Hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli, new series premieres Tuesday, Aug. 13
New Food Network series “Supermarket Stakeout,” premiering Tuesday, Aug. 13 (10 p.m. ET/PT), is a competition where blind luck, negotiation and cooking skills are the key ingredients to success.
Hosted by Iron Chef and “Chopped” judge Alex Guarnaschelli, each episode kicks off with a culinary ambush outside a local supermarket, where four competing chefs approach unsuspecting shoppers leaving the store to negotiate the bags right out of their hands – without knowing what's inside. Over three rounds of themed culinary challenges – and with a budget of only $500 – the chefs are limited to using the items they can wrangle out of the customer's carts using their charm, persuasiveness and a little cash.
A rotating panel of judges determines which challengers had the most successful dishes using the acquired ingredients, with the last chef standing in each episode walking away with enough cash for a year's worth of groceries.
" ‘Supermarket Stakeout’ is a tough competition where the chefs have to think fast and cook blind out of bags and carts – even if they get an apple, loaf of bread and package of diapers, a cohesive, themed dish must be prepared for the judges under a ticking clock," said Courtney White, Food Network president. "The question is not just will they get their plates done, but how?"
Set in pop-up kitchens outside local supermarkets, each episode begins with Guarnaschelli giving the four chef contestants $500 apiece – their whole budget to buy ingredients for the three-round cooking competition. In round one, the chefs can purchase ingredients only by blindly ambushing customers outside the store and negotiating for their grocery bags without knowing the contents. In round two, competitors can only purchase groceries from a single shopper, but may look through the bags before negotiating the price. In the final round, competitors may purchase five ingredients total, but can approach as many shoppers as it takes to get what they need. After each themed cooking round, the least successful chef is eliminated, leaving two competitors going head-to-head in the final round, vying for a cash prize.
Online, learn more about Alex and meet the contestants. Follow #SupermarketStakeout on Food Network's social channels for the best moments from each week and get Alex's recipe tips and tricks.