For three-plus seasons, amused fans of Alton Brown’s deliciously devious Food Network cooking competition Cutthroat Kitchen have watched chefs from around the country struggle to create tasty dishes under comically challenging circumstances. Stuff like handling sharp knives and delicate ingredients while wearing a toy Incredible Hulk fist, or crafting Bananas Foster from teeny-weeny banana candies — hardships foisted on them by fellow competitors, all of whom started out with $25,000 to spend judiciously (or not) on the silly sabotages in an effort to be the last chef standing with their cooking cred intact and a few bucks in their pocket.
Next month — and to fans’ delight — the series debuts a five-episode “superstar tournament” called Cutthroat Kitchen Superstar Sabotage that will featuring 16 celebrity chefs hoping to cook and connive their way to a possible $75,000 payout for charity.
Contestants include Anne Burrell, Melissa d’Arabian, Elizabeth Falkner, Susan Feniger, Nadia G, Eric Greenspan, Alex Guarnaschelli, Johnny Iuzzini, Brian Malarkey, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Michael Psilakis, Aarti Sequeira, Marcel Vigneron, Fabio Viviani and Justin Warner.
Here’s how the match-ups shake out:
“Superstar Sabotage: Heat One”
Premiering Wednesday, October 8 at 9pm
Chefs Susan Feniger, Jeff Mauro, Michael Psilakis and Aarti Sequeira face off in the first heat of the Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage, facing sabotages that include a treadmill station, a hammer carnival game and cooking in a conveyor toaster.
“Superstar Sabotage: Heat Two”
Premiering Wednesday, October 15 at 9pm
Chefs Nadia G, Brian Malarkey, Marcel Vigneron and Justin Warner face sabotages including a very high prep table, cooking in a popcorn machine and getting a hand stuck in a cookie jar in before one makes it to the Grand Finale.
“Superstar Sabotage: Heat Three”
Premiering Wednesday, October 22 at 9pm
Chefs Anne Burrell, Eric Greenspan, Johnny Iuzzini and Damaris Phillips battle each other and sabotages including a floating prep station, holding hands with another chef around the kitchen and having their mixing and cooking vessels replaced by lemons.
“Superstar Sabotage: Heat Four”
Premiering Wednesday, October 29 at 9pm
There is only one more spot in the Superstar Sabotage finale and chefs Melissa d’Arabian, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli and Fabio Viviani each think they have what it takes to get there. But first, they will be faced with sabotages including gambling for ingredients, swapping their knives and utensils for tools made from cheese and cooking in banana leaves.
Fans will soon be able to peruse more Superstar Sabotage contestant photo galleries, interviews and new episodes of Alton’s After-Show — a post-show conversation with host Alton Brown and the guest judges chatting about what went on in each episode. You can also follow the tournament on Twitter using the hashtag #CutthroatKitchen.
Photo: Food Network