On the Set of Cutthroat Kitchen
Meet the judges of Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen, and get an insider's look at the set with host Alton Brown.
Host Alton Brown
A mentor on Food Network Star and the host of The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Alton has overseen hundreds of culinary battles but none like Cutthroat Kitchen, in which the name of the game is sabotage.
Alton begins each episode with a padded briefcase containing $100,000 before giving each of the four chef competitors $25,000 with which to bid at the auction.
60-Second Shopping Spree
Behind Alton is the Cutthroat pantry, in which the competitors have only one minute to shop at the beginning of each round. Alton revealed in a behind-the-scenes video that while the doors to the pantry look lined with glass, there's actually no glass at all. "It would break and then we'd have terrible cleanups every day."
Adapting to the Situation
If they don't grab all of their necessary ingredients during the shopping period, competitors simply have to make do without them during cooking.
Once the chefs finish shopping, they line up to see the sabotages that the dumbwaiter exposes, which Alton deems "the heart of the story." Alton promises that this clever machine "actually functions."
In the series premiere, one round's cooking challenge involved making French toast, so it was only appropriate that Alton introduce French-style blue cheese and red wine as a sabotage. Chef Stark purchased this plate for $4,400 and assigned it to Chef Frankie.
Judge Simon Majumdar
No stranger to Food Network, Simon is a regular judge on Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef, although he didn't start out in the entertainment industry. When he was 40 years old, he quit his job as a book publisher and began a new mission: "Go everywhere, eat everything." Today, he's traveling the country doing research for his next television and book project — Fed, White and Blue — which will celebrate America's vast and diverse culinary landscape.
Judge Jet Tila
A chef and partner in the restaurant industry, Jet specializes in classic Thai and Chinese cooking. He's a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and the California Sushi Academy, and in addition to hosting a radio show in Los Angeles, he's in the process of opening Kuma Snowcream, a shaved-ice eatery.
Judge Antonia Lofaso
A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Antonia has competed in front of and behind the camera on several reality food competitions, but she's currently the Executive Chef at Los Angeles' Black Market Liquor Bar. She's a single mother and the author of a cookbook, The Busy Mom's Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Home-Cooked Meals.
Since the judges aren't privy to the sabotages that take place during the competition and must judge the chefs' dishes based on flavor alone, Alton fills them in on what went down in each round on his Web series, Alton's After-Show. Watch the latest installment to get the dish from Alton.
Want More Cutthroat Kitchen?
Check out Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen headquarters for more insider coverage of the show.