Food Fighters returns tonight for its second season. This fast-paced cooking show pits ordinary “Home cooks” against celebrity chefs in a cooking showdown to see whose dish wins the vote in a blind taste test. There are cash prizes up for grabs in every round, giving contestants the chance to walk away with up to $100,000; so this is one high-stakes cooking match! The aspiring chefs hail from all over the country – and for the first time ever, children are competing alongside adults, with a 12 year old girl and 14 year old boy holding their own against the older competitors. It’s going to be an exciting season, that’s for sure!
Last week, I had a chance to speak to the show’s host, Adam Richman (Man V. Food), and celebrity chef Lorena Garcia (Top Chef Masters) about what this season has in store, and they gave some insight into what it’s like cooking under so much pressure.
Beeb Ashcroft: Hi, good afternoon, Adam and Lorena. My first question is for Adam. The caliber of the home chefs is pretty amazing on this program. Does it surprise you that they’re able to rise to the challenge under such tense conditions?
Adam Richman: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, again, and I’m not just saying it because she’s on the call, but now that she’s in the second season and seeing Lorena and I do admire her and I’d seen her on television before, but when you – you’ll – if you ever have a chance to watch her do like super fast knife skills, and she knows she’s flash with that, because it’s awesome, and it’s like – it’s intimidating.
I mean, no matter how good you are, you think you are, you see someone who’s like that good, like that stuff like that is that easy for them, plus you think there’s a studio audience, I’ve had to be in makeup, I’ve got a microphone on, this isn’t my kitchen, I usually do this with no time limit for my kids, and it’s not just that their food gets their kind of reaction, but the way they’re able to just cope with the pressure. I mean, 25, 30 minutes goes by so fast, and it’s very impressive.
Beeb Ashcroft: Yes, absolutely. And bouncing off that, Lorena, I’d love your take on that. What is the most challenging aspect for you of cooking during these showdowns?
Lorena Garcia: Well, I think that one of the most – the biggest challenge for me is to know that there is – I’m just hoping that either I tried it or I know what I’m sitting here talking about, because I walked in and you walk in and you have no idea what you’re making and I didn’t know like Adam said, you know, 20 to 35 minutes, and the first 5 minutes you can gather in your ingredients so you only have you know, 18 to 20 minutes to really make a dish. So that’s I think is the most challenging is to – you know, being able to work under pressure and figuring out what is the piece that you’re being presented with.
The Food Fighters season premiere airs tonight, July 2nd at 8 PM PT/ET on NBC.