A cooking competition with all the mouth-watering food, minus the bitchiness!
Do you love reality TV cooking competitions? Well, here is another one for you to feast on! The Chefs’ Line originally aired on the Australian Special Broadcast Station (SBS) but since its first airing in 2017, Netflix has now made it available to a wider global audience to binge on.
Presented by Maeve O’Meara, the show features a weekly cuisine, 4 home cooks who take on the Chefs’ Line of a renowned Australian restaurant from that cuisine, and sprinkles in some celebrity judges – and you’ve got a recipe for success! The chefs’ line is made up of an apprentice chef, a station chef, a sous-chef, and the executive chef. And let’s take week one as an example, on Night One – 4 home cooks (majority of whom were from a Vietnamese background) took up their place at the studio kitchen to take on the chefs’ line of Dandelion, a Vietnamese fine-dining restaurant located in Melbourne.
And as the subsequent weeks roll-by, each week is a new cuisine e.g. Italian, Greek, Chinese etc. Each round the cooks are given a task to present their own take on a popular dish from the given cuisine, cooked to a strict time limit. And when the food is presented, one of the three judging panel blind-tastes the dishes, choosing their favourite dish and the least inspiring dish – the owner of which, is eliminated from the competition. And the week’s competition continues until there is only one home cook standing, to take on the executive chef of the restaurant, taking it to the renowned executive chef at their own game – it’s heart/soul v. professionalism!
The episodes are short, only 25 minute affairs – this short and sharp format ensures that there’s more action and no time for gas-bagging. And with a trio of judges to critique their dishes along the way (Melissa Leong, Dan Hong, and Mark Olive) they bring a level of gravitas to the show.
And in the unlikelihood where a home cook produces the best dish of the night, they’re rewarded with a trophy – while the restaurant takes a hit against their good reputation. And at the conclusion of the week, when all has been decided, Maeve O’Meara drops in on the restaurant and explores the ins and outs of the restaurant – giving them a shameless 30 minute unpaid plug.
All in all, it’s a refreshing make-over to a predictable format. Each week there are 4 new contestants, the head-to-head competition with professionals is fun, a weekly cuisine gives the show structure, and the in-depth look at the inner workings of a restaurant has given me a short list of new places to check-out. So everyone’s essentially a winner in the end!
If you haven’t already taste tested The Chefs’ Line on SBS or Netflicks, click HERE to start gorging! **Note: Unfortunately not all of season 1 has been uploaded to Netflix. Boo!