Recipe for Deception, the oft-advertised but seldom (never) understood new cooking show on Bravo, premiered last night. And it’s a good thing it did, because the commercials were driving us crazy. The concept actually isn’t as terrible and impossible as it sounds. In fact, it’s kind of great, and once you’re in it, it’s not so hard to understand.
The game is played elimination tournament style. First, each chef gets a clue about his/her secret ingredient. For example, last night, one of the clues was “fermented.” The chefs then get to ask their opponents three questions, and this is where the two truths and a lie element comes in. And you can be strategic with the questions, and use them with your clues to try and narrow it down.
The chefs get 30 minutes to prepare a dish while trying to figure out the secret ingredient. With ten minutes left, the chefs figure out the correct answers to all three questions, and with five minutes left, they find out their secret ingredients. Hopefully, they’ve already been using their ingredients, or it’s something that makes sense with what they’ve already been preparing.
If the results were bad food, it would be boring, but almost all of the dishes were great. This is a test of not only how well the chefs can cook, but also how much they know about food and food’s properties. some dishes that I thought were going to be terrible were winners. There’s a ton of talent on the show- more, probably, than there is on Chopped. Another great thing about it? Each episode features an entirely new set of chefs, so if you miss a week you don’t have to catch up in order.
Host Max Silvestri is funny, and judges Jonathan Waxman and Sam Oh, while being totally different people, go really well together (like capers and chickpea roll-ups in one of last night’s winning dishes.)
Bravo has come out with great shows lately (with the exception of The Real Housewives of Potomac). Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce is popular, and people are loving Odd Mom Out. I think they have another hit with Recipe for Deception. Well done!
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