The Rule You Didn't Know Kitchen Crash Had

Kitchen Crash, a new show produced by the Food Network, has all the potential for random happenstance that a viewer would desire from a food competition show. The premise, as Renew Cancel TV reported in December, is that three chefs will be dropped in a neighborhood with 10 minutes to convince a local homeowner to hand over their ingredients – but only what can fit in a single bin – for a few cooking challenges. No shared pantry of basic ingredients. No chance to restock. What you get is what you get.

The winner receives $10,000 with the understanding that they will split it somehow with the family whose kitchen they raided. Such a premise prompted one worried watcher to take to Twitter to ask after the families who had suffered at the hands of the eventual losers. Jeff Mauro, the host of the show, saw the concerned tweet and responded (via Twitter). Mauro said that families are fully compensated for any items taken for the show whether they are used or not, adding, "We are very respectful of this."

The show relies on the uncertainty

However needed it was, Jeff Mauro's clarification is best forgotten, as the show's pleasure comes from the general uncertainty about what will happen. That sense of uncertainty is even advertised by the Food Network: "Just as they say you can't judge a book by its cover, there's no telling which houses will be stocked with premium goods, which are lacking in ingredient variety and which simply don't want to play the game with the chefs. (Don't be surprised if you see a few slammed doors!)" 

The game at play is about how a trained chef will respond to unpredictable ingredients in unpredictable situations, so having the possibility that the homeowner, who must have had a tip-off from the various camera crews around, would in fact turn them down is essential for the curated chaos. Such an image was presented by Jeff Mauro to FanSided as he explained the appeal of the new show: "[The chefs] have to communicate. Cleary, from the doorway to the family, to gather everything they think they need... It really is a difficult but fun and exhilarating game to play and most definitely watch!"

It's good that the Food Network will pay for the food taken, but in the heat of the moment, it's more enjoyable to see the hustle.