“Crime Scene Kitchen,” Fox’s newest food series, is a twisted breath of fresh air for a competitive cooking show. And I mean twisted.
Each of the first two episodes featured six teams of two. They all have widely differing experience and relationships. They have varying levels of experience. All are competing for a $100,000 prize.
Each team is sent into a “crime scene” where a dessert has disappeared. They must look over the kitchen, see what pans have been used, what ingredients remain and might be left in a bowl and what’s in the sink waiting to be washed. Dun, dunn, dunnn!
Then they each return to their little blocked off kitchens. There’s no peeking at your competitors for this show. There, in private, each team deciphers the clues and concludes what dessert was made. Then they have two hours to make the exact same dessert.
On the first episode, one team made such ridiculous assumptions, not once but twice, that they were voted off. You can also get voted off for baking a bad dessert. But if you make the correct dessert, you have a fighting chance for the big money.
On the second episode, only one team missed the boat but they did it in spectacular fashion.
The judges, celebrity chef Curtis Stone and cake artist Yolanda Gampp, might as well be invisible. Unlike some of the Food Network competition shows, they are not the stars.
On this show, host Joel McHale steals the show with a sharp tongue and sense of humor. His only competition is what I can only describe as a Titantic-like iceberg. It opens dramatically, and very slowly, to reveal the missing dessert in a haze of dry ice fog.
Being a lover of mysteries, and food, I will keep watching this series. I understand there was a learning curve on the first bake-off to decipher what matters and what doesn’t. If the raspberries are in the fridge and not opened, don’t be looking for a berry dessert. Check any crumbs or marks on parchment paper. Open your eyes people!
The crime scene kitchen is the star, more than the desserts that are whipped up in short order.
My only criticism of the show is how clean the kitchen is. If you want to see a crime scene, come to my house when I make Red Velvet Cupcakes.
You can catch up on “Crime Scene Kitchen” online on at fox.com or on Hulu.