I tried out for Cooks vs Cons because I'm an armchair chef. Why are you making croutons and bread pudding on Chopped? Don't you know that's so overdone? Were you thinking you could avoid making dessert on Top Chef?
And, I also have a thing for high-stakes deception (Exhibit A). Even if I wasn't a contestant on Cooks vs Cons, I'd still be obsessed with it.
So, if you haven't gathered by now, here's now the show works. Two professional chefs and two amateur chefs compete in two rounds with surprise ingredients. No one -- not the judges, host, or contestants -- knows who is who. The audience is kept in the dark too, and they can guess along with Graham Elliot, Daphne Oz, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Turns out seeing people speculate about your identity on Twitter is really surreal.
A lot of people thought I was a chef, including Graham Elliot and Daphne Oz (I think GZ was onto me, even though I made sure to call him Chef as a real chef would). Twitter thought so too.
When I watch the show, I assume everyone is a chef until proven guilty. Could be a lack of conviction when talking about a dish, or a loosey-goosey way of moving around the kitchen. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in cliches, but then you realize that the producers know that, so you end up engineering some reverse reverse psychology that hurts your brain.
ie: That guy has a lot of tattoos so he must be a chef. But the producers must realize that so of course he's not. But maybe they know that I know...
And so on.
And then some people thought I was a fraud. My instinct is to be insulted, but then I remember...I am a fraud.
Actress, businesswoman, and lawyer are not bad guesses. After the competition, Graham Elliot said he thought I could be a knowledgeable food blogger. That's pretty close, too. Novelist is way too random for anyone to guess.
I love that this show has two layers of challenges: one for the contestant and one for the viewer. I can't think of anything quite like it -- watching your own funeral? Witnessing your college admissions panel? Something where your personhood is analyzed as if you weren't there...but you are.
But that makes it sound like a drag. It was weird and fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Also -- Cooks vs Cons has been picked up for a second season! That means they're looking for amateur and professional cooks. Take a look at the casting notice here and catch up on all my Cooks vs Cons posts here.