Toronto's W Network ran the first episode of Pressure Cooker, a food competition show from Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One Productons and Bristow Global Media, yesterday. The premise:
Every week, two pairs of home cooks face off for food critic Giles Coren, who selects the two best for a final round of competition alongside a celebrity chef.
Giles Coren is the controversial British columnist and restaurant critic for The Times. Montreal's Anne-Marie Withenshaw, most recently of À couteaux tirés with Chuck Hughes, serves as host. Guest stars include Montrealers Stefano Faita (Impasto, GEMA, In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita) and Nadia Giosia (Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen). Other star chefs slated for Pressure Cooker include the infamous Rocco Dispirito, Alex Guarnaschelli (Iron Chef America) and Ottawa native and Georgia restaurateur Hugh Acheson (Top Chef).
Faita, in fact, was part of the pilot episode.
With guest star Rocco DiSpirito in their corner, home cooks Sandeep Bhogal and Angelica Escudero battle the belt and each other, while Karen Ahmed and Jennifer Draper face off under the watchful eye of guest star Stefano Faita. Host Anne-Marie Withenshaw keeps the fierce competition on track and in a nail-biter final round, Tasting Expert Giles Coren comes up with a surprising decision.
This marks a double gambit, of sorts, for the W Network and Coren. Million Dollar Critic also stars the acerbic Brit as he hops from "city-to-city to discover some of North America’s most enticing restaurants." Like a trip to Toronto to sample hot dogs with Mayor Rob Ford, for example.
Pressure Cooker airs Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on the W Network. Now that you know all about it, vote in the poll below.