Food in Pop Culture

Chef Hunter: The Food Network is Hiring, Sort Of

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Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Three Chef Hunter competitors. - IMAGE COURTESY OF THE FOOD NETWORK.
  • Image courtesy of The Food Network.
  • Three Chef Hunter competitors.
Perhaps you think the chef competition show, like the seemingly endless barrage of singing contests on TV, has been overdone. The titles of Top Chef, Iron Chef, Master Chef and even Extreme Chef are doled out left and right, but The Food Network's new show Chef Hunter hands out a prize we haven't heard yet: Executive Chef. In other words, the job.

On each episode of Chef Hunter, a restaurant's owner, manager and culinary recruiter Carrie McCully pit three out-of-work chefs against each other to compete for the top position at a real restaurant. And from what we can tell, this isn't some fakey Apprentice-type job that never really materializes. They really get hired. How do we know this? Because though the first episode takes place in Los Angeles, the Food Network can't yet reveal to us which restaurant hosts it, as we'd know who won by seeing who's in charge there.

We do know, however, that the face-off works like this: In round one, three competitors create one original appetizer along with what would be a signature hamburger for the menu. One chef is eliminated at that point, then two go on to run the kitchen for a night, using their own menu, managing the staff, and serving a full house. Whoever emerges victorious in the judges eyes gets the job of executive chef.

Call us pragmatists, but the main reason we're intrigued by this show is that it's grounded in reality. While it may be fun to watch, who really cares if a chef can whip together a meal out of offal and live crickets while blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back? Can you really do the job? Then you win.

Chef Hunter premieres Thursday, November 10th at 10 p.m. on the Food Network.

Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife.

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