Aside from instructional cooking shows, I love watching ones with a competition angle. Sometimes I find these more interesting because they show the creativity of the contestants and there are usually twists that make each task more difficult.
Recently, it seemed like maybe Solenn Heussaff was inspired by these shows because she had a cook-off as part of her birthday celebration. After watching the snippets of what went down, I felt like binge-watching some cooking shows. If you feel the same way, I compiled a list of some of my favorites for you to check out.
If baking competition shows are your guilty pleasure, you’ll definitely enjoy Sugar Rush. Each episode starts off with four teams who will face three rounds. The first is a cupcake challenge followed by a confection creation, and the big finale is a cake. The twist to this show is that they are being timed and however much time they save from the first two round will be carried over to their cake making. Each episode also has a theme for them to follow as inspiration. Watching this show, you will feel the contestants stress but more often than not, their treats turn out great. Except for a few minor mishaps.
For a cooking show with some mystery, tune in to Chopped. This also has four contestants who compete in three rounds divided into appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Each round starts off with a basket that has four mystery ingredients that they have to use in their dishes. It sounds simple but the ingredients are hard to use like cotton candy or fish crackers. What I love about this show is seeing how the chefs use the different items to create one cohesive dish.
Nailed It is a baking-slash-cooking competition inspired by Internet fails. Here, ammeture bakers and cooks have to copy recipes to make different dishes. The end result is almost always still a fail but you can see that the contestants tried their hardest. And it’s honestly just so funny. In the second season they have a bonus episode featuring the guys from Queer Eye.
Iron Chef America
I remember watching Iron Chef America a lot when I was a kid. I was always so amazed at how quickly the chefs worked and the dishes they would put together. I especially enjoyed how they would incorporate the secret ingredient into their dishes. This is a great show to watch if you want to see professionals at work
Masterchef is a cooking competition that has a longer time frame and many challenges. They can be individual, pairs, and even teams. Here, amateur chefs go head-to-head to show off their skills. This show isn’t just about food, it can get pretty emotional too. For some of the contestants, becoming a chef has been their lifelong dream but they never got a chance to pursue it. Some of them leave their jobs to join the competition in hopes of reaching their goals.
If you love cupcakes, Cupcake Wars is the show for you. Each round bakers are given a theme for inspiration. One round is dedicated flavor while the other is about presentation. In the last round, two teams have to create a 1,000 cupcake display fitting for the theme. It’s honestly pretty crazy to see what they come up with and how they incorporate the 1,000 cupcakes.
Art by Marian Hukom
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