Have you ever eaten at a restaurant, tasted your entrée and thought to yourself, “I could make this better”? Aside from feeling somewhat ripped off, it’s an experience that can leave you wanting a little revenge. With GSN’s new series Beat the Chefs, home cooks now have the opportunity to get a bit of it. Pitting amateur home cooks against serious professional chefs in an hourlong combat for bragging rights and a cash prize as they war it out making the same dish for a panel of judges, this competition series — hosted by American Idol finalist Matt Rogers — boils down to one simple question: Whose tastes the best?
It’s a gutsy competition, Beat the Chefs is, you have to admit, and one you’d have to have supreme confidence going into. The chefs that each episode’s homegrown competitors will take on include Beau McMillan, executive chef at Elements restaurant at The Sanctuary resort in Arizona — which the late, lamented Gourmet magazine listed as one of its “Top 100 Restaurants in America.” Also featured will be Antonia Lofaso — a favorite on Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars, whose career credits include working at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills and running the kitchen at L.A.’s Foxtail, and consulting chef for Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City, Calif. — and Jeff Henderson. Henderson, at one time an at-risk youth who turned his life around through his love of cooking, worked his way up to becoming the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Thankfully, there’s some definite palate diversity in the Beat the Chefs judging panel. Brad A. Johnson, revered food and travel journalist, has visited every continent in search of the best cuisine in the world, and is the only critic to have won both the James Beard award and the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award for his restaurant criticism. He’s joined by Christy Jordan, publisher of SouthernPlate.com, a website devoted to classic Southern cooking and quick and easy family-style food. These two will be joined by a different celebrity judge each week, providing a good bit of balance for those whose cooking styles may favor the snooty or the simple.
Whether or not you’d be up for the challenge, at least a few out there are willing to take on these chefs and exact your revenge for that meal that may have wronged you. See how they do when Beat the Chefs premieres on GSN Thursday, Aug. 23 at 9pm ET/PT.