BBC AMERICA premieres its new original series from Executive Producer Jamie Oliver, CHEF RACE: U.K. vs. U.S., with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, October 2. Ahead of the premiere, BBC AMERICA will present a special preview of the first episode tonight, September 29, 10:00pm ET, following the mid-season finale of Doctor Who. Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. premieres with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday October 2, 9:00pm ET and 10:00pm ET. The series continues in its regular timeslot on Tuesday, October 9, 10:00pm ET.
Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. pits 16 chefs - eight Brits versus eight Americans - against each other as they race across the country using their culinary skills and business savvy in the hopes of winning a grand prize of $100,000 dollars. Michelin-starred London restaurateur, Richard Corrigan (Masterchef), serves as a mentor and judge and Claire Robinson (5 Ingredient Fix) hosts the new original series.
Jamie Oliver, Executive Producer, Fresh One says: "The restaurant business is one of the toughest in the world and to be successful in it these days takes so much more than just being able to cook. You've got to have a good business sense, vision, leadership and so much more. This series is the first time that anyone has really dug deep into what it takes to be successful and it's going to take an incredible individual to win it."
The race starts on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, where Team U.K. and Team U.S. are stripped of their cash and credit cards and challenged to cook to survive, prosper and win. In the 10 one-hour episodes, the teams battle coast to coast from Los Angeles to New York City, with the chefs living off their cooking skills, resourcefulness, ingenuity, leadership and finesse to survive and make it to their next destination. They'll need to make enough cash, and maybe a few friends, in order to make it to the next checkpoint. In the beginning, they will work as teams and cook to turn a profit. The team with the biggest profit moves on and the losing team faces team member elimination by way of a cook-off. In the end there will only be one winner.
The chefs range in experience - from working in Michelin-starred restaurants to having studied at prestigious culinary institutes to no formal training at all. The 4,000 mile road trip has them competing in Los Angeles - Albuquerque and Sante Fe, New Mexico - Grand Mesa, Colorado - Dodge City, Kansas - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Fort Smith, Arkansas - Memphis, Tennessee - St. Louis, Missouri - Springfield and Chicago, Illinois - Detroit, Michigan - Bedford, Ohio - Baltimore, Maryland and New York City.
From dealing with an entire bison in New Mexico, fishing in the Great Lakes and maneuvering a mobile pizza oven in Chicago to tackling serious barbeque in Memphis and whipping up their best crab cake in Maryland, these chefs must prove they've got what it takes when thrust into the rich diversity of American cuisine. Not only will they have to prove their culinary weight, they'll be forced to stay formidable against teammates with big egos and sharp tongues. Resourcefulness, ingenuity, leadership and finesse will be just as important on their 4,000 mile adventure as the tastiness of their delectable creations.
Chef Race: U.K. vs.. U.S. is produced by Fresh One Productions for BBC AMERICA. Jamie Oliver (Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution), Amy Chacon (THE AMAZING RACE), Stef Wagstaffe (Undercover Boss), Roy Ackerman (Reagan, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution), SebastIan Grant (Lilly Allen and Friends) and Jo Ralling (Jamie's American Road Trip) serve as executive producers for Fresh One Productions.
EPISODE 1 - VEGAS OR BUST
Two mighty nations, Team U.K. and Team U.S. face off in the ultimate on-the-road culinary challenge as the two teams of eight chefs cook their way across the country from Los Angeles to New York City. First stop is Las Vegas via the mining town of Calico. In this episode, the teams are given no money, no credit cards and no ingredients. With only their chef knifes, they must barter and trade their services to advance them over land to Las Vegas. Team U.K. goes to its roots, hosting a High Tea in Los Angeles, but will they self-destruct before a single person shows up? Meanwhile, Team U.S.'s bold attempt to prepare a sushi dinner for a family in the bathroom of a Las Vegas hotel may yield high dividends. The team that makes the most money will be the winning team, and the losers must sacrifice three chefs to a cook-off where one losing chef will be sent home. Episode 1 premieres Tuesday, October 2, 9:00pm ET. BBC AMERICA will present a preview on Saturday, September 29, 10:00pm ET.
EPISODE 2 - BISON BATTLE
Team U.K. and Team U.S. are each given an incredible cooking ingredient in New Mexico: an entire bison - 400 pounds worth. Their goal is to sell all of the meat at the highest price they can muster before they reach the finish line in Santa Fe. The Brits have wild animal chefs on board who quickly rise to the occasion. But can the Americans overcome dissension within the ranks and agree upon a leader? Cody rises to the challenge, but not everyone likes him. The finish line is explosive. Episode 2 premieres Tuesday, October 2, 10:00pm ET.
EPISODE 3 - KILL IT, COOK IT, EAT IT
10,000 acres of Colorado wilderness becomes the kitchen for the chefs. Team U.K. and Team U.S. must hunt, fish and forage to make the meal of a lifetime for locals. The Brits are led by forager Mark who feels right at home, but some Brits have no clue about living off the land. Meanwhile, former Marine sharp shooter Ronaldo hunts prairie dogs and whips up a recipe for a prairie dog stew. It's anyone's guess which team will satisfy the locals' cravings. Episode 3 premieres Tuesday, October 9, 10:00pm ET.
EPISODE 4 - FOREIGN EXCHANGE
The teams travel to the great western frontier town of Dodge City, Kansas. Tables are literally turned as the teams are challenged to each cook six classic dishes from each other's country. Can Team U.S. figure out what on earth "Spotted Dick" is? And, British chef Carlo, who has lived in the States for years, becomes the secret weapon for Team U.K. with his Louisiana gumbo. Episode 4 premieres Tuesday, October 16, 10:00pm ET.
Details on all remaining episodes will be released on a later date.
Richard Corrigan - Mentor
Richard Corrigan is the chef owner of Corrigan Restaurants which operates Bentley's and Corrigan's Mayfair in London. Richard spent four years cooking in the Netherlands before progressing to become head chef of Mulligan's in Mayfair, London. His first Michelin star was awarded when he was head chef at Stephen Bull's in 1994. He continued with his own venture, Lindsay House in Soho, and won a Michelin star in 1997. Richard bought the world famous oyster and seafood restaurant Bentley's in 2005.
Corrigan's Mayfair rose to ecstatic acclaim in 2009. The restaurant was named London Restaurant of the Year 2008/2009 by the Evening Standard, awarded AA London Restaurant of the Year, and gained the Highest New Entry in the National Restaurant Awards at No5 and 3 AA Rosettes within the first three months.
In recent years Richard has prepared lunch at 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair, the King & Queen of Jordan, been crowned winner of the BBC's Great British Menu three times and appeared on BBC 2's MasterChef.. Richard also won the recent Great British Waste Menu special, airing to more than seven million on BBC 1. Richard is the author of "The Clatter of Forks and Spoons," a personal history of growing up in Ireland and recipes inspired by his rural upbringing.
Claire Robinson - Host
Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. will see host, Claire Robinson, combine her two passions in life - food and television. Claire grew up in a household where cooking held a prominent place. Influenced by her French-speaking grandmother, and her well travelled mother, Claire says her love of food is a joy that has been passed through many generations.
Born in Jacksonville, Fla. Claire and her family settled in Memphis, Tennessee where Claire graduated from The University of Memphis in 1999 with a B.A. in Communications. In 2002, Claire moved to New York to pursue her true ambition in cooking. She attended The French Culinary Institute and graduated in 2005. Claire then spent time as a private chef as well as a culinary producer on various television series including Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello and Everyday Baking for Everyday Food. But her talents in front of the camera quickly became apparent.
Her television experience includes 5 Ingredient Fix - where Claire proves delicious dishes only need five ingredients or fewer to make cooking easier, faster and irresistible. As well as Food Network Challenge, a showcase of the biggest and best food battles around the world. She also writes extensively for food magazines and has her own cookery book entitled '5 Ingredient Fix' to accompany the series.
Caroline Mi Li Artiss (32) - London
Caroline Mi Li Artiss is one of the first TV chef's to be discovered on YouTube in the U.K. Her passion for food and making cooking easy, enjoyable and accessible has quickly led to Caroline accumulating a large online following. Her career wasn't reaching the heights she hoped for, so she decided to produce her own cooking show from her kitchen, paying friends with food in exchange for equipment and technical knowledge. Mom to an 11 year old, Caroline has been cooking for 16 years and trained to become a chef at Thames Valley University in London. Her passion for adventure and cooking is what inspired her to go for Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S.
Samantha Dorling (45) - Essex
Samantha has cooked on the ocean liner QE2, and at some of the most prestigious London establishments like the Garrick Club and Grosvenor House. She has also cooked for many famous people including professional soccer players, the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. Since 2000, she's been running her own business, the Crow's Nest, in Felixstowe, Suffolk, England - some might say a considerable step down from the prestigious kitchens of her past... as it's a burger van. Sam has always harbored a desire to get back to "proper cooking" and sees this as her perfect opportunity. After raising two sons with her husband Michael, she's ready for a new adventure.
Ed Hoar (31) - London
With no formal training, Ed is an incredibly experienced and passionate cook. He first started cooking professionally when he was 15 and worked at the local pub. Since then he's worked for a friend's catering company for six years, as well as being an assistant manager of an up-market delicatessen in trendy Clapham district in London. Not just a whiz in the kitchen, Ed is a talented pianist and a keen painter, putting his History of Art degree to use in his spare time. Although mild-mannered and creative, Ed admits that he can be fiery - particularly when fellow chefs are not meeting his standards. The idea of combining travel across America with his love for cooking is what inspired him to be part of the show.
Mark Lloyd (36) - Oxfordshire
Mark grew up on the border of Northumberland, England and Scotland. With no formal training, he got his first big culinary break at the age of 21 when he covered for a sick chef at his friend's restaurant in Spain. He ended up staying there for nearly four years. After Spain, he worked as a Sous Chef at the Cow and Plough in Leicester, England, where he started a trading scheme with the locals; swapping the pub's home brewed beer for game, food from allotments, excess meat from farms and anything else to help produce a great menu. Mark currently lives in Oxfordshire, England with his partner, but staying true to his hunting roots, Mark now runs wild foraging courses. Chef, forager and wild food expert, Mark Lloyd has more than 20 years experience of cooking with wild, foraged, seasonal British produce and will put this skill to good use for the competition.