For this new competition
series on Food Network, I personally think that we need
to go to the beginning...
cook (int. verb):
to prepare food for eating especially by means of heat.
So Alton Brown's book
subtitle would be apt: cooking = food + heat. Simple
So it begs the question
as to why in the world most people don't do it often. It
could have to do with time... or lifestyles... or just
not wanting to bother with dragging all of those plates
and pans and pots out. But the crux of this argument
is... cooking is like any other learned talent... Some
people just can't do it.
Don't tell Anne Burrell
or Beau MacMillan that. Both chefs with their combined
years of culinary experience are putting their
reputations on the line by training 24 home cooks to
overcome their culinary inadequacy to become one of the
best cooks in America. In the end, only two will remain,
and their wares will be put in front of a panel of
culinary experts and critics. They'll have to convince
them that those dishes are cooked by these two acclaimed
chefs and NOT by... THE WORST COOKS IN AMERICA.
The titular elements are
- Eddie Chang (Jersey
- Rachel Clark (Huntington Beach, CA)
- Rachel Coleman (Brooklyn, NY)
- Jenny Cross (Philadelphia)
- Sophia Gettys (Aurora, CO)
- Hamed Hamad (Studio City, CA)
- Marque Hernandez (Brea, CA)
- Rebecca Hooper (Sandy, UT)
- Patty Hughes (Astoria, NY)
- Kelly Johnson (Scottsdale, AZ)
- Wilhelmenia Josephine (Aliso Viejo, CA)
- Sauvion Morkunas (Porter Ranch, CA)
- Craig Morris (Riverside, CA)
- Marcus Santi (Santa Monica, CA)
- Eddie Schudel (Reston, VA)
- Susie Shoman (Georgetown, SC)
- David Summey (Charlotte)
- Jen Vecchio (Cumberland, RI)
Now... the rub.
Twenty-four cooks enter... but twelve will leave. TODAY.
The other 12 will go on to an intense culinary boot
camp. How to decide? How about an audition challenge?
Make your best dish for the chefs.
And ... another "the
rub". Anne and Beau are going to pick EACH OTHER's
teams... AND they're going to pick the worst. You see,
this is also a competition between the chefs, as Anne
and Beau think they can outcook and outteach each other.
We'll see who can and who can't... later on.
- Rachel Co.: Three
Cheese Macaroni & Cheese (cheddar, cottage, and gouda).
- Hamed: Tomato Soup
- Marque: Pork Loin & Asparagus
- Jen: Tuna Mac
- Marcus: Raw Chicken Kabobs with Brown Rice
- David: Triple Chocolate Pancakes
- Rachel Cl.: Pad Thai
- Susie: "Just a bunch of cans of soup thrown in a pot"
- Wilhelmenia: Roots on Rhubarbs with Asparagus and
- Craig: Deconstructed fajitas
- Eddie S: "My signature date dish."
- Patty: Goulash
- Rebecca: Spinach Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese
- Sauvion: one whole boiled chicken.
- Jenny: Peanut Butter Encrusted Cod
- Eddie: Fried rice
- Kelly: Pasta Pocket
- Sophia: Ground Turkey Meatloaf with Yams
And apparently six dishes
that were so bad that they are not fit for broadcast. Or
basic cable, for that matter.
BEAU: Wilhelmenia, Susie, David, Marque, Jen, Sophia
TEAM ANNE: Jenny, Rachel
Co., Rebecca, Hamed, Eddie, Kelly
The others... are NOT the
worst cooks in America. That's the biggest backhanded
compliment that they're going to hear. The other 12 are
going to enter a 10-day boot camp in which they will be
transformed into a cook with some class... a contender,
if you will.
Now... this is a game
show, and we've yet to talk cash money. The one chef who
makes it all the way through to the end and cooks the
best meal for the critics' table will receive cash money
in the amount of... $25,000.
The cooking starts bright
and early tomorrow. For now... there's a penthouse with
your name on it.
Boot camp begins. Beau
and Anne expect nothing short of excellence.
Main Dish Challenge:
Chefs Beau & Anne will create a dish that each cook will
have to replicate exactly. Anne will be making a Tuscan
shellfish stew. Beau is whipping up a poached tiger
prawn with littleneck clams, bok choy and shiitake
mushrooms in Asian broth. Cooks will have one hour to
And on the first day,
Sophia smokes up the kitchen. Not a good sign. Marque's
clams aren't opening. David finishes his dish, but he
doesn't remember how Beau garnished it. Wilhelmenia's
broth has too much soy in it. She ends up very
flustered. And she's running out of time. So she has to
go with it... hiding her disaster with silverware.
Over on the red side,
it's been 30 minutes and Hamed hasn't started cooking
yet... and Rachel threw away $40 in saffron. That's a
pretty pricey chuck there, lady. Eddie finishes very
early, and he hopes that he didn't forget anything.
Eddie takes some time to help Hamed, who looks like he
hasn't even started. Anne tells him to go back to his
And.... that's time.
Hamed's clams never open. That could be bad.
So far, we had some up
moments and some down moments on the red side. Hamed's
missing his clams, which never opened all the way. The
shrimp is cooked well.... that's Eddie's doing. Speaking
of which... Eddie went heavy on the saffron AND
undercooked the shrimp.
On the blue end, Susie's
dish is impressive, and shrimp is cooked on the money.
Sophia's on the button as well, but it's sloppy.
Marque's dish has promise. Wilhelmenia's dish... is
basically unimpressive. David's garnish pisses Beau off
royally. Jen's shrimp is overcooked.
Someone on each team is
going home tonight.
First... some good
news... Rebecca, as the best of the red team, is safe
from the cut. Her blue side equivalent... Marque.
Joining them on the Red: Rachel, Jenny, and Kelly.
Joining them on the Blue: Susie, Sophia, and Jen.
That leaves David and
Wilhelmenia on the blue... Eddie and Hamed on the red.
Two of them are going home. Eddie went crazy with the
saffron. He needs to learn to taste all of his food.
Hamed broke down in every sense possible. Wilhelmenia
did her dish to death. David... went off book.
Safe on the red team....
Eddie. Safe on the blue team... David. Both Hamed and
Wilhelmenia are out of the running, but don't give up
So what did we learn
- "mise en place" is a French term for "put in place".
That means all of your ingredients are organized in one
place and only one place.
- "sweating a vegetable" is like "sweating a person":
you let out water and you start to smell. It's basically
one step DOWN from a full-on saute.
- "blanching" means to cook quickly in hot water.
"Shocking" means to cool it down in ice water
afterwards. It preserves the color and flavor of your
green leafy vegetables.
- If a shrimp is pink, that means it's cooked all the
way. Anything else... it's inedible.
- tasting is your friend, every step of the way.
What more could the worst
cooks in America pick up? Find out next time.
To see bonus footage from this episode, go to