The Untold Truth Of Supermarket Stakeout

The premise of "Supermarket Stakeout" is simple, but very odd. It is similar to Curtis Stone's old show, "Take Home Chef," in which IMDb notes he would approach clientele of various supermarkets in each episode and see if he could lend his professional chef services to them; he had to use the groceries they picked (and add some of his own) to make a home-cooked meal for themselves and any guests they chose to host. 

However, in "Supermarket Stakeout," as Dan's Paper notes, the chefs are not cooking for the shoppers; instead, they have to find a shopper willing to sell their bag of groceries (or individual grocery items) to be used as the sole ingredients in a three-round cooking competition. The winner gets a hefty chunk of change and pretty big bragging rights.

 "Supermarket Stakeout" is hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and has garnered enough viewers to span several seasons, but the true fun is in the details that aren't as well known.

Is Supermarket Stakeout staged?

For regular viewers of "Supermarket Stakeout," it may come as no surprise that people suspect that the show is completely planned out. Despite the idea that the run-ins with customers are chance encounters, Reddit users say otherwise. One person claims their neighbor's son worked at the show and admitted to them that it's not all as it seems. 

According to the poster, not only are the customers at the store actually actors who are made up and paid to interact with competitors, they don't even pick the items in their baskets! The "production staff puts together each cart of items, then each round, they have each customer line up with their corresponding cart." Another user in the same thread argues that shoppers would also already know "Supermarket Stakeout" is filming there, and would be able to opt out of being on camera due to the advanced notice that production gave them.

Supermarket Stakeout films in this region

The production team for "Supermarket Stakeout" must be stoked because they get the travel quite a bit. The Cinemaholic breaks it down, noting they set up their pop-up kitchens in various supermarket parking lots. They filmed in a variety of locations in California during Season 1 of "Supermarket Stakeout," and in Season 2, they filmed in various supermarkets and states including Arizona and Nevada. 

And if you're noticing a theme, you're not wrong; there is a "common thread" that Distractify notes about these locations, namely that "they're all on the west coast." That makes sense, as that limits the movement of all the cooking equipment, utensils, dishes, and more each time they have to move from place to place. Imagine finding a way to carry all that on an airplane!

Guarnaschelli even shares many photos of these locations on Instagram, making sure to show love to the supermarkets being used for filming, while also creating buzz about the newest episodes of "Supermarket Stakeout."

Contestants on Supermarket Stakeout get to keep the groceries

In response to an inquiry from a fan asking whether a losing chef got to keep his food, Guarnaschelli posted on Twitter that contestants do get to keep the groceries when they compete on "Supermarket Stakeout." At least there is some slight solace for the losing competitors in that they'll likely get to keep whatever they don't use.

And according to a contributor to a Reddit thread that purports to expose the alleged fake nature of "Supermarket Stakeout," production goes through pains to make sure the food that needs to be cooked fresh is purchased that way. They write that "you never see them get frozen chicken breasts in a chicken 'round,' it's always fresh and ready to use. Production adds stuff like that to try to make it seem real." But the good part about that is that whatever protein the competitors bring home will likely be fresh and delicious!

Who are the judges on Supermarket Stakeout?

The judges on "Supermarket Stakeout" are just as important as the contestants as they are the ultimate decision-makers. No stranger to judging herself, Guarnaschelli is otherwise occupied as host in this instance, so the producers have to pick judges carefully — and man, did they do these celeb cooks justice.

Distractify notes that the judges were picked based on their popularity and expertise. These celeb judges include Scott Conant, a chef and restaurateur who's judged on countless other Food Network shows; Giada De Laurentiis, "a household name for foodies everywhere" who cooks up delicious Italian favorites; Bobby Flay, another well-known chef and restaurateur with a Food Network history; and Molly Yeh, a "chef and food blogger" who makes some pretty far out recipes herself. And while there are other chef judges, these are the biggest cooking names to grace the screen as of now — at least according to Distractify.

What does the future hold for Supermarket Stakeout?

It would seem that no one is truly sure whether or not "Supermarket Stakeout" will be getting another season. According to ScreenRant, while it is possible, as of May 2021 there's no final word on whether the show will get the green light for another season. But fear not! Guarnaschelli has given fans some hope, posting on Twitter that at the very least they're "working on it" — which is the best that can be hoped for right now.

So while "Supermarket Stakeout" has some food TV lovers buzzing, fans don't yet have the Season 4 renewal that they are hoping for. However, that does give you more time to catch up on Season 1 through 3 of the popular program. Armed with juicy gossip and fun facts, who cares if "Supermarket Stakeout" may not be as it seems? It still makes for some entertaining television for those lazy nights in.