Category Archives: Chef Race

On the Job: Spaghetti and Meatballs a Piperade


The family that I cook for each week has been diligently following me on Chef Race. This is very sweet, and also strange, since we’ve never actually met in person. They know me purely through my emails, my food, and now, my TV persona. But it’s given me an excuse to cook my way through the episodes with them. A few weeks ago, after episode 6, they asked me for baked beans with Uncle Sammy’s BBQ Sauce. And this past week, after my fateful exit, they asked me to make them the Kale Salad and Spaghetti & Meatballs a Piperade from my elimination challenge meal. It was kind of cathartic remaking these dishes from memory and being reminded that they did, indeed, turn out delicious. Perhaps one day I’ll get back on the horse and give that lemon budino another … Continue reading

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Chef Race Episode 5 Rewrites: Meals (and Tantrums) on Wheels


It was clear to all of us, from the minute this challenge started in Fort Smith, that we were in for a trip to crazytown. Cody had forgotten to take his happy pills, and it was his way or a tantrum-filled highway. The Brits were allowed to choose one member of our team to come over the pond to theirs. It was between Bianca and myself, and boy was I jealous of her when team America unraveled. Cody kept lecturing us that our truck was the exact layout of his Mexican food truck in New York, so we needed to cook his entire menu exactly, or we were bound to fail. We were given lots of great ingredients to use, and most of us agreed that success would come from being creative and flexible with all the tools available to … Continue reading

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Chef Race: Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish with Tomato-Zucchini Rice and Radish Slaw


There’s a lot that needs rewriting from this past week’s Chef Race episode. Among them, Stan and my midpoint challenge cook-off against Caroline and Bianca, which they cut entirely. I am partially relieved because it means they cut Richard Corrigan telling me I should go learn how to use my knives. But it also means you missed us winning! (not that he ate his words or anything). I’ll have all the behind-the-scenes dirt for you, as always, in my upcoming recap of the show. In the meantime, I wanted to share our winning recipe from that checkpoint in Little Rock. The challenge was catfish and rice, and for anyone who’s ever tried to make rice on a grill, you know it ain’t no picnic. Especially when the Mississippi is right behind you blowing humid gusts of ash in your face. … Continue reading

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Chef Race Episode 4 Rewrites: The Brits’ Balls Finally Drop

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Last week’s episode was a fun one, both in real life and on the small screen. I mean, what could be better than being given free license to say dick and balls as much as you please to a bunch of God-fearing Midwesterners on national television? This might be the last shred of fun we saw on Chef Race, if scenes from tonight’s episode are any indication, so it’s the fun I’m going to focus on in this re-cap. The people of Dodge City, Kansas were probably the nicest and most generous of anyone we encountered. Not only did the ladies of Boot Hill Museum offer us their kitchen, banquet hall, and fridges full of brisket, but they also gave us costumes. The nightly meal we took over usually included a full variety show lead by the master of ceremonies, … Continue reading

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Chef Race Episode 3 Rewrites: She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain, or Not


I was pretty nervous to watch last week’s episode. Mainly because it was the first (of many) times I broke my cardinal rule of reality television participation: I cried. But it turned out I had nothing to worry about, because like the first two episodes, they reordered the timeline and conveniently passed over the parts when I was dying on the side of a mountain. I’m not sure why the producers starved us in the first place if they weren’t even going to reap the benefits of the drama that unfolded. But I guess they quickly reached their quota in this episode when a 37-year-old man (child) called a 19-year-old girl a “see you next Tuesday” to compensate for the size of his fishing rod. our ride to the lodge pippa in the pick-up view from the lodge cow traffic … Continue reading

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Chef Race Episode 2 Rewrites: There’s Bison Blood on Your Hands


Okay, so it took me a little longer to put together these thoughts on episode two than I expected. I was away this weekend reliving some of the glory of tonight’s episode. I had an epic time in Vermont camping out with a bunch of my college friends, roasting a whole pig, hunting pheasants, drinking hot toddies, and dancing the night away to a local band’s rendition of Wagon Wheel. I certainly endured the elements better than I did in Grand Mesa Colorado with cameras in tow. But you’ll have to tune in to see what happened there. After we finished filming episode one, I thought: okay, this isn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. We made $700 making $30 worth of sushi in a bathroom. Then the back of those refrigerator trucks flew up, and I knew … Continue reading

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Chef Race Episode 1 Rewrites: Tequila, Tacos, and Sushi in the Bathroom


Contrary to that reaction shot above, which appeared on screen during the first few minute’s of Tuesday’s premiere, I was not at all surprised by the fact that we were starting in LA with no money, no food, and no prospect of a bed at the end of the night. It was probably the 5th take, somewhere after our team swagger shots and the helicopter aerials, and somewhere before we broke for lunch, our last meal. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous. Anyone who caught my “squeeze an onion” comment could tell I was peeing my proverbial pants (especially when Richard Corrigan, and his Havana nights linens, were around). After a 5am wake-up and 6 hours of filming, Claire and Richard finally released us out into the world – for real. Clearly I wasn’t used to running with a … Continue reading

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Chef Race: Virtual Viewing Party, All-American Potluck & Giveaway!


I can’t believe the Chef Race: UK vs. US 2-hour season premiere is only hours away! The heart palpitations have begun, so I’m going to spend my day in the kitchen distracting myself. I’m making chili and cornbread for my real life team of friends, who are going to be feeding me alcohol and providing other types of moral support in spades as tonight’s show hits the small screen. Since I can’t fit all of you into my small studio apartment to watch with me, I’ve put together this virtual viewing party potluck with lots of fabulous bloggers from around the web who shared their favorite American dishes below. Included are my television teammates, who I’ve been introducing you to this past week. As we learned from our crazy travels across the country, American cuisine can be just about anything. … Continue reading

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Chef Race: Meet Cody Utzman, the Restaurateur Bathed in Brooklyn


Here he is folks: the last member of team USA, and perhaps the most controversial. Check out this video to see why. When I met Cody, the first thing I noticed was that Brooklyn had seemingly thrown up all over him. Skinny jeans, ironic suspenders, arm tattoos galore. As a New Yorker, I say this with love. I also soon learned that Cody cared more about his hair than any other member of team US. Yes, even more than Don. I mentioned this fun fact last night as I was watching the sneak peek of episode 1 on BBC America. My friend Dan said halfway through the show: “you know what, Cody’s hair is looking particularly good in these interview shots.” Boom! But let’s hear more about the man of the hour… Cody Utzman graduated from college after a two … Continue reading

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