From a young age, I have enjoyed watching cooking shows and competitions on television. Even though I’m vegetarian and not that great at actually cooking, there’s something about watching other people make delicious food that captures my attention. I have watched myriad shows geared toward amateur cooks, family cooking and chefs themselves, and here’s my power ranking of some of the most popular cooking competitions.
4. “My Kitchen Rules”
Coming in at fourth place is “My Kitchen Rules,” an Australian cooking competition for amateur home cooks in which teams of two compete to win the title. My favorite part of the show is the instant restaurant rounds, in which teams transform their homes into pop-up restaurants for an evening and serve a three-course meal to the judges and remaining contestants. It’s relatable in the sense that viewers can easily imagine themselves going through a similar preparation process for a dinner party and the dishes are neither too complicated nor too simple. This show would be higher up in the list if it were not for the constant bickering and drama among the contestants to hold the audience’s interest. I would enjoy watching this show even without the quarrels, which only seem to distract from the bigger picture.
3. “Top Chef”
I recently started watching “Top Chef” on Netflix during the pandemic, and I’ve been loving it so far. While there’s a multitude of competitions for amateur cooks, there are hardly any for chefs. “Top Chef” gives established chefs and sous-chefs the chance to expand or launch their careers. It’s also so interesting for the viewer to be exposed to the skills and techniques used by these experienced chefs.
2. “MasterChef Junior”
Drumroll, please. In second place comes “MasterChef Junior.” It’s amazing to see little children at the ages of 8-14 create such lovely, intricate dishes. I’m always left questioning what I’m even doing with my life when I watch this show. “MasterChef Junior” allows these young talents to grow and develop their skills in a safe learning environment with some of the most famous judges, such as Gordon Ramsay. It’s a great competition to watch for kids and adults alike.
1. “MasterChef Australia”
With no other show coming even close, “MasterChef Australia” bags first place. The quality and expertise of the home chefs’ cooking surpass those on every other cooking competition for amateurs. “MasterChef Australia” also has the most innovative challenges each week, and as a viewer, you’re always in for a surprise. Going beyond the usual mystery box challenges and invention tests, the competition includes tag-team relays that highlight the importance of communication in a kitchen and pressure tests, in which contestants re-create challenging recipes from renowned chefs of the world. If all that isn’t enough, home cooks also have the opportunity to fight head-to-head with a real chef for the chance of immunity from elimination. Through these weekly challenges and guest appearances, participants have the opportunity to directly interact with the continent’s and the world’s greatest chefs whom no other cooking competition for amateurs features.
So there you have it! If you’re looking for a new show to watch, be sure to check these out — there’s something for every taste.
Contact Nandita Radhakrishnan at [email protected].