Review: Beat The Chefs
Originally posted: August 25th, 2012

By Cyndi Seidelman

There are a lot of cooking competition game shows out there. You have Food Network with their batch of shows with Chopped, Iron Chef, Sweet Genius, The Great Food Truck Race and sadly the inexplicably popular Cupcake Wars. Other popular cooking shows include Top Chef and this sites favorite, Hell's Kitchen. In the effort to expand their repertoire, GSN aka Game Show Network have commissioned a brand new "Shiny Floor Game" aka game show to put their own twist on this concept. Thus we have, Beat the Chefs.

The rules are simple, a family team of 4 takes on a trio of 3 professional chefs in an effort to win $25,000. Now here's the catch: The family knows what they are cooking, how to cook it and the length of time to cook it. The chefs job is to take that basic creation into a dish that would be sold into a 5-star restaurant. After the time required is up, then the judges decide what dish is better.  If the family wins, they receive $25,000. If they fail, they get $1,000 worth of new cookware. So, already this show is shoveling out more money than the rest of the shows in a single episode. But does that merit a higher grade?

Honestly, no. The actual cooking is solid, but it's all about the execution and that's where it falls on its face. The way the judging is worked is terrible. Most shows would have the chefs face the judges to get their honest criticism. This show has the contestants and chefs leave the soundstage and the chefs talk about it amongst themselves. Another thing that irks me is the way the reveals worth.  You'd think that they'd do the reveals after the judging. But instead, they move both reveals to the end of the show, leaving the first family in a pathetic cliffhanger not seen since Steve Wilkos and his lie detector tests. Yes, they have two games in this show, which is fine, since the premise is much better in a half-hour format.

Another thing that bugged me about the show was that the show didn't have the natural flow that a Chopped or an Iron Chef or even an Extreme Chef has.  It was cool to hear the judges and host talk about the cooking and what they fear about what they are doing.  Instead, Matt Rogers goes into the kitchen and the conversation is really just smack talk between the two groups.  Not only is this annoying, it comes off as extremely forced.  Sometimes its best to leave those backstage instead of when they are actually cooking.

Onto Matt Rogers, he does an ok job.  He could do much better, but his only claim to fame was finishing 9th in a bad season of American Idol.  He also comes off as a bit fake, but at least it's a respectable fake instead of a pathetic fake like Justin Willman and the twat from Extreme Chef.  The set is good, with the logo in the middle and the chefs area being professional-grade equipment and the families area being based off of a normal household kitchen.  It does give it a nice head to head feel, like the booths from Win Ben Stein's Money. 

In closing, it's not the best cooking show out there, but if you enjoy those type of shows then you'll get some enjoyment out of this.  It honestly doesn't belong on GSN, but more along the lines of Cooking Channel or Bravo.  It's going to be a 13 and done, and be replaced by reruns of Deal or No Deal or more recent Family Feud reruns in the future, and this gets relegated to the pit of Mid-day Weekend programming.

Final Grade: C.

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