On last night's MTV premiere episode of “House of Food,” seven untrained culinary students live together in a house with three of the country’s best chefs. One and only one, will earn the apprenticeship of a lifetime. It will not be easy, as the training will be tough and the chefs even tougher. Will these seven ethnically and culturally diverse people get along, as they compete to win a road to their dream?
As the students arrive to this magnificent house they are:
Amanda, 24, from Pittsburgh. She is tattooed and has been called a rocker chick, but does not want to label herself. Her dream is to open a rock n’ roll type restaurant, so for now, rocker chick should suffice.
Gillian, 21, is from Oakley, Calif. She grew up on a small farm north of San Francisco, and loves to bake. As she and Amanda explored the house, the next person arrived.
Jake, 20, is from Atchison, Kan. He is a country boy who knows he has a lot to learn.
Brian, 21, is from East Lansing, Mich. Born in Korea, grew up in England and came to the United States. His parents wanted him to be a doctor, they would not pay for culinary school, so this was his next best option.
Suki, 21, a self-proclaimed diva was born in West Africa and is now living in Portland, Ore. She took over the master bedroom, and immediately fell out of favor with the rest of the aspiring chefs.
Will, 24, is from Boston. He was bullied as a youngster for being overweight, but through food, he got his weight down and is now interested in making healthy foods.
Lorena, 22, is from Long Beach, Calif. She grew up in the kitchen with a family of chefs and expected to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but it did not happen.
When another person walked in, the group asked him if he was going to live there too? He is Chris Nirschel, the Founder and CEO of Culinary Bad Boy Productions, a New York City based catering company. He will not be living there, but will be their culinary coach.
For their first assignment, they had to put their personality on a plate. In a few hours the chefs would arrive to judge their creations. They had to make four plates and as they cooked their special dishes, nobody gave props to their fellow cooks, but when Chris tasted Suki’s creation, his face told the tale.
The three chefs arrived and they were three masters of the culinary face of Los Angeles. Casey Lane is the executive chef of The Tasting Kitchen in Venice, Brendan Collins, executive chef and proprietor of Waterloo & City and Larry’s both in Los Angeles, and Brooke Williamson, chef/owner along with chef-husband Nick Roberts of three restaurants in Los Angeles including Hudson House, The Triple and Playa Provisions.
The chefs pulled no punches, they told them they were chosen from thousands of applicants. They did not expect perfection, but they did expect passion. If they were not up to par; they would be replaced.
Amanda’s meat cupcake was judged horrible by the chefs, she used refrigerated dough, and was told she had time to make her own dough, and if it represented her, it was terrible.
Jake’s burrito was enjoyed by all the chefs, who actually liked it.
Lorena made a beautiful plate of stuffed chicken, it looked beautiful, but the chicken was not cooked through and the spinach for the stuffing was not washed.
Will’s salmon was overcooked and the judges did not even taste it.
Suki’s dish was liked by the chefs as she told them it had lots of spice and attitude, just like her.
Brian’s dish got stars for enthusiasm, but the meat was over-marinated and under-cooked.
Gillian’ Smore cupcake was the best of the day, but the toppings were packaged. Had she made her own marshmallow, it would have been perfect.
The judges told them that tomorrow, they would officially start their careers as chefs in training. He told them they would see them first thing in the morning.
Will and Suki were discussing how the chefs tore Amanda a new one. Suki feels that both she and Will are safe from possible elimination. They also had a lot to say about Lorena’s chicken, as they laughed about it. But the competition is far from over.
Chef Brendan arrived in the morning, he told them that many of them got their asses kicked, but that should only make them better. Today’s lesson will be perfect pasta. They first made a stuffing for the tortellini and then they were shown how to make the dough. As he showed them step by step how to create this dish, they were told they would be making the same dish the next day for all three chefs to judge. The winner will be the acting executive chef for the day at his restaurant and will be shadowing him.
For a break, the group went to a street fair in Los Angeles for some food and fun, but Brian was offended when Suki asked him how to say hello in Chinese, and she tried it on a Latino man. He asked her to stop with the Asian jokes. But when the group returned, the tension was thick as Will asked Brian about calling Suki out about the jokes. As nearly everyone chimed in, she and Will retreated upstairs to the princess’ tower. She expects to kick everyone’s behind in the competition and cares nothing about making friends.
The next day they arrived at Waterloo & City, Brendan’s restaurant to work in a professional kitchen. The winner will be the executive chef and will chose their kitchen team of sous chef, line cooks and a dishwasher. The test was on to make the white corn tortellini, some made the filling, some made dough, if his crew had to clean up after them, they would be in trouble. As they were rolling their dough, Brian’s was too thin and Suki’s was falling apart. She asked the chef if she could take the other half of Jake’s dough. He told her she must ask her teammates if she could do this, but Jake totally ignored her. As Amanda finished her plate, she was proud that she did not quit as she originally felt.
As the three chefs were ready to taste the finished products, Lorena did pretty good, Will’s pasta was tough and his sauce too oily, Gillian’s lacked seasoning and the tortellini was not well formed. Brian’s was well done, but had too many almonds. The chefs liked Amanda’s dish and were pleased that it was better than her first presentation. Suki used the other half of her dough and apologized for her sauce that was broken, Chef Brendan told her if she asked him, he would have told her how to repair it. Jake did not score well, as his sauce had no flavor. The top three were Amanda, Suki and Lorena. When they each had to state why they wanted the executive chef job, Amanda stated that she did not want her own kitchen. The chefs immediately were irate that she was taking the job away from someone who truly wanted this and felt she did not deserve to be there. Suki was chosen to be the executive chef, much to the dismay of the rest of the group except for Will. When Brian spoke up and voiced his disagreement with the chefs’ decision to choose her over Lorena, they told him that he was disrespectful and asked if he tasted the dishes?
Suki chose Lorena for her sous chef, even though they do not get along, but because she has the skills. Her line cooks were, Will, Amanda and Jake, for pastry she chose Brian over Gillian and she put Gillian on dishes. When Chef Brendan voiced his opinion as to why Gillian was put on dishes rather than pastry, Suki stated that as executive chef, she believes that Gillian would sabotage her kitchen.
At the end of the service, Chef Brendan told them that one would win an apprenticeship with he or one of the other two chefs, but as he dismissed the group, he told Amanda to stay because of their prior conversation. He told her that he thought this was not for her, because she stated she did not want to be a chef, he told her to think long and hard and if she stayed, he would be surprised.