Television is one thing that every person around the world can relate to. There are thousands of different shows available for our viewing pleasure. They are not all necessarily educational or relevant to our daily lives, but it gives us a moment or two to relax and forget about all our worries and responsibilities.
The Food Network however, not only educates on all kinds of cultural dishes and culinary skills but it also opens up a world of creativity. The Food Network is always one of my favourite “go-to” channels and has been ever since I was a little kid. It is one of the few networks where you don’t even need to hear it, you can just watch and learn. Over the years the network has come up with a number of shows with different chefs that are masters of different cuisines. But my favourite shows always seem to be the competitive ones that challenge the chefs.
These competitive shows are great. You watch a whole bunch of experienced chefs duke it out and create amazing and delicious dishes that you wish you could make yourself. My top three picks include Chopped, Donut Showdown and Cutthroat Kitchen.
This show is hands down the top runner. This is a competition between 4 professional chefs who are required to make 3 courses using a set mystery items in only 20-30 minutes. Mystery items can include kale juice, alligator meat, marshmallows and mushroom tops, all of which must be used to make a main course for 3 professional chefs in only 30 minutes. This demanding and intricate concept keeps watchers on the edges of their seat and challenges these chefs who all hope to win the final prize of $10 000. This is a challenge that tests all culinary skills.
This is a 30-minute showdown that challenges some of the best donut makers around North America to create some of the most unique donuts ever made. With a similar concept to Chopped, 3 donut makers are challenged in the first round to make a batch of donuts for the experienced judges using 3 mystery items. The 2 remaining contestants then compete for the $10 000 prize, making a huge batch of donuts according to the theme selected. It may seem like a simple concept, but creativity is a must.
I have only watched a few episodes of this show and I am still trying to figure it out. It is just too complicated. There is too much going on and there is not a huge focus on the food. Rather, the focus is on bidding on culinary equipment which I find very odd for a Food Network show. The main premise is to challenge chefs to create dishes while lacking certain necessary utensils and at the same time plotting against their competitors with the $25 000 that is given to them at the beginning. It is quite amazing how the chefs are able to make dishes without necessary materials, but the bidding and the sabotage seems quite random and a bit hard to follow. In the end, there is only room for one winner who can go home with any sum of money from the amount they started with.
These 3 shows all have a similar idea that gives professional chefs a chance to go out of their comfort zones and participate in challenging competitions that test their skill and expertise. They are all a definite must-see, especially my top choice Chopped. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to take a look at the new Chopped Canada episodes as well!
About the contributor: Nieko is a 3rd year Glendon student studying French and Environmental Studies. She enjoys reading, playing with her dog, baking and living a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating healthy.