Chef Training as Seen on TV

When it comes to chef training, not all cooking shows are created equal. Here are five of our favorites.

Drama with a Side of Chef Training

One of Bravo’s most popular television shows, “Top Chef,” serves up a sizzling hot dish of drama with its cooking demonstrations.

While the show is addictive and highly entertaining, viewers interested in a chef career may be looking for shows with more cooking and less bickering.

Consider this list of cooking shows that are heavy on the passion for creating great food with just a pinch of drama:

1. Iron Chef America (The Food Network)

If you love the competitive nature of “Top Chef,: a spicy alternative is “Iron Chef America,” which is adapted from the Japanese version, Fuji Television’s “Iron Chef.” The premise of each episode is that the designated “Iron Chefs” have a one-hour cooking competition against their challengers based on a theme ingredient. Both the Iron Chefs and their challengers have notable chef careers and are highly experienced in a specific cuisine. Their obsession with winning is enough to inspire viewers to get off the couch and into a chef training program.

2. Good Eats with Alton Brown (The Food Network)

Named by Bon Appétit magazine as “Cooking Teacher of the Year” in 2004, Alton Brown stands out from the typical cooking show hosts because of his high-energy personality and scientific approach to cooking. Each episode of “Good Eats” highlights a different food type, and explores the history and recipes associated with that food. “Good Eats” not only caters to those interested in chef careers, but also to viewers at home by educating them on efficient appliances and encouraging them to utilize less expensive, multipurpose cooking tools.

3. America’s Test Kitchen (PBS)

Airing on PBS, “America’s Test Kitchen” offers another scientific, methodical approach to cooking. Chefs test several different versions of basic recipes in order to designate which one is the best. Recipes include old-fashioned chocolate layer cake, glazed meatloaf and skillet-roasted potatoes. Hungry yet? The testing process involves determining the most efficient combination of ingredients, timing, tools and cooking temperature, making it a practical show for students who are just beginning chef training programs.

4. Simply Delicioso (The Food Network)

The title of this show says it all: simple and delicious…with a Latin flavor. A former Miami event planner, host Ingrid Hoffmann doesn’t just educate in cooking, she shows viewers how to entertain with style. Each episode of “Simply Delicioso” highlights each step of a great, flavorful meal: planning, shopping, cooking and decorating. Hoffmann’s practical business experience as the owner of a chain of luxury fashion boutiques and a trendy Miami restaurant serve as great inspiration to students in chef training who hope to open a restaurant of their own some day.

5. Molto Mario (The Food Network)

Who doesn’t love Italian food? Not only does Mario Batali love Italian food, he loves cooking it. As the co-owner of several Italian restaurants, Batali has an extensive background in preparing delicious Italian dishes. One of his television shows, “Molto Mario,” brings the experience of Italy to viewers, and educates them on the rich history that influences Italian cuisine. Batali has taken an unconventional path to success, but his chef career has the same ingredients as many other remarkable chefs: an infatuation with creating wonderful food.


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