PROFESSIONAL CHEFS AND HOME COOKS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD ON NEW FOOD NETWORK CULINARY COMPETITION SERIES "COOKS VS. CONS"
Series Premieres Thursday, March 17th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network
NEW YORK - February 10, 2016 - The recipe for Food Network's newest series calls for elite cooking skills, agility and adaptability, all simmered with a dash of mystery as a combination of home cooks and trained professionals, whose true identities are concealed, battle it out on new culinary competition Cooks vs. Cons, premiering on Thursday, March 17th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Geoffrey Zakarian hosts the action as the competitors are tested in two rounds of challenges to create enticing entrees that must impress a rotating panel of judges, including Kardea Brown, Josh Elkin, Graham Elliot and Daphne Oz. With a level playing field, the judges will determine the winner based on taste and presentation, and only after the decision has been made will the contestants reveal their true identities.
"Cooks vs. Cons combines elements of surprise, suspense and mystery. Viewers can play along with the judges to figure out who are the professional chefs and who are the home cooks. It's not as easy as one might think," said Didi O'Hearn, Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network & Cooking Channel. "As a proven food authority and masterful competitor himself, Geoffrey Zakarian is the perfect master of ceremonies for this deliciously deceptive competition."
The pressure is on in each of the six hour-long episodes, as the contestants are on the clock and under the watchful eye of the judging panel, observing their progress in the kitchen. In order to win, they must tackle two rounds of challenges where a surprise ingredient, such as fruity cereal, orange soda or sour dill pickles, must be incorporated into preparing mouthwatering classic meals like burgers, tacos, meatballs, and mac 'n cheese. The contestant whose dish does not make the grade will be eliminated after the first round. Then, the three remaining cooks will go head-to-head in another round with a new secret ingredient. If a professional's dish is best they will take home a prize of $10,000, but if an amateur can beat the odds and the competition, they are rewarded with an even bigger prize of $15,000!
Fans can catch highlights from the series at FoodNetwork.com/CooksVsCons, and they can join the conversation on Twitter using #CooksVsCons.
Geoffrey Zakarian is an Iron Chef and a master of modern American cuisine. He has presided over some of the country's top kitchens in the past 25 years. Currently, Geoffrey is chef and partner at The Lambs Club and The National in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut as well as the culinary lifestyle consultant at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City. In August 2013, he was named culinary director at The Plaza, New York City's most-iconic hotel, and as part of that role oversees The Palm Court, The Oak Room & The Oak Bar, The Rose Club, The Champagne Bar and In-Room Dining. Outside of the kitchen, he is an accomplished cookbook author of the bestsellers Geoffrey Zakarian's Town / Country andMy Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients. In addition, he is also a co-host of The Kitchen and Top 5 Restaurants, a judge on Chopped, and has appeared on Guilty Pleasures on Food Network. He presently resides in New York City, and serves as Chairman of the City Harvest Food Council.
Cooks vs. Cons is produced by Cakehouse Media.
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FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and up to 35 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine's rate base has grown 13 times and is now the third largest monthly magazine on the newsstand, with over 12.4 million readers. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24-hour networks in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com) and Great American Country (www.gactv.com), is the manager and general partner.