You know I am a sucker for food-related reality shows. I have taken part in a couple myself (I was on Chopped and won TLC’s Dinner Takes All) and I watch most of the fun ones on TV. Now I’ve got high hopes for Bravo’s latest culinary competition “Around the World in 80 Plates”.
I got a chance to meet the hosts and four of the contestants this week. I have to say just judging by what the contestants and hosts had to say it sounds like tons of fun.
Bravo calls the show “the network’s most ambitious production to date”. It “follows 12 chefs competing in a spectacular race over 40 days and across 10 countries including Argentina, China, England, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Thailand, United States and Uruguay”.
Since I’m a vegetarian I had to wonder, was this a challenge I could survive? Host Curtis Stone told me “I think it would be an interesting mix to add a vegetarian and it represents a certain part of what we have out there, there’s people who
want to eat non-meat, non-fish stuff”.
Co-host Cat Cora agreed that a non-meat eater would be good on the show. She said “I think it would of been really refreshing to do that”. She told me “there was a lot of vegetarian dishes and things. Absolutely. I think there was actually quite a bit of vegetarian cooking on it”.
So maybe you’ll see me on Season 2?
In the meantime I challenged myself to get the contestants to turn their food into something meat-free. There were four contestants at the event. Each showcased one of the dishes they make on the show. All four dishes had meat in them, so could I find something to eat?
First up the Szechuan Beef Noodle Salad with Ponzu Air Sauce. I asked contested Avery Pursell if I could have the noodles without the beef and she was more than accommodating! While she was preparing my dish she told me that she loved doing the show, but hated being away from her kids. I could totally relate. I was recently a finalist for a show that would have had me away from my 20-month-old for two-months. I knew I would find it soooo hard to leave my sweet baby. I digress though. Avery’s noodle salad ended up being my favorite dish of the night. No one would miss the meat here!
Next up I saw spiced lamb lollipops on “Nookie” Steve Postal’s station and at first thought I shouldn’t even step foot over there. Then I saw this bright colored cous cous it was laying on and realized I had to try it. Steve didn’t even miss a beat when I told him to leave the lamb off my plate. His cous cous was delicious, so I scored again.
Lastly I went to watch Chaz Brown put together his papaya salad with papaya dressing. I think he was putting pieces of pork belly on top so I told him to leave that off and viola the papaya salad was a success. Chaz was so sweet and he is my early favorite to win the competition. He told me taping the show was the time of his life. He just seemed so happy to be there and that was contagious.
The only thing I couldn’t veg-ize was Liz Garrett’s Chorizo and Manchego Croquettes. The chorizo is obviously already inside the croquette so that was a no go, but the hubby enjoyed these. Liz seemed like a great gal too. The contestants were all very likeable. I hope that is the way they are on the show too. I’m not one for annoying or overly mean contestants so here’s hoping this competition is fun-spirited.
We’ll find out tonight (May 9th) as it premiere’s on Bravo at 10pm.