Review: Extreme Chef
So what is Extreme Chef? Here’s what the Food Network site has to say about it:
You thought Iron Chef was tough? Those crazy Chopped baskets seem impossible? Extreme Chef takes competitive cooking to a whole new level. Host Marsh Mokhtari takes seasoned chefs out of their kitchen comfort zones and throws unpredictable curveballs.
Born in the UK, Marsh, a seasoned world traveler, has lived on four continents. His globetrotting started at an early age when he spent his first six years in Iran, and then later moved to England, where he ultimately earned a degree in medical physics from the University of Newcastle. While there, he played American football for the UK national team and rugby for the Newcastle Falcons.
He went on to enjoy a successful career in executive search in London. While on sabbatical in Australia, he had a fortuitous encounter with a film crew and found his true calling. The lure of acting, adventure and travel took Marsh to Bolivia where he hosted Death Road, a one-hour special for History Channel that garnered him instant credibility and notoriety. The National Geographic Channel saw the potential and commissioned a series of specials, Perilous Journeys, featuring Marsh. Marsh was guest star on numerous TV shows and recently completed shooting an independent feature, Carjack. Marsh is also currently the host of Food Network’s new series, Extreme Chef.
Here’s what I have to say about both:
Mokhtari has no background in food. None. There aren’t chefs or food writers out there who need a job? For that matter 1 out of every 8 Americans is out of job. Couldn’t they have hired one of them since they were going with someone unqualified to host the show anyway? That aside, he has a good camera presence and is good looking.
As for the premiss of the show as a whole – it’s better than Cupcake Wars, but I doubt I ever labor through another episode. I’m just not a fan of taking someone who is good at something and then doing everything you can to F with them. It isn’t entertaining. You know what is entertaining? Watching someone who is really good at something do the thing they are really good at unimpeded.
The contestants were annoying as hell in the premiere, or should I say one chef was annoying as hell, Chef Paul Menta. They were joined by celebrity chef Marco Canora who was on Next Iron Chef a few years back. In addition to making accomplished chefs cook alligator over a Bic lighter they also have “X Factors” which are stupid physical challenges that have nothing to do with cooking. The one bright spot of the show was that Chef Gina Clarke is a stone cold fox. Food Network get her a show – a real show.
If you want to know what Extreme Chef should have been, check out Chef Unleashed with Chris Cosentino.