What It's Really Like To Be On Surprise Chef, According To One Participant

In 2001, Australia's couch-bound culinary enthusiasts got a glimpse at the future of food television with the premiere of a new show titled "Surprise Chef" on Channel 7. According to Perth Now, the TV program was hosted by a celebrity chef named Aaron "Aristos" Papandroulakis, who later opened a seafood restaurant in Bunbury, Western Australia. Per IMDb, the show featured 30-minute episodes and followed a simple formula: Papandroulakis would approach a stranger at the supermarket and offer to cook them dinner at home with the ingredients in their shopping carts.

Unfortunately, a disgruntled poster on Reddit who claimed to be a part of the show wrote that viewers didn't actually get to see many authentic experiences on "Surprise Chef." Apparently, there were zero surprises on the show and things were meticulously planned before filming took place to ensure that there were no hiccups. Everything was "pre-arranged" and "there was no meeting by chance."

'Surprise Chef' was not a memorable experience

The Redditor mentioned that when they were featured on "Surprise Chef," they were working as a volunteer at a local aquarium. "The story in this episode was the chef met my boss at the supermarket, then cooked all the aquarium volunteers a nice surprise dinner," they explained, before adding that everyone knew what to expect. They simply pretended to be taken aback when the big reveal took place in the shark tank and "did 7 takes of fake surprise."

Things got worse: This Reddit user alleged that Aaron Papandroulakis didn't actually make a single dish during the filming process and just did "a few takes and an actual chef cooked all the food while the [celebrity chef] stood outside chain smoking." The results weren't even that good and the food was "average" at best and included some chicken parmesan and profiteroles. They finished their insightful anecdote with, "I think I drew the short straw of things you get in a reality show, a shi*** meal. Others get like cars or renovation makeovers."