Have you ever watched a reality TV show and wondered what it takes to get through it, and how you can perform under pressure?
Fox TV has brought back a smashing new show that blends baking talent with using your head to solve a puzzle, and working with a teammate.
According to popculture.com, “Crime Scene Kitchen finished its first season as one of Fox’s highest-rated shows last summer, which made its renewal little surprise.” And I interviewed a season two contestant to find out more.
Hosted by comedian Joel McHale, “Crime Scene Kitchen is a culinary guessing game where bakers – whether self-taught or classically trained – are tasked with deciphering what kind of dessert was made in the kitchen, while all that’s left are crumbs, flour trails and some clues. They must then recreate the recipe for celebrity judges, Chef Curtis Stone and cake artist Yolanda Jump, who will determine how well their sweet treat matches the missing dessert—and how tasty it tastes!” according to Fox Press contact Alison Dulerio.
I became interested in the show because LaGrange College graduate DJ Thomas was one of the classically trained bakers competing. He sang in the choir with my wife and performed on stage. Fox has given me permission to interview him for this column.
So how did you become a contestant on the show? DJ replied, “I used to live in Italy.” “My boyfriend Ricky texted me and told me I had to come back because we were doing a show together. I was so confused, I had no idea what he was talking about. I called him that night after work, and he told me he wanted to do the show together. Without a second thought, I told him I’m in!”
What baking or cooking tips have you chosen for your viewers and readers? “In baking, there are rules, but those rules aren’t static,” Thomas noted. “There are always ways to change a product to make it work for you. However, I think it’s best to learn to walk before you run, at least when baking.”
I couldn’t resist asking: What did you pick up at Lagrange College and Church that helped you on your journey to get here? “Perseverance is the key,” explained the college graduate. “I was fortunate studying music, as I learned that things don’t always turn out exactly the way we want them to, but we still have to be ready to move on to the next big thing.”
I had to know: How do you handle the pressure of competing against others, making something in a short period of time? Email: “I think competition has a very strange place in my life.” “While I don’t consider myself a very competitive person, I think it helps push you to always be a better version of yourself.”
DJ Thomas added, “The Crime Scene Kitchen was a perfect example of this. When you’re competing against others, you always push to do your absolute best. Then, when you add a time limit to that, it puts the adrenaline on a whole new level. It’s totally nerve-wracking.” , but it’s so much fun. It’s very different from baking in a bakery or a restaurant, where you know what’s going on and what you have to do. In a competition show, you don’t have that luxury, and you really have to think on your feet. It’s scary, but I love a good challenge!”
The real payoff came after we got to watch the show as a family. My son usually avoids the kitchen, except for cleaning work. But after a few episodes, he agreed to help make dinner, and helped make first-rate beef and broccoli. Perhaps the Crime Scene Kitchen will convince other young people how important and fun cooking and baking can be.
John A. Torres is Professor of Political Science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. His own views. He can be reached at email@example.com. His Twitter account is JohnTures2.