November 29, 2023

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Survivalism in Cooking

Survivalism in Cooking

Right now, cooking competition shows feel like they’re in the midst of an arms race of absurdity. Each new show attempts to make the process of cooking even more challenging in its own unique way, like the switcheroo kitchens in Gordon Ramsay’s Next Level Chef, or the trompe l’oeil trickery of Is It Cake? But forthcoming series Chefs vs. Wild ups the ante significantly, challenging its contestants to hunt, fish, forage, and cook, all in the middle of nowhere.

In each episode of Chefs vs. Wild, produced by Leftfield Pictures and David Chang in conjunction with Vox Media Studios, two contestants will be helicoptered into remote locations where they’ll be tasked with sourcing enough wild ingredients to create a fine dining meal. (Vox Media Studios is part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.) The chefs are each paired up with a survivalist and outdoor expert, who will ostensibly be on hand to keep the chefs from killing themselves by accidentally eating poisonous mushrooms or falling into a ravine as they seek out oysters and seaweed and other edibles.

Once they’ve sourced all their ingredients, the chefs will then head to a “wilderness kitchen,” where they’ll be tasked with preparing a meal for host Kiran Jethwa, a chef and adventurer in his own right, and wild foods expert Valerie Segrest. The judges then pick a winner, who takes home bragging rights and presumably all of their extremities after braving the elements.