Guy's Grocery Games Glossary

Familiarize yourself with all the crazy games that make Triple G one of the most-difficult cooking competitions on television.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Moir ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Moir ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Moir ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Moir ©2015, Food Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Moir ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Moir ©2015, Food Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Moir ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Moir ©2016, Television Food Network's Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Moir ©2015, Food Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

ABC

A "virtual alphabet soup of letters" is how Guy Fieri describes the game known as ABC, which requires chefs to feature ingredients that start with the letter drawn out of his jar. When judge Melissa d'Arabian drew the letter F for pro chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Cat Cora, Marc Murphy and Marcel Vigneron, the ingredients in their dishes varied from fennel and feta cheese to filet mignon, flatbread and farro.

Food Wheel

Here a spin of the wheel determines the ingredients that each chef must feature in his or her dish. The tricky part: It's accompanied by a second wheel that specifies another required component. Though Tanya and Guy (contestant) were happy to have whole chicken as their protein, they were not so thrilled when the second spin determined that they could shop in only the canned-food aisle.

Budget Battle

As the ultimate test of smart grocery shopping, Budget Battle stretches contestants and their pockets to the limit; they can buy only the ingredients that fit within Guy's budget. In this Game 1 challenge, contestants were given $10.25, plus advantageous coupons for their barbecue blowout. It takes a savvy shopper to win this challenge, and when Jamarr (far left) stayed $5 under budget, he was sent home.

Cart Swap 

In this fun (though dreaded) game, chefs face a last-minute curve ball when Guy makes them swap carts. Each chef is forced to cook with a competitor's ingredients and minimal preparation to plan his or her dish; this game has the chefs thinking fast on their feet. Triple D chefs Domenica and John tackled a Cart Swap in Game 3, right after they were given a popcorn Red Light Special — "a double whammy," Guy said.

Red Light Special

When a siren goes off while contestants are shopping for their ingredients, they know one thing for sure: It’s a Red Light Special. In this game, Guy signals the chefs over to a specific section of the store, where a certain ingredient is sold. Contestants must then incorporate that ingredient into their dishes, like beef jerky into a signature dessert, or marshmallows into a hearty lunch.

Meals from the Middle

Though protein is an essential for many chefs to create an outstanding dish, in this game meat, dairy, frozen foods and fresh produce aren't allowed. Instead chefs must get creative with only the middle-aisle items like canned goods and rice, which proved difficult for Robert, Drew, Marisa and Andy, who were tasked with making a fresh Mediterranean feast.

5 Ingredients or Less

Though Triple G contestants have a plethora of produce, dairy and seafood at their fingertips, they must narrow down their best dish to the essential ingredients in 5 Ingredients or Less. Clever chefs will choose foods that can be used in different ways, as Erika did. She used chicken thighs for her comforting soup and fried up the chicken skin as a garnish. 

Keep It Sample

In Keep It Sample, each chef must visit each of the four sample tables set up around Flavortown Market and feature two of those ingredients in his or her dish. In this holiday-themed episode, the contestants were required to choose from sweet potatoes, gingerbread men, lox and latkes, which the judges doled out while wearing festive holiday gear.

No Carts Allowed

When the chefs hear they can grab any ingredients, they are pretty psyched. But then comes Guy’s major catch: No shopping carts are allowed. In this game, contestants can take only the ingredients they are able to carry (by hand and in one trip) back to their stations. In this episode, Gene impressed the judges with his elegant New Year’s Eve dinner featuring scallops and steak.

Closing Time

Just when the chefs think they're off the hook, Guy gets on the loudspeaker to announce the store's closing. To the shoppers' dismay, Guy gives them mere minutes to finish their shopping and begin cooking. In this episode, Yvette and Michael had 90 seconds to shop in Game 3. Despite the time limit, Yvette edged out Michael’s chicken panini with a steak sandwich worthy of a shopping spree. 

Express Lane

If you're in a hurry, checking out in the express lane can be a real timesaver. But when Guy tells the chefs they must check out through his expedient lane, there's one troublesome twist: an ingredient limit. As in 5 Ingredients or Less, the chefs must narrow down their best dish to only the essentials. Scott (left) could use only seven items, which proved to be just enough for his buttermilk fried quail with dates.

Watch Your Weight

Flavortown Market is stocked with every chef's dream ingredients, but when Guy reveals there's a weight limit, it gets significantly trickier to cook a meal. In Watch Your Weight, chefs must choose wisely — and opt for lighter items — to pass a weigh-in before cooking. In this challenge, Keith (pictured), Elizabeth, Holly and Miles had to make a "bad to the bun" burger with a four-pound limit.

Clearance Carts

Often filled with mislabeled items, clearance carts typically do not contain the most highly desired foods. But in this game, Triple G chefs can shop only from the clearance carts located around Flavortown Market. Though it might take some elbow-deep digging, contestants are able to succeed as Aaron (left) did in this special grilling-themed episode.

Aisle Down

Finding yellow caution tape around an aisle can mean only one thing for contestants: It's off-limits. They must dig deep for creativity when Guy blockades the aisles containing key components for their dishes. We've seen everything from a breakfast without access to dairy, meat or seafood aisles — in this case, French toast without bread. The chefs used frozen varieties and naan instead. 

Frozen-Food Feud

"I want you to chill," Guy said to Rocky and Tia as he introduced their Game 3 challenge: Frozen-Food Feud. When forced to shop from only the freezer section, the chefs must part with fresh herbs, protein and produce, and cook with frozen ingredients. Though Rocky's duck cassoulet was impressive, the depth of flavor in Tia's Italian-style fish stew won over the judges.

Grocery List

Grocery lists are key to staying organized while shopping. But when Guy hands you his list, it's a different story. In this episode, each chef had to create his or her own best noodle dish incorporating six ingredients on Guy's list: anchovies, nuts, something green, grapefruit, mayonnaise and shallots. Eric was stumped by the mayonnaise, but then decided to use it as an egg substitute in his pad Thai with shrimp.

Let It Roll

Things can get dicey when Guy pulls out the large red dice on Triple G. In this game, contestants roll the dice — each of which is themed with a different component for their dish, like specific ingredients, required equipment and shopping time — to determine the details of their meal. Andrew, Aimee, Eddie and Maylin faced challenging rolls, like having to use ricotta cheese, tofu and a juicer, and getting three minutes to shop. 

Word

Winning a round of Word means gaining an advantage for the subsequent game. In this challenge, Guy reveals the name of a food item one clue at a time. "It's wheat-based," Guy said. He followed that up with "it's granular and it's North African." Although Ben immediately knew the correct answer (couscous), Reino was quickest to bring it back and won the advantage.

Un-Gredient List

Un-Gredient List forces chefs to make a dish without the key ingredients. In this game, Keith, Dustin and Felipe were forced to make lasagna free of dried pasta sheets, ground beef, garlic, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, jarred tomato sauce and mozzarella. Dustin (pictured) wowed the judges with his Mexican lasagna that featured tortillas, chipotle, heirloom tomatoes and refried beans.

Grocery Pictogram

In this visual quiz, Guy has contestants thinking (and running) fast to piece together disparate pictures that symbolize a food item. The first chef to bring the item back to Guy wins an advantage. When images of ice cubes, cream and a sandwich appeared before Ghazwan, Kirsten and Luke, it all came down to details. Although Kirsten and Luke ran to the freezer section first, they lost the challenge by bringing back ice cream bars. Ghazwan chose correctly: an ice cream sandwich.

Food Pyramid

"Dad, these guys are going to love playing The Food Pyramid," Hunter said to Guy during a special Father's Day-themed episode. In this game, Hunter released three balls in the pyramid to determine the ingredients the chefs must feature in their guilty-pleasure dish. Croutons, pears and mussels were the unfortunate ingredients that dads Alex, Ken and Ryan had to incorporate into their meals. 

Flip This Dish

Being imaginative on Triple G is just as important as having culinary chops, and in the new game Flip This Dish, creative genius is key. When Guy handed Jennifer and John each a list of ingredients to make cherry pie — cherries, cornstarch, almond extract and pie crust — the challenge sounded easy. But then Guy threw in the twist: The contestants must flip the dish into a chicken dinner worthy of a shopping spree. 

Musical Carts

Just as in musical chairs, when the music stops in Flavortown Market, the contestants must halt their shopping and find a different cart located in the store. Since the music dictates the contestants' shopping, there is little control over which ingredients end up in the dishes. Joel had a winning strategy — to add similar ingredients to each cart — which helped him create a candlelit dinner worthy of a shopping spree in this Valentine's Day-themed episode

Culinary Quiz 

Similar to Word and Guy's Pictogram, Culinary Quiz gives the chefs an opportunity to win an advantage for the next game. When Guy presents a series of clues, the chefs must guess the correct item and bring it back before their competitors. When Aaron heard the clues — 1968 and Ferndale, Calif. — he immediately knew "Guy Fieri" was the correct answer and raced to get one of Guy's products, winning the advantage.

Menu Magnet Madness

Triple G chefs take on a Triple M challenge that uses refrigerator magnets to determine their next meal. The contestants pick one magnet from each of three columns: protein, flavor and type of dish. The catch? They must pick magnets for each other, not themselves. 

Scavenger Hunt

In this challenge, the chefs’ brains and bodies get a workout as they run through Flavortown Market searching for ingredients to solve Guy’s clues. When young aspiring chefs Michael, Mariana, Mac and Emily got the clue “the name of this oven-baked item means ‘slipper’ in Italian,” only Mac knew to go to the bakery aisle for ciabatta bread. As this led them to another clue, and then another, the chefs eventually ended up with ciabatta, cheddar cheese and Brussels sprouts to create an elevated hot lunch.

Grocery Bowl

Chefs have to bowl over the competition in this challenge involving pins labeled with numbers or ingredients and a single bowling ball. Phillip and Crista tried to knock out numbered soda bottles to determine which aisles they could shop in to create a Winner’s Dinner. When they were able to knock down the pins for produce, meat and dairy, Guy threw them an extra challenge with a last-minute Station Swap.

Out of Sight

The ingredients in this game are out of sight, but definitely not out of mind; contestants grab one item out of a cart while blindfolded, and must use the ingredient in their dish. When George pulled out french-fried onions and Jay got Buffalo cheddar potato chips, they had no idea what to do. Jay was up to the challenge, however. His creative spin on a classic dish — using his Buffalo chips in a fattoush salad, instead of the traditional toasted pita chips — garnered him the win.

Grocery Golf

In this challenge, the chefs must putt for the protein they will have to use in an Upscale Dinner. Play well and they could have rib-eye steak; play badly and they’re stuck with bologna, smoked oysters or ground turkey meat. Chef Reno got stuck with the worst ingredient of all — frozen cooked shrimp — but managed to make it upscale after all by cooking shrimp-and-crab-stuffed salmon.

1, 2, 3

This game may have a numbered name, but it’s certainly not as easy as 1, 2, 3. Contestants must feature one ingredient in two ways, and they can shop in only three aisles for all their ingredients. In this case, Chefs Emily and Jae-Eun had to use potato in a Fine-Dining Dinner, which led them to innovative creations like Dungeness crab mashed potatoes, fried purple potatoes and potato-crusted fish.

One Ingredient at a Time

In this challenge, the chefs’ athletic prowess is put to the test as they must take turns shopping without carts, for only one ingredient at a time. The contestants work in teams, relay style, with one grabbing ingredients while the other keeps cooking. Luckily, both teams consisted of pro athletes: Football player Marcel Reece was paired with celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, while former major league baseball player Rich Aurilia teamed up with uber-fit chef Robert Irvine to create a Cheat-Day Dish.

Emoji List

In this game led by Guy’s son Ryder, each chef must decipher a list of emojis that represent ingredients. When Triple D contestants Reno, Eric, Jay and Carl finally figured out the confusing images, they realized they must use coffee, watermelon and French bread to create their Best Diner Breakfast.

The Claw

The contestants were already halfway through shopping when Guy first introduced this arcade-style challenge: Competitors must use a claw crane to grab balls labeled with ingredients. That’s it? No problem — Chefs Todd and Eric luckily grabbed the ingredients that fit best with their existing dishes. But when they opened the balls, the ingredients got way more specific and challenging: Garlic became black garlic, and corn turned out to be canned baby corn. Eric made it work to his advantage and took home the win by turning his bizarre ingredient into Mexican baby street corn.

Station Swap

Similar to Cart Swap, this dreaded challenge requires creativity and being able to adapt on the fly. Contestants must switch stations after they’ve already finished shopping and planned their menu, creating a whole new dish from their fellow competitor’s ingredients. The first time this challenge appeared in Guy’s Grocery Games: Family Style, the two families cooked 5-star dinners with ingredients picked by the opposing team’s kids.

Gift Basket

Always in the holiday spirit, Guy created this challenge as a special Christmas treat. Contestants choose a basket filled with typical food gift items such as Brie cheese, gourmet peanuts or rosé wine, and combine them to create a holiday lunch worthy of the judges’ praise.

World Fusion

In this game, Guy challenges the contestants to create a World Class Dish by combining the flavors of two different cultures. After pulling flags out of a globe to determine what countries will inspire their dish, Guy announced the cuisines of choice: Chinese and Greek. Combining these flavors was a tall order, but Chef Tanya was up to the challenge, impressing the judges with spanakopita egg rolls.

Grocery Pool

For the Triple D edition of Triple G, Guy wanted to bring home a little of the “dive” in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with a classic game of pool. In this challenge, contestants tried to sink billiard balls to determine which aisles they could shop in. But the games didn’t end there — Guy surprised them with the 7 ball to tell them they could use only 7 ingredients or fewer.

Shopstacle Course

“I’ve heard of thinking outside the box, but cooking around the box is ridiculous,” Guy jokes. Yet that’s exactly what the contestants must do in the Shopstacle Course challenge. Navigating their carts around empty boxes, unstocked items and shopping carts, the chefs race through Flavortown Market searching for their ideal ingredients while avoiding unwanted obstacles.

Think Small

On Guy’s Grocery Games, it’s rare that contestants have the freedom to use whatever ingredients they want. So when Guy said they could grab anything their hearts desired for a Family Feast, the chefs were pretty excited. But then comes the game: Anything they use must fit in a tiny shopping bag. Triple D chef George outsmarted the other contestants by stealing individual items to put in his bag, like two single eggs, loose basil leaves and a handful of raisins.

Over/Under

Using expensive ingredients may seem like every chef’s dream, but when a flip of the coin determines that the chefs will use only items over $4 rather than under, the price minimum turns out to be a big challenge — especially when creating a noodle dish. The contestants got around the challenge by buying organic ingredients, specialty foods or items in bulk.

Jackpot Luck

In this game based entirely on luck, contestants pull the lever of a culinary slot machine to determine their ingredients: one protein, one vegetable and a “whammy” ingredient like candy. Wanting to test their fate even further, Guy gives the chefs the opportunity to participate in another luck-of-the-draw game by choosing one of three cards that could be potential advantages or disadvantages. In this episode, one unlucky contestant got stuck shopping without a cart, while the other got to steal ingredients from his station.

Speed Shopping

Slow and steady definitely doesn’t win the race in this challenge. The contestants have to shop for an “ultimate bacon dinner,” with only 20 seconds per aisle. It seems like grabbing everything within reach would be the simplest solution, but Guy warns the contestants that everything they put in their baskets must be used.

Price Check

For this challenge, Guy asks the contestants to make a decadent dish "that tastes big and rich,” he explains, “even if it’s made for a small price — or just one price.” To limit their potential ingredients, Guy pulls a number out of a box and tells the competitors that the price of every item they buy must start with that number. In this case the number is six, so contestants are limited to ingredients that cost $6, 60 cents and so on. 

Sliders

In this all-burger edition of Triple G, sliders are the name of the game — literally. In this new challenge, the chefs must play shuffleboard to determine the “special ingredient” they will use in an all-American burger. Depending on how they play, they can get stuck with turkey jerky, cottage cheese — you name it.

Grocery Spree Ball

Guy loves his arcade games, and with his latest addition to the store, Grocery Spree Ball, the chefs can play for a budget of $13, $16, $19 or $33. "I love arcades, but I do not want to play an arcade game when I'm in a competition," says Chris. Despite rolling $19, the highest amount among his competitors, Chris complains he doesn't have enough money for his Grilled Picnic dish.

More Guy's Grocery Games

For more behind-the-scenes content, videos and photo galleries, visit the Guy's Grocery Games page. 

More from:

Guy's Grocery Games