Curtis Stone Turns Up the Heat on Food Network's Kitchen Inferno

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Curtis Stone Turns Up the Heat on Food Network's Kitchen Inferno
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Curtis Stone Turns Up the Heat on Food Network's Kitchen Inferno

Read on to discover more about Curtis Stone's new Food Network show Kitchen Inferno!

Image Credit: Food Network

Kitchen Daily: What makes this show different from other cooking competition shows?
Curtis Stone: It's one of those shows that puts the power back in the contestant's hand, which I think is really nice, because they can decide to push it all the way or they can duck out at some point with their pride and bank balances in check. So it's totally up to the contestants, which is a really good insight into their confidence... Essentially they take on a challenge to cook against another chef, and if they are lucky enough to win it, then they get a check, or they can tear that check up and cook against the next person. Invariably we see a lot of these chefs pushing on and doing it, which is good fun.

Image Credit: Food Network

KD: Which chefs can we expect to see compete on the show?
CS: We've got everyone from up and coming to rising star chefs, restaurant masters, celebrity chefs... We've got people like Michael Psilakis and really, really talented chefs. Celebrity chefs include guys like Jet Tila, and in the restaurant masters we've got people like Geoffery Zakarian and Elizabeth Falkner. I'm actually one of them as well, which is a little bit of fun because it's not every day you see the host pull off his jacket and have a go. It's good fun! I love being in the kitchen, so it was a nice little element of the show for me.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: Who are you excited to see compete on the show?
CS: I always love watching Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Chiarello. Michael is one of the best chefs under pressure in America. He's a fierce competitor and does extraordinary food. Elizabeth Falkner has got a real fire as well. She doesn't take no for an answer, and she goes for it as well. All of them in my opinion are great chefs, and some of the contestants who probably aren't as well known to our audience, they've got real chops. They're great restaurant chefs.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: What are the showdowns like? Who decides what the chefs cook?
CS: We come up with the challenge as to what it's going to be. They get to hear the challenge and meet the chefs that they're going to cook off against before they have to make a decision as to whether they're going to take it on. So they can still walk away with the money and their pride intact if they're not too comfortable with the challenge.

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KD: How do the four rounds differ?
CS: The challenge changes slightly, and the length of time gets a little longer as the challenges go on. We're expecting better things as the challenges continue to evolve.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: What do you think makes chefs successful in the inferno?
CS: I think you've got to have nerves of steel, truthfully. You've got to be able to sort of go through this incredible emotion of accepting the challenge, cooking your heart out for half an hour, being judged [and] standing there getting the results. So there's a lot of ups and downs through that process... You've got to listen to it all and think, 'Okay, am I willing to do it again?' And then you do it all again, and then you go do it all again, and you've got to do it all a fourth time if you're going to go all the way… You have to think fast on your feet and above all else, you've got to have some real chops.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: Have you seen competitors make any mistakes in the inferno?
CS:
It's a fine line between playing it too safe and really swinging for the fence. Because if you swing for the fence and don't get a finish, then that's a mistake. But I think it's probably a bigger mistake if you don't get enough done, if you don't stretch yourself far enough. I think the chefs who do really well push a little bit harder, and somehow that translates to what's on the plate.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: As host, do you get to taste any of the dishes?
CS:
I actually don't! It's one of my first times hosting a TV show where I'm not a part of that judging panel. But of course if I wanted to compete in this then I couldn't be part of the judging panel. I have to be 100% fair… So I actually have limited access to the food. I get to take it to the judges and hear what they have to say, but that's about where it ends.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: Are there any big surprises we can expect to see?
CS:
It's one of those action-packed shows. The challenges are always a little crazy. We do things like, 'We want you to make your best BLT, but you can't use bacon, lettuce or tomato.' There are a bunch of challenges where it sort of sounds very simple, until we give you the second half of it, which always keeps our viewers guessing. There are some chefs that you look at and you probably make the assumption that they're not going to make it all the way, and they do. And there are others that you think oh this guy's got a real chance, and then maybe [he doesn't]. It's a pretty tough arena. It's good fun.

Image Credit: Getty Images

KD: Can you give us a preview of what you'll be cooking on the show?
CS:
Without giving anything away, I get pulled out of my comfort zone in one of the challenges, and I get pulled right into my comfort zone with another. I won't elaborate anymore, I don't want to spoil it!

Image Credit: Getty Images

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We don't know about you, but we're excited to see former Kitchen Daily Guest Editor Curtis Stone turn up the heat on the new Food Network show Kitchen Inferno. We got to catch up with the world-renowned Australian chef to hear all about the new cooking competition show, and he shared with us everything from what makes this cooking competition show different to the chefs we can expect to see take part in a culinary showdown (and whether or not we'll get to see him in action in the inferno)! The show premieres Wednesday, November 5 at 10 p.m. ET.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about Curtis Stone's new show on the Food Network!

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