Hit competition series returns Wednesday, Jan. 5
Anne Burrell, star of Food Network’s primetime franchise “Worst Cooks in America,” has signed an exclusive, multiyear deal inclusive of at least two more cycles of the popular series she has headlined since it began. The announcement was made by Courtney White, president of Food Network and streaming food content for Discovery Inc.
The next “Worst Cooks in America” cycle is set to premiere early next year. In the upcoming season, Burrell is joined for the first time by chef Cliff Crooks to lead the newest batch of 12 culinary nightmares though a rigorous boot camp in their quest to become kitchen masters. While some recruits are total strangers, this time there are married couples, long-lost cousins and a pair of drag artist best friends among those battling to improve their horrific cooking skills. With the red team led by Burrell and blue by Crooks, this season begins in a twilight zone dimension of overcooked food, bad knife cuts and atrocious flavors – but the journey to kitchen success kicks off as soon as the recruits walk through the doors.
The challenges are bigger and bolder than ever, from an outrageous culinary warriors game to a beach-themed cooking relay to a dessert wonderland scavenger hunt. In the end, only the most improved recruit is awarded a $25,000 grand prize and bragging rights for their mentor.
In 2021, “Worst Cooks” reached more than 7 million P2+ viewers, and the series is currently ranked among Food Network’s top five programs of the year. “Worst Cooks in America” premieres Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 (9 p.m. ET/PT), with a super-sized 90-minute episode on Food Network and streaming on discovery+. In addition, discovery+ subscribers can access the premiere episode a week earlier, on Dec. 29.
“Anne has been an integral part of the success of ‘Worst Cooks’ from the very beginning. She is an exceptional talent – in the kitchen and onscreen – and we are thrilled to continue working together,” White said. “And we knew pairing Anne with newcomer Cliff Crooks would make for one of the freshest and most fun seasons yet.”
Burrell said, “I am super-excited to announce my multiyear deal with Food Network, which has been my extended family for almost two decades. I have the greatest time hosting ‘Worst Cooks in America,’ and look forward to teaching our contestants and viewers on this show, as well as other series, how to cook like rock stars. There is so much incredible content in the works – stay tuned!”
This year’s recruits are married couple Eddie and Kara Anderson (Leitchfield, Kentucky); married couple Bianca Bencosme and Hector Peralta (York, Pennsylvania); drag artists and best friends Marti Cummings and Peachez Iman-Cummings (New York City); best friends Hilda Ike (Kissimmee, Florida) and Deneise White (Poinciana, Florida); Al Kingswriter (Tony, Wisconsin); Melody Moore (Atlanta); and long-lost cousins Angie Padilla (San Jose, California) and Cheyenne Loomis (London, Kentucky).
In the premiere episode, Burrell and Crooks have their work cut out for them as they welcome the kitchen chaos, food fumbles and culinary confusion of the 12 new boot camp recruits. While some of the competitors know each other, they are all strangers to the culinary arts.
To start the competition, the recruits must cook a loved one’s favorite dish to show their skills, or lack thereof, in the kitchen. For the main dish challenge, they must replicate Burrell’s and Crook’s takes on a surf and turf dinner – and the mentors are shocked by the disastrous results, but still must pick their teams.
Upcoming episodes include a gladiator-style arena challenge, Mad Hatter-inspired tea party and the return of fan-favorite game “Remote Control Chef.” In the finale on Wednesday, Feb. 23, the two most improved recruits put their culinary skills to the test and serve a three-course restaurant-quality meal to a panel of food experts. After a blind taste test, judges Matt Abdoo, Kwame Onwuachi and Millie Peartree decide who wins $25,000 and bragging rights for their team leader.
Fans can get an exclusive extended look at Burrell’s and Crooks’ boot camp demos at FoodNetwork.com/WorstCooks. Follow along with the competition on social media and watch along as the mentors react to some of the craziest moments in “Worst Cooks” history using the hashtag #WorstCooks.