The chefs were introduced as they arrived in London. They were:
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Fenway Park
CULINARY EDUCATION: Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Hometown: El Paso, TX
PROFESSION: Chef/Owner of Tara Thai in El Paso
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-trained
Hometown: San Jose, CA Resides: San Francisco, CA
PROFESSION: SousChef at Bushi-Tei in San Francisco
CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S. from California Culinary Academy
Hometown: Burlington, VT Resides: Chicago, IL
PROFESSION: Executive Chef of The Drawing Room, Chicago
CULINARY EDUCATION: Graduated from: New England Culinary Institute, 2002
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
PROFESSION: Chef de Cuisine, Hotel Wilshire, Los Angeles, CA
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-trained
Keven “Cheven” Lee
Hometown: Chatsworth, CA
PROFESSION: Executive Chef and CEO of My World on a Plate Catering and Events.
CULINARY EDUCATION: C.I.A. (Culinary Institute of America) located in Hyde Park New York and Dominican Carlton Tivoli located in Luzern, Switzerland.
Hometown: Clinton Township, MI Resides: Chicago, IL
PROFESSION: Sous Chef, Graham Elliot Bistro
CULINARY EDUCATION: Education: B.S. Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University
Hometown: Boulder, CO Resides: Denver, CO
PROFESSION: Chef/Restaurateur, Cooking Class Instructor and Blogger: thelastthingweate.com
CULINARY EDUCATION: B. S. Restaurant and Resort Management from Colorado State University; A. O. S. Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales
Hometown: Detroit, MI Resides: Los Angeles, CA
PROFESSION: Private Chef and Instructor
CULINARY EDUCATION: Culinary Diploma, '03, Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
PROFESSION: Chef and General Manager at Local Harvest Café and Catering, also teaches and writes about food
CULINARY EDUCATION: Cooking and Baking at Baltimore International College
Hometown: Voorhees, NJ
PROFESSION: Chef de Cuisine at Fatty Crab in New York City
CULINARY EDUCATION: French Culinary Institute
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Resides: Sherman Oaks, CA
PROFESSION: Executive Chef/Owner, All Diced Up Catering, Sherman Oaks, CA
CULINARY EDUCATION: Los Angeles Culinary Institute
I rate their experience as higher than the competing chefs on Hell’s Kitchen and lower than those on Top Chef. At this point I cannot identify who the better and worse chefs are. The first assignment after meeting up with co-hosts Curtis Stone and Cat Cora is to separate into two teams of six chefs. They were:
RED Team – Nicole, Gary, Nookie, Jenna, John, Nick
BLACK Team – Cheven, Chaz, Liz, Avery, Nick, Sai
The real assignment was to navigate a “course” first to win a special ingredient. In this case the BLACK team put themselves far behind on the way to the first of 3 gastropubs by choosing to walk instead of hiring a taxi and they stayed way through the third gastropubs. The final assignment was to go back to the same 3 gastropubs and do this:
Pub 1 – drink a Pimm’s Cocktail and eat black pudding hash
Pub 2 – choice of eating 3 Steak and Kidney pies or drinking 3 “yards” of ale (a “yard” is a mostly cylinder with widening on the bottom and the top that is 36 inches long
Pub 3 – eat 6 plates of fish & chips and scrumpy (strong cider)
The RED team finished first and won the special ingredient, potatoes. That became important because the final assignment was to make 3 classic British dishes (fish & chips, steak and kidney pie, black pudding) plus a choice of 2 other British dishes. 800 pounds was available to each team to spend to buy ingredients for 20 regular diners plus Curtis, Cat, British food celebrity Nigella Lawson and the owners of the 2 pubs which would be taken over by the chefs. The owner of Drapers Arms pub, Nick Gibson, was a commentator as was the owner of the Duke of Cambridge pub, Geetie. The decision power rested with the regular pub diners, who ate at each pub and voted.
The vote went decisively to the BLACK team. RED had poor steak and kidney pie and its extra good service was not enough to offset that. The BLACK team had both exceptional execution and bread pudding. There was a decision by the judges on which team member had contributed the most. They picked Chaz for his organization of the entire team. They did not know that Chaz had lied about his role (actually none although he claimed a primary role) in the bread pudding concept, which was Kevin’s. Chaz was awarded immunity for the next episode in Paris.
The RED team had to fire one member of their team. The top candidates were Nookie for his bad steak and kidney pie and Clara for general incompetence. Nookie threw her under the bus and Clara was eliminated.
Having experienced the first of 10 episodes as they cook their way around the globe, I would say this is a reality show worth seeing. However, be forewarned that it is more Gordon Ramsay-style than Tom Colicchio-style.