Judge Marc Summers Previews Rewrapped

Judge and Food Network Host Marc Summers, poses for a portrait on set during the filming of Food Network's Rewrapped, Season 1.

Photo by: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Anders Krusberg, 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved

For years, Marc Summers  revealed the whats and hows of timeless snack foods on Food Network's Unwrapped . And beginning tomorrow, he'll be part of the all-new series Rewrapped , wherein three hopeful contestants must re-create a sweet or savory treat, then use the original item in an inspired dish all of their own. Marc will sit on the judges' panel alongside two other culinary experts, and together they must determine which competitor's offerings are worthy of the prize: a lifetime supply of snacks. FN Dish was recently on the set of Rewrapped, and we caught up with Marc to look back on Unwrapped and to get his insider's perspective on what's ahead on Rewrapped. Read on below to learn his thoughts on both series, then hear from host Joey Fatone.

What are you most looking forward to in this competition?

Getting back on television would be No. 1, on fresh shows. I just think it's fun. All the other competition shows on Food Network are pretty intense. This one, you smile during the whole thing. It's snack foods, it's junk foods, it's kind of everything we ever did on Unwrapped, but I think when you see the Twinkie or the Hostess cupcake or the Bloomin' Onion or SpaghettiOs, you think … “I identify with them.” And then seeing if somebody can duplicate it is just fun. We kind of hit the ground running on day one. It just seemed like we'd been doing it forever. Joey's a great host. He brings a certain energy to it. It's effortless.

What can fans expect from the show?

To learn a little bit about their favorite snack food, as to how it was made; on each show we have a judge from that particular company who doesn't reveal all the secrets about how the things are made, but kind of opens up some doors. And so I think there's a reliability … for the viewer and the product and with what we're doing.

How is this different than other competition shows you've been part of, like Double Dare?

I used to throw food on that show, and now I get to eat it, so there's a huge difference there.

What will be your judging criteria for the "re-create" round and the "reinvent" round?

We've done 500 episodes of Unwrapped or something, and we've attacked every major snack food you can imagine, and because of that, I've eaten each one of these several times, not only in my personal life but on the show. So I have a palate that is somewhat expert when it comes to that. … I'm kind of surprised every day by how creative the chefs are and it kind of makes it fun to come to work.

What are some of the most-memorable foods that you've "Unwrapped"?

I'm a junk food guy. I sustained myself on Twinkies and Kraft macaroni and cheese when I was a starving performer in Los Angeles back in the '70s, so I ate my fair share of these things. So those two stand out. … We were doing hot things [on Unwrapped], things with peppers and jalapenos, and there was this thing called Cowgirl Chocolates. And before we started the show, they said whatever you do, don't eat these things. … So on camera, I decided to eat the Cowgirl Chocolates, and I don't know if they had ghost peppers in them, but they had some pepper in them that was just off the charts. I couldn't speak for like 45 minutes. Water, milk, bread — no matter what I tried, my whole mouth was on fire. So that one stands out, not necessarily for a good reason, but it shut down production for a while.

Are there any pieces of Unwrapped trivia that you still remember today?

I start off each [Rewrapped] show with Joey coming to me and giving a little trivia fact about whatever the product is that day, most of which I can kind of pull from my head and check online; a few I have to dig for on the Internet. I have ridiculous retention. I started off as a game-show writer, and I retained a lot of that. And on Unwrapped, I kind of remembered a lot of the silly facts.

What are the makings of a successful snack food?

Sugar, no doubt. … The theory is that if you fry your wallet it will probably taste good. So, fried, some sort of cream filling and some sort of chocolate around — I think those three things you can't go wrong with.

What are your top-five favorite snacks?

Twinkies are probably No. 1 because I've likely had more of those in my life than anything. Then any chocolate chip cookie. Any chocolate cake would be No. 3. Cherry pie would be No. 4, and anything to do with peanut butter would be No. 5.

Tune in to the premiere of Rewrapped on Monday, April 21 at 8|7c.

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Marc Murphy Bio

Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.