BBC America premiered Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. last night. This new reality show is a combination of The Amazing Race and Top Chef.
Eight chefs from the United States go up against eight chefs from the United Kingdom. The goal is to eliminate all the other chefs and the one standing at the end will win $100,000. Not too shabby.
The chefs from the U.S. are: Cody Utzman, Bianca Rose, Don Peavy Jr., Ronaldo Linares, Phoebe Lapine, Stan Frazier, Pippa Calland, and Robin Bodwin.
Carlo Peretti, Sophie Michell, Rebecca Marshman, Johnnie Mountain, Ed Hoar, Caroline Mi Li Artliss, and Mark Lloyd make up the British team.
Hosts, Claire Robinson and Richard Corrigan, a Michelin-starred London Restauranteur, give the chefs ten challenges as the teams try to beat each other, avoid being eliminated, and win the $100,000.
They start off in Los Angeles without cash or credit cards and must cook or trade their cooking skills in return for food, transportation, and beds for the night. All they're given is a backpack, three herbs and spices, a kitchen utensil, and a map. They have to make their way 3,000 miles to New York City.
On the first episode Claire and Richard tell the chefs that they have 43 hours to make their way from Santa Monica to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas but before that they have to get to their first check point, the city of Calico.
But the teams have to make money to get there.
Team U.S. splits up. Half of them go to restaurants to see if they could cook and the other half goes to homes asking people if they could cater for them.
Team U.K. decides to go to radio stations to advertise themselves and try to get cooking jobs that way.
Eventually the two teams find work but Team U.S. is doing a better job earning the cash they need by catering a barbecue at $50 a head. Team U.K. have a lot more trouble.
The Brits cater a High Tea where they earned $330 but spent $116 of it for supplies.
Each team has made some friends along the way. The U.S. team finds a man who is willing to drive them to Calico, their check point, and the Brits find a customer at a restaurant who is willing to drive them there.
At Calico Ghost Town, halfway to Las Vega, Richard and Claire meet them to tell the chefs about their challenge. Each team has to choose two chefs who will have a cook off competition. U.K. chefs Carlo and Johnnie will go up against U.S. chefs Cody and Ronaldo. They have to cook hash with the main ingredient being pig's feet. This could be a problem for Team U.K. because Johnnie has never heard of hash.
The food is made and served to judge Richard who proclaims that the best hash is from Team U.S. They win a truck to drive them the rest of the way to Las Vegas.
But the Brits aren't really abandoned. A taxi driver offers to drive them to Vegas for a mere $200.
Once the teams get to Vegas they still have to earn money. Remember, the team with the most money will win this part of the race and will continue while one member of the losing team will be eliminated.
Team U.S. find a job catering a meal for a family in a hotel room. The chefs are literally preparing food in the bathroom.
Team U.K. is catering a barbecue at someone's home when problems occur. First of all there's some tension between 19-year-old Rebecca and almost everyone else. She's very sarcastic and tries to tell the others what to do. Not all the U.K. team is against Rebecca. A few of the chefs feel that she's being bullied and excuses Rebecca's rude ways by saying she's young. Is that really an excuse? She still has to work with the others and if she's old enough to be on the team she's old enough not to have excuses made for her.
Anyway, things get worse for the Brits when Carlo collapses and has to be taken to the hospital.
Team U.K. feel bad that things didn't work out well for the party they catered so they returned all the money. Things are not looking good at all.
But the family who hired Team U.S. loves them and pays them $700.
The teams meet Claire and Richard at the MGM Grand Hotel. Carlo tells them that he collapsed because of heat exhaustion.
Who won this first leg of the race? Of course it's Team U.S. who earned $1,068.09. Team U.K. earned $31.71. Well, they did return all the money from their last job.
Team U.S. will continue on to the next phase of the race while Team U.K. has to choose three chefs for the elimination challenge. Johnnie volunteers to be one of the chefs for the challenge. Rebecca also volunteers because she wants to prove that she's good enough to be there. Samantha also volunteers because she says that Rebecca was bullied and she doesn't want her to be eliminated.
The chefs are given one hour to cook anything they want.
Richard and the chef from the restaurant at the MGM Grand Hotel are the judges.
Johnnie cooked fish and the judges thought it was good.
Rebecca made a summer salad and the judges liked that.
Samantha made chicken which both judges could barely swallow. They said the flavor was too strong.
Who was eliminated? Obviously Samantha who said that she purposely cooked a terrible meal so Rebecca wouldn't be sent home. Yeah, sure. That excuse is almost as hard to swallow as the chicken. Why would Samantha sacrifice herself to some know-it-all kid?
This week Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. will be aired on its regular day and time, Tuesday's at 10:00 p.m. on BBC America.