Finally, a new Bravo show that I think I might like. On the heels of the success of Top Chef, last night Bravo aired a new reality cooking show. I’m going to hit play and see if it is any good. For now at least it comes on Thursday nights right after Top Chef.
Okay, I don’t get it so I went to look for a Bravo promo that would explain the show in a couple of sentences. Apparently, that does not exist. The shortest explanation I can find is this:
Hosted by actor-comedian Max Silvestri, each episode of Recipe for Deception features four chefs going head-to-head in three elimination rounds where they have to create a dish that showcases a main ingredient. But the real challenge is that they have no idea what the secret ingredient is while they’re cooking.
In the vein of “Two Truths and a Lie,” throughout the round, each chef tries to determine what the mystery ingredient is by asking his or her opponent three “yes or no” questions, receiving two truthful answers and a false one in return. Each chef has to determine what the truth is in order to figure out the main ingredient.
That’s important because chef-judges Chris Oh and Jonathan Waxman will evaluate the contestants on how well they use the ingredient as well as the overall quality of their dish. At the end of each round, the judges will choose which two chefs will move on to the final round. But a contestant is never truly gone on Recipe for Deception. Eliminated chefs have a chance to scheme their way back into the competition by getting the chance to provide valuable information about the final main ingredient in exchange for a part of the $10,000 prize.
Still confused? Me too. The premise is too complicated. That is why Johnathan Waxman calls it a “thinking man’s game.” We don’t come to Bravo to think. And I am already thinking this won’t be a good show to recap, but I’ll forge ahead at least once.
Okay so there are four chefs. They compete two at a time to move forward and compete with the other winner to see who is the winner of the episode. Are you with me so far? It’s like those March Madness bracket thingys that guys do.
The host, Max, is annoying. He ain’t no Ryan Seacrest. I need him to stop talking to me. Chris introduces himself with two truths and a lie. I’ll spare you. His opponent Todd does the same. This crap reminds me. Whatever happened to Nene Leakes’ six episodes of To Tell The Truth? Did it get shit canned before it even aired only to be revived as lost footage once Betty White finally dies? I do not know. But it has to be better than this show so far.
Round One I think we might be ready to cook. The host tells Chris the clue to his secret ingredient is “fermented.” Todd’s clue is “preserved.”
Chris’s ingredient is miso. Chris asks, “Is it typically used in Asian foods? Is it an alcoholic beverage? Does it come from an animal?” Todd lies and says yes it comes from an animal. I would have lied about the Asian thing. And Chris knows the lie right away because he says not many fermented foods come from an animal. Even though Todd did consider fish sauce as a his possible ingredient and it is made from anchovies. Which are indeed animals.
Todd’s ingredient is capers. He asks, “Does it come from an animal? Is it typically dried? Does it come from a plant.” Todd is not very good at this. Why ask about a plant and an animal? That would basically only leave salt if he says no to both. Chis indeed answers no to everything, lying about it coming from a plant. Not helpful.
They will get a better clue, five minutes before cooking ends I already know Chris is going to win.
The host who is a self-identified actor/comedian is blathering on about culinary stuff. Please stop talking.
Chris thinks his ingredient is probably Kim Chi. Todd thinks his is some kind of pickle. With ten minutes left, they each get to try and guess the other person’s lie. They both get it right. Chris makes a miso sauce, because he is making an Asian dish for his Kim Chi which he wrongly thinks is his secret ingredient. Meanwhile, Todd’s chickpea roll up is well, not rolling up.
CRAP. I have to run out to the store before it freezes BRB.I have returned. AND I scored the last half-gallon of whole milk in the Publix! I am going to arrogantly predict that my over sharing is going to be the highlight of this recap.
So where were we? Oh yeah the chefs were making stuff and Todd was losing just like I predicted. We are only 11 minutes in and I already know how this is all going to play out. Should I continue? What the heck, I have nothing else planned today except a Project Runway Jr. Recap. Don’t spoil me bro. But do check out the comments of my last recap where I give my warmest of welcomes to someone who probably is responsible for breeding JaCKson. And people say I am not welcoming to new commenters!
With five minutes left, they tell each other the secret ingredients. Todd suddenly gets inspired by the capers and his rollup plan starts, well rolling together. Todd is excited! Is Bravo editing going to give us a shocking winner? Will Chris lose even though he has been cooking with his secret ingredient all along? I doubt it.
I’m hungry. This recap needs to move along so I can make some lunch.
Judging time. How much did Bravo have to shell out to get Johnathan Waxman on this show?
Chris is cocky about his dish. Both chefs loved it. Waxman says the miso wasn’t featured enough. Todd is nervous. They love how the capers were featured. It looks like Todd might pull out the win! Waxman says frying some of the capers would have added crunch. The judges vote for their favorite dish. If there is a draw, the comedian, who has yet to be funny is the tiebreaker, because….well I have no idea. Todd wins and Chris is furious but he still has a chance to weasel his way back in somehow.
In Round Two, Dina has three very interesting choices for her introductory two truths and a lie. (1) She studied to be a criminal profiler (2) She has no sense of taste due to a piercing injury (3) Outside of work, she hates cooking. I think two has to be the lie. Too much explanation. I was right. The other guy, Jordan, who is like 12 claimed to be a two time James Beard Award Winner for his lie. Oh, Jordan.
Dina’s clue is “soft.” Jordan’s clue is “hard.” Dina’s ingredient is scallops. Soft was no help at all. Her questions were, ” Is it a dairy product? Is it a processed starch? Is it a protein?” He says no to all. Smart move. She knows right away the third one was the lie. Because, criminal profiler. Jordan’s secret ingredient is pistachio. His questions are, ” Is it vegan? Is it a byproduct of an animal? And does it have seeds?” She says no to all and Jordan too knows she is lying about it not being vegan.
And I MUST stop to eat now. I’m back! I had a FABULOUS lunch of salad and sockeye salmon. Life is good. Even if healthy is expensive. I think I am going to forgo insurance for a month, mostly because I can’t afford it and I can sign back up in 11 months. And spend my money on healthy food instead. Also, I was busy writing this post on Yolanda. Okay, my attention is back on this show.
Jordan is making two dishes, a lobster salad with fruit medley and pasta with clams. Neither of these will do well with pistachios. Dina is convinced she has a protein. She is sort of prepping to add her protein later. She thinks her protein is crab. Jordan’s dishes look amazing. At the ten minute mark, they both guess their lie. That didn’t help much.
At the five minute mark, both are unhappy at their secret ingredient.
Judging Time! Both seem to have managed a great dish. But Dina keeps her crab cake which distracts from her scallop. The judges say Dina’s scallop is very poorly cooked and seems like an after thought. They love Jordon’s dish. Just a few suggestions. Jordan wins.
The final round is Todd v. Jordan. This round works a bit differently this time they ask one question and have to determine if it is a truth or a lie. If they guess correctly they get one more question that their competitor must answer truthfully.
Jordan’s clue is “heads”. His ingredient is garlic. He asks, ” Is my secret ingredient vegan?” Todd lies. Very badly while smiling. So Jordan get a free truthful question. He asks if it has seeds. It doesn’t. That eliminates all fruits so Jordan knows he has a vegetable, or a spice.
Todd’s clue is also “heads”. His ingredient is shrimp. Todd asks if his ingredient is a vegetable. Jordan says no, and Todd calls him a liar. Todd does not get a second question. Neither gets to know their ingredient to the final TWO minutes this time. Todd pulls all the seafood with heads including shrimp and starts cooking them all. Jordan already is using garlic.
Dina and Chris from the previous rounds have a chance to steal some money by guessing the secret ingredient. Dina already has Jordan’s s figured out. I think Chris might know Todd’s as well. They now have to negotiate with the remaining chefs for a cut of their winnings in exchange for their knowledge of the ingredient. Dina told Jordan it is most likely garlic. All Chris told Todd was, “it’s seafood” which is what he already suspected.
The problem with this cooking show is, there is very little cooking.
Judging Time. Jordan is cocky. The judges want more focus on garlic. Judge Oh! Hated the Slaw. Todd is nervous. (see a pattern here?) They loved it.
Next week looks like it is going to be worth watching as it is a Masters edition with Art Smith, Chef Garcia and Chef Micheal from last night’s Top Chef and the seafood guy, Rick Moonen. I’ll watch but probably won’t recap. This took forever, and I doubt anyone will read it.