Bravo’s newest culinary competition series, called Recipe for Deception, premieres on Thursday, January 21. The show pits four chefs against each other in three head-to-head elimination rounds in which they have to create a dish that showcases one main ingredient. The twist? The chefs don’t know what the main ingredient is, and are forced to ask the chef they’re competing against three “yes or no” questions for clues. The opponent has to respond with two truthful answers and a lie, and in the final round eliminated chefs can scheme their way back into the competition by trading information about the mystery ingredient for a chance to win the $10,000 prize.
The show will be hosted by comedian Max Silvestri, and judges are Chris Oh (the winner of season three of The Great Food Truck Race and chef/ owner of LA’s Seoul Sausage and Hanjip) and Jonathan Waxman, the legendary chef/ owner of New York’s Barbuto and Jams, as well as Adele’s and Bajo Sexto in Nashville, Brezza Cucina in Atlanta, and the forthcoming Brezza Emporio and Pizzeria in San Francisco. We had the opportunity to speak with Waxman about the show, and it’s clear that he’s very excited for the premiere.
“It’s a cool, fun, wacky, crazy show, and contestants have to concentrate and be really competitive,” Waxman told us. “We don’t know the secret ingredient either, so we have to figure it out as well! Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes we figure it out immediately, so it’s a crapshoot.”
Waxman and Oh judge dishes on both the quality of the dishes (how they taste and look) as well as how the secret ingredients are used. According to Waxman, the job isn’t so different from his day job. “My job as a chef is what I do on the show,” he added. “I analyze dishes, I look at them sideways and upside down, and I make a judgement call.”
Be sure to tune in on January 28, when chefs Lorena Garcia, Rick Moonen, Art Smith, and Bryan Voltaggio will be competing; and on February 25, when celebrity contestants will include Lou Diamond Phillips and Coolio. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect!