These days, there are more culinary competition shows on TV than we can count, but the second season of Knife Fight, which premieres on Esquire on April 15th, takes cooking back to the basics. The show is hosted by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall, and takes place after-hours at his Gorbals Restaurant in Los Angeles. Hall invites chefs to a one-hour cook-off where combatants have to make at least two dishes in just one hour using — what else — a few secret ingredients. But the catch is that there’s no grand prize, and chefs are competing for a cheap, old knife.
“There are no bells and whistles; the prize is a three-dollar knife that’s more like a joke,” Hall told The Daily Meal. “This is cooking to cook; it’s an exhibition fight. So the stress is off about winning $100,000, and you can just focus on the food.”
This season Hall will be focusing less on celebrity chef personalities, and more on bringing respected cooks from the industry who may not be as well-known to viewers. Hall is also bringing chefs in from all over the country: from Portland to New Orleans and Brooklyn. Every episode is a little crazy because of the featured secret ingredient, like the season premiere where two contestants have to somehow cook a whole pig in an hour. In future episodes viewers can look forward to dishes with pig blood, Alaskan king crab, and a slab of beef the size of a mattress.
Tune in to Esquire this coming Tuesday, April 15th at 9 p.m.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi