Food Network Strikes Again

A new format Iron Chef coming in the spring

Though I have lost my taste for most cooking contest programs, I would not mind a return of the Iron Chef format. We will see…

I’d rather see a low budget true mystery basket competition show without all the fake drama and over the top production. Something like Ready, Set, Cook.

I presume “Ready, Set, Cook” was an American take on the British “Ready Steady Cook” - or the other way round. It was interesting enough while it lasted in the UK and it was certainly fun to watch the chefs create from scratch in a short time. However, I was never that convinced how much of the “mystery” it really was. For example, there always seemed to be the right ingredients and equipment available when there was a chef, known for a particular cuisine, was a contestant.

It was an American version of the British original, aired in the mid 90’s on Food Network. I found some episodes on Youtube and it may not be the show I’m thinking of. The show I’m remembering had a host, two chef contestants and a studio audience. The contestants each had identical mystery baskets that they presumably did not know the contents of until opening them on stage after the timer started. They then had to incorporate the mystery ingredients into a dish or dishes that would be judged by a panel of audience members. Similar to Chopped but without all the fake drama and hard-luck stories.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr