The Next Generation

The Next Generation. No, not Star Trek—we’re talking America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation on Amazon FreeVee.

Normally I don’t like cooking competitions. But I continued to watch all ten episodes of this competition because of my love for the parent show, America’s Test Kitchen (ATK), on PBS. The shtick of this offshoot is that all eleven contestants are competing to complete two assigned cooking tasks each week, judged by an ATK regular and a local chef, with one contestant thrown off the island eliminated each week. The winner remaining at the end of the last episode gets an exceptionally valuable prize: a full-time permanent job on the mothership, plus an opportunity to write a cookbook, plus $100,000 in cash!

Although I enjoyed the show, I do have some reservations. On the plus side, the contestants were all likable, reasonably skilled, and supportive of each other. On the minus side, the host (Jeannie Mai) was just an inappropriate choice, occasionally the judges were rude, and the criteria for judging were frequently unclear.

In accordance with standard no-spoilers etiquette, I won’t reveal the winner in case you want to watch the entire series. And ignore the viewer comments. Although most are to the point, too many clearly come from right-wingers who are offended by the ethnic variety that ATK sorely needs (see photo of the eleven contestants below).

Categories: Food & Restaurants, Movies & (occasionally) TV, Teaching & Learning