle of Man vs. Food, man (or food) wins”
Pros: Adam is loveable, and looks very cute in a football uniform
Cons: Watching him eat sick amounts of food is enough to make you… well, sick
Rating: 3 stars
THROWDOWN! WITH BOBBY FLAY (Food Network)
Host: Bobby Flay, best known for putting FN on the map (or was it the other way around?)
Premise: Flay challenges other cooks on their signature dishes
Catch phrase: I believe it's something about throwing down...
Pros: The Mission Impossible-style dossier he receives is funny (though not intentionally)
Cons: He always seems to lose!
Rating: 1 star
TOP CHEF (Bravo)
Host: Padma Lakshmi, best known for looking like she never eats
Premise: Actual chefs compete for some mediocre prizes
Catch phrase: “Please pack your knives and go”
Pros: I already told you this is the caviar of cooking shows. Plus, Fabio is still in it to win it.
Cons: It’s not on all year long
Rating: 5 stars
Now I’m hungry.
It’s too early to review, but I’m hoping that The Chopping Block, which premieres next month on NBC, lives up to the hype. It’s apparently hosted by a guy who made Gordon Ramsay cry. You can bet your soufflé I’ll tune in for that.
Any other cooking shows tempting your taste buds?