Who Can ‘Beat Bobby Flay?’
Food Network loves having chefs who aren’t famous compete against Bobby Flay. The Iron Chef America and former Throwdown! with Bobby Flay star now has a new show, Beat Bobby Flay, which is a combination of the former two shows. While Beat Bobby Flay feels derivative, so does everything that Food Network airs nowadays. Only, this time it doesn’t get boring because they took the some ideas from both Iron Chef and Throwdown! and left the unnecessary exposition on the cutting room floor.
Of course, every show begins with a segment that introduces the chefs to viewers. Since Beat Bobby Flay is only a half hour, each chef of the two chefs competing in the first round gets about a minute to describe themselves, which means no long, dramatic life stories. Life stories are limited to “this is my cooking style, this is how and why I chose it, and this is how I developed it.” It’s a cooking show. No less would be kind of odd. Any more would border on tedious and risk veering into uninteresting.
The first round of Beat Bobby Flay could be called the Iron Chef round because the two visiting chefs are given a specific ingredient to highlight. As usual with this type of show, the chefs run around the kitchen grabbing all the ingredients they need and have a limited amount of time to prepare a dish. Because the show is so compact, this lasts around ten minutes. Most of which have Bobby, who sits out this round, relegated to walking around the studio and trying to get inside both of his potential competitors heads. The two judges, who were Jeff Mauro and Alex Guarnaschelli in the pilot, harped on the fact that they were looking for someone to “Beat Bobby Flay.” In those exact words. Over and over again. It’s going to be a catch phrase, but catchphrases don’t need to be repeated 12 times a minute in order for people to remember them.
In round two, Bobby competes against the winner of round one, who was chosen by the judges based on their ability to…wait for it…”Beat Bobby Flay.” Instead of working a meal around one ingredient, round two is Throwdown!. It has Bobby and round one’s winner create the latter’s signature dish. For the pilot, it was chicken parmesan. Neither chef made the classic familiar version, which consists of a friend chicken cutlet, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Bobby and his competitor both took the concept and ran in two different directions. Both ended up with something very few people would consider chicken parm. Bobby made a Tex-Mex dish, whereas his competitor made a southern interpretation of Italian food that was heavy on the southern and light on the Italian.
Once the round was over, it was time to bring in three new judges, since Jeff and Alex have a vested interest in seeing Bobby lose. The new judges don’t know which dish belongs to which person. However, the competition is heavily weighted against Bobby Flay. He has five seconds to come up with an idea. His competition had their whole lives to perfect their signature dish. It’s no surprise when Bobby loses, which he will probably do a lot on this show.
Posted on August 25, 2013, in Cable, Food Network, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged alex guarna, beat bobby flay, bobby flay, cooking competition, food network, iron chef, iron chef america, jeff mauro, throwdown. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.