Show: Ultimate Recipe Showdown (Food Network)
Episode: “Chicken” – Series Premiere (Season 1)
Premiere Date: Sunday, February 17th, 2008
Rating: 2 out of 4 Stars
Quick Synopsis: Best recipe wins.
Long Synopsis: There are three rounds. Up first, in the premiere, is fried chicken, then chicken soups & stews and lastly, whole roasted chicken. Three contestants have been selected for each round from thousands of entries. They prepare their recipes in front of an audience. When completed, a three-person panel of food professionals judges them, while the competitor watches some of their comments. A winner is selected for each category. Those three are put on stage at the end and the final scores are revealed. The contestant receiving the highest score wins $25000 and the chance to get their recipe put on the menu at T.G.I Friday’s restaurants.
Review: Ultimate Recipe Showdown is a combination of Food Network Challenge, Iron Chef America and The Next Food Network Star. It takes home cooks like Star, puts them in front of a Challenge like audience and has the finished product judged like on Iron Chef.
The TVaholic loves Food Network. Many a time, while working on content for this site, you will find the Food Network on my TV. I mean, what is better than food and TV? So, when a screener for their new food competition show arrived, I was looking forward to checking it out.
Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives) and Mark Summers (Unwrapped) are the hosts. They do their best, but have a hard time creating a lot of excitement over what is happening on screen. It isn’t their fault, as the format doesn’t really push the contestants like the three shows mentioned above. The drawing things out, ala Deal or No Deal, doesn’t really ratchet things up here either. For such a big prize, you would think the show would create more tension and hold your interest.
The judges are Katherine Alford (Director, Food Network Test Kitchen), Kerry Simon (chef and partner SIMON LA, Simon at Palms Place and CatHouse at the Luxor) and Russ Parsons (Food Columnist, The Los Angeles Times). They did a good job of judging. While the TVaholic wasn’t able to taste the food, the dish that looked and sounded the best in each category won. But, their choice for an overall winner would of probably finished third, while third place probably would have taken home top prize. But hey, they got to actually taste the food, so who knows?
Anyway, the first episode didn’t really get me too excited, but next week is burgers followed by comfort foods, cakes, pasta and finally cookies, so you never know. They all sound really good.
How about you, what did you think of Food Network’s new competition series, Ultimate Recipe Showdown?