This Wednesday will mark the premiere of Around the World in 80 Plates is almost upon us, and at a press event for the show in New York City, the talent was abuzz about what's to come.
"It's a really exciting and also nervewracking time, but I'm just stoked about this," chef and Plates co-host Curtis Stone told us at the party while mingling over delicious tapas and cocktails at The Kitchen NYC. "I haven't spoken to someone who hasn't been blown away by the concept or idea of it," he added in between bites of a remarkably yummy chorizo and manchego croquette prepared by contestant Liz Garrett.
Stone's fellow co-host, chef extraordinaire Cat Cora, says that "This feels great and right. It couldn't be better and I'm thrilled to be a part of this."
What's the premise of 80 Plates, you ask? Well, here it is in a nutshell: Two teams of chefs travel around the world competing in competitions (both culinary and other) that are tied to the local culture. There's an initial "course" challenge that's akin to a sprint around a city or location with a to-do list. The winning team there gets an advantage in the next challenge, which generally involves taking over a restaurant and interpreting that country or city's cuisine. Whichever team does the best wins, and whichever doesn't loses (obviously) ... but there's a twist about the elimination process that you'll have to watch to see.
As contestant "Nookie" Steve Postal explained during a Q&A session, the show has "a sprinkling of Amazing Race and an element of Survivor" while still having that foodie quotient that will "give viewers a birds-eye view that you're never going to see as a tourist."
When we asked Cat and Curtis if any of the contestants reminded them of a younger version of themselves, Curtis jokingly scoffed at the notion. "No, because I was getting my ass kicked at a fancy restaurant, I wasn't on a bloody reality show," he laughed. He went on to add that there definitely were similarities between himself and contestant John Vermiglio, who Stone said had a similar "hard-working, keep your head down attitude" he could relate to. Cora said that Liz Garrett (of the aforementioned croquette) and Avery Pursell -- who to her credit also whipped up a mean Szechuan Beef Noodle Salad -- had "some of those qualities I see in myself for sure.
Make sure you've got 80 Plates on your agenda for tomorrow night when it premieres at 10/9c.