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Food Network explores how the mind thinks about food on new series 'Hungry Games'

by jmaloni


Mon, Sep 15th 2014 10:55 am

Series premiere Monday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. on Food Network 

Ever wonder why ice cream is so deliciously addictive, or why it makes our brain freeze when we eat it too quickly? Or why a menu item can sound so irresistibly good that you just have to order it? Chef Richard Blais reveals how you taste, choose and crave favorite foods on his new series "Hungry Games," premiering Monday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network.

In each of the six half-hour episodes, fun hidden-camera experiments and man-on-the-street taste tests will reveal surprising facts about the inner-workings of the brain designed to change the way you think about food.

"The interactive games and taste tests on 'Hungry Games' are fun and challenging, and viewers will be surprised by the revelations about why we choose and experience food the way we do," said Bob Tuschman, general manager and senior vice president of programming for Food Network.

Throughout the season, Blais investigates the psychology and science behind our food decisions and cravings. In one episode, he learns about the role expectations play when tasting new foods, by experimenting with an untraditional salmon-flavored ice cream taste test. Blais also explores the surprising power of language to stimulate cravings for a slice of cheesy pizza. He discovers the secret X-factor of juicy burgers, and the irresistible appeal of greasy, salty bar foods. Plus, he gets to the bottom of why comfort food really is so comforting.

In another episode, Blais exposes the hidden psychological connection between rooting for a winning sports team and the amount of food we consume during the game. He also discovers the reason why mom's homemade side dishes always taste the best.

Fans can visit FoodNetwork.com/HungryGames for fun food trivia, interactive quizzes, photos from the show and more, as well as connect on Twitter with the hashtag #HungryGames.

Richard Blais' passion for food and the service industry led him to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. As an ambitious student, he studied at the French Laundry in Yountville, California, under renowned chef Thomas Keller. After graduating, Blais ventured to New York to work with Chef Daniel Boulud at his famous flagship, Daniel. In 2000, Blais relocated to Atlanta where he established, Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that consults on, designs and operates some of Atlanta's most popular eateries. In 2012, he opened The Spence, a classic eatery that serves accessible, ingredient-driven food. The following year, Blais released his debut cookbook, "Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate," which was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in 2014. Most recently, he opened his first West Coast restaurant, Juniper & Ivy, in San Diego.

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