You Want to Cook Like a Pro? Here's How
Essentials for Everybody

You Want to Cook Like a Pro? Here's How

Take it from judge and Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli: You don't have to master intricate techniques to learn to cook well. Instead, focus on the basics and perfect them. Get her best ideas for where to begin.

Cooks vs. Cons Extras
Quizzes: What Kind of Cook Are You?

Answer these questions to find out once and for all if your culinary know-how and kitchen skills could fool the judges.

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Top Geoffrey Trivia
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Full Episode Guide
  • Contestants must be on "gourd" for the French toast battle, as surprise ingredient pumpkin gets carved up into the dishes. Then, in round two, judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone determine whose dish is tops, when ice cream toppings are used to accent savory staples.

  • Contestants must be on "gourd" for the French toast battle, as surprise ingredient pumpkin gets carved up into the dishes. Then, in round two, judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone determine whose dish is tops, when ice cream toppings are used to accent savory staples.

  • Judges Richard Blais and Daphne Oz know their shrimp and grits, but do they know how to tell a cook from a con? Working chefs and home cooks hide their identity as bacon makes a glorious appearance in the first round. In round two, the remaining contestants put their skills to the test in the battle of the cherries. The taste of defeat may be tart, but the winner gets a huge cash prize with a cherry on top!

  • It's Sloppy Joe day in the kitchen, and the pros and amateurs must use pies as the surprise ingredient. Some cooks get crusty, but for others, the path to the cash prize is as easy as pie! Judges Josh Capon and Daphne Oz share cooking ghost stories in the second round when the remaining cooks must utilize campfire treats in their dishes.

  • Heavyweight chefs battle it out with amateur cooks for a big cash prize as judges Scott Conant and Daphne Oz attempt to separate the cooks from the cons! The lasagna challenge is layered with twists, as contestants must incorporate the surprise ingredient: condiments. Then, round two keeps rolling as the surprise ingredient doughnuts has the remaining cooks colliding between sweet and savory.

  • Professional cooks and amateurs play ball in a cheesesteak playoff, as ballpark snacks must be worked into a winning dish. Judges Katie Lee and Marcus Samuelsson call a fair game, but for one cook, it's a clear strikeout! Then, the remaining contestants embrace the Italian kitchen during a pasta sauce challenge.

  • Delicious ideas are brewing during the clash of the sandwiches, as professional and amateur cooks must utilize beer in their handheld masterpieces. Then, in round two, the surprise ingredient of muffins challenges the contestants to avoid a crummy result. It's up to judges Marc Murphy and Daphne Oz to determine who's a pro and who's an average Joe!

  • Professional chefs and amateur cooks are challenged to show off their skills by preparing a pasta dish with the surprise ingredient of corn. Then, the competitors aren't too sweet on the notion of incorporating the surprise ingredient of candy into their second round entrees. Judges Graham Elliot and Daphne Oz must figure out who's a pro and who's just faking it!

  • More Upcoming Episodes

  • Contestants must be on "gourd" for the French toast battle, as surprise ingredient pumpkin gets carved up into the dishes. Then, in round two, judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone determine whose dish is tops, when ice cream toppings are used to accent savory staples.

  • Contestants must be on "gourd" for the French toast battle, as surprise ingredient pumpkin gets carved up into the dishes. Then, in round two, judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone determine whose dish is tops, when ice cream toppings are used to accent savory staples.

  • The dumpling challenge is filled with surprises when the addition of peanuts creates nutty interpretations. In the next round, potato fries must be repurposed into the culinary creations. Judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Sunny Anderson savor the twice-fried masterpieces on the way to choosing a winner.

  • Professional cooks and amateurs play ball in a cheesesteak playoff, as ballpark snacks must be worked into a winning dish. Judges Katie Lee and Marcus Samuelsson call a fair game, but for one cook, it's a clear strikeout! Then, the remaining contestants embrace the Italian kitchen during a pasta sauce challenge.

  • Heavyweight chefs battle it out with amateur cooks for a big cash prize as judges Scott Conant and Daphne Oz attempt to separate the cooks from the cons! The lasagna challenge is layered with twists, as contestants must incorporate the surprise ingredient: condiments. Then, round two keeps rolling as the surprise ingredient doughnuts has the remaining cooks colliding between sweet and savory.

  • Delicious ideas are brewing during the clash of the sandwiches, as professional and amateur cooks must utilize beer in their handheld masterpieces. Then, in round two, the surprise ingredient of muffins challenges the contestants to avoid a crummy result. It's up to judges Marc Murphy and Daphne Oz to determine who's a pro and who's an average Joe!

  • Professional cooks and amateurs play ball in a cheesesteak playoff, as ballpark snacks must be worked into a winning dish. Judges Katie Lee and Marcus Samuelsson call a fair game, but for one cook, it's a clear strikeout! Then, the remaining contestants embrace the Italian kitchen during a pasta sauce challenge.

  • Heavyweight chefs battle it out with amateur cooks for a big cash prize as judges Scott Conant and Daphne Oz attempt to separate the cooks from the cons! The lasagna challenge is layered with twists, as contestants must incorporate the surprise ingredient: condiments. Then, round two keeps rolling as the surprise ingredient doughnuts has the remaining cooks colliding between sweet and savory.

  • More Recent Episodes

About the Host

Geoffrey Zakarian, a master of modern American cuisine, has presided over some of the country’s top kitchens in the past 25 years. Currently, Geoffrey is chef/partner at The Lambs Club and The National in New York City as well as at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City.

More About Geoffrey Zakarian

Geoffrey Zakarian, a master of modern American cuisine, has presided over some of the country’s top kitchens in the past 25 years. Currently, Geoffrey is chef/partner at The Lambs Club and The National in New York City as well as at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City.

About the Show

Geoffrey Zakarian hosts the next generation of cooking competition, a battle that asks the ultimate question: Could a talented home cook beat a pro, or does a true professional have skills that no amateur could match? With a level playing field, and no one knowing which cook is which, only a blind taste test will prove who has the best dish. If the professional is victorious, he or she will take home $10,000, but if the home cook can beat the odds and take down the pro, the amateur walk away with $15,000!

More About Cooks vs. Cons

Geoffrey Zakarian hosts the next generation of cooking competition, a battle that asks the ultimate question: Could a talented home cook beat a pro, or does a true professional have skills that no amateur could match? With a level playing field, and no one knowing which cook is which, only a blind taste test will prove who has the best dish. If the professional is victorious, he or she will take home $10,000, but if the home cook can beat the odds and take down the pro, the amateur walk away with $15,000!

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