Jeremy Ford And Justin Sutherland Replicate Favorite Orders On Fast Foodies Season 2 - Exclusive Interview

Guess who's back! Kristen Kish, Justin Sutherland, and Jeremy Ford are here to feed your fast food cravings with Season 2 of "Fast Foodies." This time around, the three superstar chefs will take their cues from celebrities that include Jillian Bell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Reggie Watts, Chris Jericho, and Bobby Moynihan. In case you were hiding at the very bottom of the Mariana Trench for most of 2020, "Fast Foodies" really isn't like any other competition out there. "Making good food, hanging out with friends, hanging out with these celebrities, laughing [and] having a good time," according to 2018 "Iron Chef" winner Sutherland, is kind of the point of the whole shebang. Food, laughs, and chumming it up with celebs more or less exactly what you're in for, in addition to French fries falling inexplicably from the ceiling, tarantulas, and waiters on roller skates — because why not?  

Sutherland, joined by Ford, who won "Top Chef" in 2016, sat down with Mashed to celebrate the premiere of Season 2 and let us in on some of "Fast Foodies" behind the scenes secrets. Wondering who thought it was a good idea for Sutherland and Kish to down nauseating amounts of Vegenaise — or how Sutherland really feels about anything mayonnaise-related? You've come to the right place. 

After hours at Fast Foodies

Jeremy, what's something we might not know about Justin? Justin, what's something we might not know about Jeremy?

Jeremy Ford: Well, Justin definitely doesn't like mayo, but I think everyone already knew that. He's probably one of the worst scooter drivers on the planet. During filming, we rented scooters daily almost and I think he almost died at least three times.

Justin Sutherland: Oh man. That's what I was going to say the same about Jeremy, [that] was literally what I was going to say. We had a lot of times scooting around L.A. while filming and we formed our own scooter gang. It was usually late at night after ... many cocktails, so there were a lot of scooter crashes.

Give us a behind the scenes peak at what was going on after shooting. What were you all doing? What were these late night noodle nights –

Yeah, our shoot days are really long. It's anywhere from 12 to 14 hours. They're [in] early, out late. Although exhausted, we're hungry, a couple drinks deep and [there's] still a lot of adrenaline pumping. So Jeremy and I would always go out and get dinner somewhere and then I'd end up just renting scooters, riding around Skid Row, having a great time.

What are each other's greatest strengths as a chef?

Justin: I think Jeremy has an incredible flavor palette. Some of the ways he thinks about food and reinterprets it with his very broad and unique flavor style. I don't think there's one genre of food that he pulls from. He pulls from everywhere and he has this amazing encyclopedia of flavors in that brain of his.

Jeremy: Everything has to be small and round, you know that.

Justin: And he can make the smallest, roundest food you've ever seen.

Jeremy: I think Justin's  is ... "bold and delicious." I think meat and pork in general, he owns that world, obviously because his restaurant's called The Handsome Hog, so yeah ... I think Season 2, we see the best of Justin's creativity because he let the dogs out of the cage on that one.

We have one question for you both about your lovely co-host, Kristen, who didn't get on the interview. What was her best dish this season?

Justin: Dessert.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Justin: She pulled out all the stops and made this incredible, incredible dessert that I think we all still think about ... You'll see an incredible dessert out of Kris that will pretty mind blowing.

Jeremy: Yeah. And then what was that little like campfire thing that she did? Little thing that was a stove with the s'more?

Justin: Yeah. It was rad.

Jeremy: That was pretty rad.

The hardest and easiest challenges on Fast Foodies revealed

Out of the two seasons, which challenge was the hardest for you both?

Jeremy: Nuggets!

The vegan ones?

Justin: Yes. The first episode of this season, those vegan nuggets were probably the most difficult thing we've had to do just because I don't think any of us really dabble that much into fake meats. Making that hot dog on last season with Joel McHale was pretty difficult just because nobody makes a hot dog that fast. So trying to figure that out was pretty difficult but I never want to make a vegan nugget again!

You guys have copied now Burger King, Wendy's, Shake Shack, Domino's, McDonald's, White Castle, [and] Chipotle to name a few. What fast food chain is the easiest to copycat for you all?

Justin: For me, Chipotle was pretty easy because I think I've said Chipotle was my first cooking job ever. So, I started [out] doing prep for Chipotle. I know their rice recipe to a "T," still. So that was easy for me, just because I had done it before.

Jeremy: The easiest one to replicate? Man! For me, a burger challenge I usually am pretty excited about because — for one, it's one of my favorite things in the world to eat, but two, I feel like every burger place has their little twitch that makes it better or different. I think, if you understand the high caramelization seer, the melting of the cheese ... all that plays into it. I feel like a burger, man — with the certain thickness of the onions and the tomatoes — and once you nail all that stuff, I feel like those are the easier ones to nail.

Can you give us advice for copycatting our favorite McDonald's or Burger King burger at home?

Jeremy: Let's see. I think the McDonald's cheeseburger is probably the easiest one to replicate, but I learned from Justin this season that they don't use real onions, which I never thought of. They actually use dehydrated onions and they hydrate them. When you eat a cheeseburger from there, you don't feel like this big crunch or overload of onions flavor. I learned that from him, so I would say give it a swing, but don't buy real onions.

This Fast Foodies celebrity judge has mad cooking skills in the kitchen

Which celebrity surprised you most with their skills in the kitchen this year?

Justin: Yeah, I think who really got in there, I would say ... Joel McHale, again, he was great last year and we have Joel back. He loves food and he cooks all the time at home and really loved getting in there. He definitely, I think, had the highest skill level of anybody.

Jeremy: Jillian Bell was in there a lot this year. She actually was using my knife to help cut, so she did a great job.

Take us a little bit further behind the scenes. Who's coming up with these disadvantages?

Jeremy: A mean wizard.

Justin: Those are coming straight from production. There's a team of people down there thinking about how to make our lives miserable.

What's something that might surprise us about the show that cameras don't show us?

Justin: One of the best things about that, I think, that plays through — that I don't know if you can see or not — but it's a fully unscripted show. There's no lines. We know the basic premise of the show, but as opposed to other shows where nobody's wearing the little earwigs, [where] somebody's talking in your ear telling you what to say, the camera really doesn't ever stop [on "Fast Foodies"]. Once it starts, the cook is real, it's from beginning to end and they let us get out there and do our thing and interact with our guests and make good television.

Justin and Jeremy reveal their fast food favorites

How has doing the show changed the way you both feel about fast- food?

Jeremy: I love it even more.

Justin: Yeah. I've always enjoyed fast food, and ... I think it's given us a real appreciation for how difficult it is to replicate these flavors every day, in and out, and how much science and study has [gone] into these [dishes]. You go to any McDonald's around the country, and then that burger tastes the same. It's hard enough to get our cooks to replicate our dishes consistently, over and over, for our guests. A lot of work has [gone] into perfecting these [fast food] recipes, I guess.

Can you guys give us your favorite fast-food order and from which restaurant? If you would bring a challenge to your own show, what would it be?

Jeremy: I like Krystal. I would like to do a Krystal, little tiny burgers.

Justin: Did you ask what our favorite fast food order, when we order, is?


Justin: Generally, when there's fast-food restaurants, there's multiple around. There's a McDonald's across the street from a KFC and next to an Arby's. When I do fast food and I'm not in the hurry, I'll generally hit multiple because I like the fast-food smorgasbord. I like to get a beef and cheddar from Arby's. I like to go over to KFC and get mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm obsessed with KFC's gravy, and then a hard shell taco from Taco Bell with some fire sauce and put that all together into one ridiculous meal.

That sounds like a hard meal to stomach in one sitting!

Justin: It's perfect.

Just and Jeremy talk reveal their favorite ingredients

Can you tell us the number one ingredient that you couldn't live without while cooking on the show?

Jeremy: Mayonnaise.

Justin: Yeah, right. We both use a fair amount of kombu for seasoning, but I don't know. Every dish is so different and requires different stuff. There's nothing that really had a whole lot of crossover.

And one ingredient you can't live without in your lives as a chef outside of the show?

Jeremy: God, that's a hard one, but probably garlic.

Justin: Yeah, really. I use a lot of soy sauce in stuff as seasonings instead of just using salt. It brings another level of umami to stuff instead of using just salt.

Jeremy, the work you do outside "Fast Foodies" has a heavy focus on seasonality. We're heading into February right now, what veggies should we be using?

Jeremy: We're still very much into those root vegetables, those winter vegetables, turnips, sweet potatoes. We're still using butternut squash. You still have another, probably a month and a half before we get into those yummy spring items, so enjoy this citrus-filled, root vegetable time of year.

Who's one chef you'd like to cook for you that has not yet?

Jeremy: That's a tough one.

Justin: I haven't had Marcus Samuelsson ... not in a long time, other than when his restaurant in Minneapolis in the nineties, I haven't had Marcus Samuelsson cook for me any time recently. So I'd like to get back with him.

Jeremy Yeah, that's hard. Actually, it's funny. My favorite chef is one of my old mentors and his name is Greg Branden, and I still have never had a [single] better meal than when he's around. I would love to go to New York and just have that whole experience again with him.

What drew Jeremy and Justin to make Fast Foodies

"Fast Foodies" seems like a dramatically different atmosphere than most TV food for competitions on screen. You've both been on "Top Chef."Justin, you've won "Iron Chef." Jeremy, you won "Top Chef." What are these competitions, these more kind of high pressure competitions, doing right for you guys? And what are they maybe need to improve on?

Justin: Well, okay. I think what drew both of us to the shows ... we've all done the high pressure food competitions from "Top Chef" and "Iron Chef" and "Chopped' and all these other shows, and this was still a competition but at a very, very low level. The competition was the least important part of the show. The important part was making good food, hanging out with friends, hanging out with these celebrities, laughing, having a good time. These other shows shouldn't change anything. Most people say "Top Chef" [is] one of the greatest things they'd never do again. They teach you a lot about yourself. It shows you what you're capable of, from a culinary standpoint, from a mental standpoint, dealing with all that pressure and everything. I'm glad I did all of those shows, but I definitely enjoy cooking for fun with my friends and having drinks and laughing a little bit more.

Jeremy: Yeah. I wouldn't take anything away from the other cooking shows, but even when you think that we're on there only having a good time, we still are really cooking on there and it's very competitive. We just are able to drink and laugh about it and there's not a $150,000 prize at the end of it.

Justin: Right.

Jeremy: I think that [dials] down the intensity a bit, but we're all three very, very competitive chefs and when it comes down to the Championship Trophy, we're going for it.

Justin: Oh yeah.

Justin Sutherland's spills on his Fast Foodies 'spin off'

We're interested in an upcoming project that you were promoting on your social media, which went into post-production in December of 2021. Could you give us a sneak peek of what that is?

Justin: The "Taste The Culture" one?


Justin: Yeah, that's going to be under the [WarnerMedia] family. We've got a new show coming out called "Taste The Culture," kind of a spin off of "Fast Foodies" but showing me in a different light. I had the opportunity to do Season 1 in Atlanta and we are traveling around finding untold food stories in the BIPOC world, so everything from Black owned farms to a Filipino immigrant family that started doing pop up restaurants and finally got their own brick and mortar. Yeah, really delving into, again, untold stories of African immigrants, African Americans and it was a really, really fun project to dig in and eat some amazing food and help amplify some untold stories.

"Fast Foodies" Season 2 premieres Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 10 p.m. on truTV.