How Does the Food Network Challenge Work

The Food Network Challenge is both entertaining and educational. While some fans edge closer to their television sets as they root for their favorite chefs, others stand by with notebook in hand, hoping that some new and obscure method of creating frosting or sauce will be revealed. Inevitably, they get their wish. Chefs who are standing in the Food Network kitchens do not have the luxury of keeping their secrets safe from prying eyes. Millions of viewers watch Food Network shows to improve their cooking skills.

Top Chefs on Display
The chefs who are invited to be part of Food Network shows are not run-of-the-mill cooks. Each chef has already been tested, proving he or she is a worthy opponent. Most have their own restaurants or are head chefs at well-known restaurants, with formal training in the culinary arts.

Emceed by Keegan Gerhard and judged by a panel of chefs who all excel in the episode's cooking category, the show has plenty of room for excitement, both from judge reaction to each dish as well as competitor reaction to each judge's comments. Each episode includes a time limit and specific rules. For instance, a cake must be a certain height, follow a certain theme and the chef must be able to move the intact cake from his kitchen area to the judging table without incident. Each competition in the Food Network Challenge is slightly different, with cake decorating topping the list.

The winner of the Food Network Challenge receives a check for $10,000 and a gold medal, but that's not the only thing at stake. If a chef can sway the judges into his corner by creating the most incredible dishes he has ever made, thereby winning the challenge enough times, he may garner a chance to host his own Food Network show.

Beyond the thrill of competition lies the thrill of discovery. As the chefs work, viewers get a first-hand look at how food is prepared in some of America's finest restaurants. This gives the home audience new ideas for preparing dishes, as well as innovative techniques for cooking.

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