Recently my wife and I found ourselves making a recipe and realized that a key ingredient was missing. “If we were on Cutthroat Kitchen and found ourselves in this situation, what would we do?” A little head scratching and looking through what we had brought us to making a couple of changes to the recipe and ultimately making the dish without any issues (or complaints from Chaim, the chief recipient of that particular dish.) I was quite grateful for the television show for reminding us of the importance of using what we have to make what we want, food wise.
We started watching the television program Cutthroat Kitchen sometime last year and have been fans ever since. I have long admired the work of chef Alton Brown, and was intrigued when I learned about this show. The premise is rather simple — it is a cooking competition, but with a twist — everyone receives the maximum prize money they could possibly win at the beginning of the game, and they then use that money throughout the game to bid on so-called sabotages to try to force the other chefs to perform poorly. The dishes are judged at the end of each round with the judge being thankfully unaware and indifferent as to what each person suffered — the only thing that matters is the quality of the dish, the presentation, and whether it actually resembles what it is supposed to resemble.
A few sabotages that have earned laughs from us have included the recipient of the sabotage having to use a waffle iron to do all of their cooking, not being able to use any cutting instrument, and in one case a chef’s entire arsenal of shrimp being swapped out for a large glass full of shrimp tails that had just a tiny amount of usable shrimp on them — this was for a Shrimp and Grits dish. The chef that received that particular sabotage ended up losing because they added chorizo to their dish and the taste of the chorizo drowned out the shrimp taste.
In addition to learning to use what we have in terms of kitchen tools and ingredients, I think that Cutthroat Kitchen has made us better at managing time while cooking, especially on a Friday afternoon when time is precious and everything has to be cooked or at least in the oven before the Sabbath begins — and in the winter this is increasingly early! Whenever you are pressed for time when cooking, the key thing is organization! Often there are multiple steps from different dishes that can be taking place at the same time — with only one person doing the work! It is not enough just to know what it is you are going to make, you need to know in what order to make the dishes in order to make them in a time efficient manner.
While we will never be on Cutthroat Kitchen, we certainly appreciate the show for not only showing us what people can do under pressure — but helping us to show us what we could do as well!