Behind the Scenes of a Cooking Show: Ryan Scott's 'Home Chef Showdown'

BlogHer Original Post

Admit it: you love watch those cooking TV shows—the ones where the contestants compete to create the best meals with limited ingredients and a clock ticking down. I've always wondered what it's actually like on the set of one of those culinary reality programs, and recently I had a chance to get a behind the scenes peek. Sunset Magazine and The Live Well Network invited me to sit in on a taping of Home Chef Showdown, featuring San Francisco chef Ryan Scott.

 

Ryan Scott and I on the set of "Home Chef Showdown"

 

Click to see more photos from the set.

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Home Chef Showdown pits regular people against each other—and against the clock, to create delicious meals.

L-R Carie Pulliano-Keller, Tamar Poyser, and Bill Pikus wait to take their places on the set
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The taping starts early in the morning and takes all day, even though the program is 30 minutes long.

On the set bright and early, before anything gets started.
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The theme of this competition is summer grilling, and the home chefs have their choice of four types of wood chips to smoke their meat.

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But first things first. The competition kicks off with a cocktail making contest. Our chefs select their choice of fruits and liquors from the many ingredients provided.

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If the ticking clock isn't stressful enough, imagine, having not one—but three— TV cameras pointed at you while you're cooking.

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And the creations are judged not just on the taste, but the presentation and the story behind the recipe.

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It's not just the contestants who are working hard to tape the show. A crew of directors is monitoring all the camera angles from a supply pantry that's been turned into a make-shift control room.

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Even when the culinary showdown is over, there is still work to be done. In between the cooking, tasting and judging, Scott tapes the stand ups—TV lingo for all the on-camera introductions and transitions between segments.

Want to find out who wins? The three-part series Home Chef Showdown premieres on The Live Well Network Sunday, June 22. The Summer Grilling episode will air on Monday, June 23 8:30 p.m. PST/7:30 p.m. CST, and another episode will air on Tuesday, June 24 8:30 p.m. PST/7:30 p.m. CST.

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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