Why Most Cooking Shows Have A Secret Kitchen

If you're anything like us, you've spent hours of your life watching the Food Network, whether you're sweating along with "Chopped" contestants as they battle their baskets or taking notes during "The Pioneer Woman." During a lot of these shows, the people cooking make everything look incredibly easy, from the prep to the cleanup. The dishes always turn out beautifully, and they seem to come together in a super short amount of time. 

This, many Food Network stars have shared, is due to the secret kitchen behind the stage kitchen in cooking shows. While this revelation isn't exactly surprising (it certainly makes us feel better about the perfect execution of their dishes compared to our sweaty efforts), it is interesting to learn more about how these secret kitchens function and what sort of work goes into creating dishes on a cooking show. Turns out, a lot more people are involved than we thought.

They cook and prep all the food beforehand

Executive chef of the Food Network Kitchen, Rob Bleifer, revealed some trade secrets to Trib Live. Rather than having the hosts actually prepare and cook things while filming, there are "five separate kitchen areas that have been designed to function just like a typical home. These kitchens are where all the ingredients are actually prepared for the cooking show hosts to use on-air" (via Cheatsheet). Michelle Betrock, the publicist for the Food Network, added that "between 15 and 20 people are involved just for the culinary elements of a basic cooking show." 

In addition to the kitchen in the back, there is also backup food that are used at various stages of the dishes' completion. This helps take the stress of actually cooking off the host, as they know the end result is already cooked and will turn out beautifully for the show. So, next time you're watching the Food Network and see someone whip out a perfect peach cobbler in less than 15 minutes, remember that there's an entire kitchen and team working behind the scenes to make the whole show run smoothly.