Chef Academy, Season 1Closed Captioning
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In the season premiere, nine eclectic students are chosen to be the guinea pigs in Chef Novelli's culinary education experiment, handpicked by himself and Mr. Kitchen after performing the simple culinary task of cooking an egg. The students represent an array of backgrounds from newly trained chefs to anxious homemakers hoping to learn some new culinary tricks. Students are assessed weekly via a variety of tests from preparing bread to gutting a fish. But Chef Novelli forewarns the students — failing three tests is grounds for dismissal from his Academy. Throughout the series, Chef Novelli presents unique and delectable dishes that only someone of his caliber could create with directives laden with a heavy French accent. The awe-struck students, many of whom are culinary novices, are wowed by the creations they see too quickly taking shape with such ease in front of their eyes. While the dishes inspire the students, tensions arise when they are asked to recreate the dishes with their very fate at the Academy on the line.
|1||Closed CaptioningVideoComing to America||French born and currently residing in London, Chef Novelli - along with his executive chef, Steven Kitchen, and pregnant fiancée, Michelle - comes to Los Angeles to establish his first American based culinary academy, which is renowned across Europe. The first order of business is for Chef Novelli and Mr. Kitchen to interview and screen potential students. As part of the admissions process, the hopeful students are asked to perform a simple, yet surprisingly nerve-racking task: cook an egg, any way they want. Ultimately, nine students are chosen to participate in Chef Novelli's prestigious American culinary venture, and on the first day of class they are asked to create what they would consider their "signature dish." While this is only the first practice test for the students, Chef Novelli reminds everyone that failing three of the tests is grounds for automatic dismissal from his academy.||44:36||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|2||Closed CaptioningVideoBitter Sweet||As an introduction into the culinary world, each of Chef Novelli's students is presented with the honor of their very own embroidered chef jacket. Chef Novelli then gets down to business, teaching his students their first lesson on desserts. For their test, the students must recreate one of the desserts demonstrated by Chef Novelli. If the student passes, they are granted permission to attend the open house party at the academy. If they fail, they are asked to leave and only have two more chances to hold their spot at the esteemed Novelli Academy. Chef Novelli also takes his students to a local farmer's market to inspire them on the fine art of purchasing fresh produce. After a few days together in the kitchen, the students begin to get to know one another and obvious friendships are formed. At the same time, one student's hidden past is revealed and it shocks his fellow classmates.||44:35||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|3||Closed CaptioningVideoBasic Training||With lessons in full swing, Chef Novelli teaches his students how to make the perfect risotto accompanied by his grandmother's famous tomato sauce. Fashionista Suzanne decides to call in a tailor to alter her chef's coat. Not surprisingly, Chef Novelli is irritated that she is disrupting his lesson and he asks her to leave his school for the rest of the day. For their end of week test, the students are asked to recreate the Chef's risotto and tomato sauce dish under strict time constraints. While three greatly exceed expectations and are invited to join Chef Novelli, Steve, and Michelle at a Malibu red carpet party, the other students are left waiting to hear the results of their test until after the weekend.||44:34||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|4||Closed CaptioningVideoA Bun In the Oven||This week, Chef Novelli's lesson for his culinary students is on the ancient craft of bread baking. After the lesson, the students are given time to practice their newly acquired baking skills. With the imminent arrival of Chef Novelli's new baby, Suzanne decides to throw his fiancée, Michelle, a baby shower at her home in Mission Viejo. She ropes her fellow students into helping with the shower, and together they create food for the party. After the baby shower, it is yet again test time for Chef Novelli's students, who are asked to bake bread as they were taught a few days earlier. After completing their cooking test, one student is named "leader of the class."||44:34||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|5||Closed CaptioningVideoNaked Lunch||Tensions arise as one student begins to get on everyone's nerves. Well into their studies at the Novelli Academy, tight alliances are forming between the students. Further testing these relationships, one of the students is awarded a dinner cooked by Chef Novelli and is granted permission to invite two other students to join. Groveling at such a treasured opportunity, the students begin to battle for the winners attention. In their weekly test, the students are asked to recreate three vegetarian dishes. The students are divided into three teams of three, and must pass or fail as a team. Due to a low passing rate, Chef Novelli gives the two failing teams a chance to redeem themselves by competing to create a marzipan flower.||44:32||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|6||Closed CaptioningVideoSquid Pro Quo||Chef Novelli arranges for the students to take a field trip to Long Beach to go out on a fishing boat and learn how to catch fresh fish. Unbeknownst to Novelli, two of the students have issues with boats, and one refuses to go on the trip in exchange for cleaning and performing undesirable tasks back at the Academy. The remaining students enjoy a day in the sun and are treated to a lesson in fresh caught seafood preparation and cooking aboard the boat. After returning to the Academy, the students are given a lesson in other seafood dishes such as scallops and squid. However, more drama is on the horizon when one of the students discovers she is allergic to squid and has to have a doctor called into to combat the allergic reaction. The students are then split into three groups, each group preparing the same dish (fish casserole, scallops, or squid) and the best dish of the group is named Chef Du Jour. Some of the students are walking a fine line with at least two fails already under their belt.||44:34||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|7||Closed CaptioningVideoMeat Your Maker||It's Meat Week at the Novelli Academy! Students are taught to prepare chicken, lamb, and pork all in eclectic ways. While this may be the most anticipated lesson to date, it also ends up being the most challenging for many of the students. With only two weeks to go until graduation, Chef Novelli decides to put the students to their hardest test to date. Not only are the students asked to make one of the three meat dishes, they are challenged to make one of the fifteen dishes learned earlier in the class. The problem? Two dishes means two opportunities to pass or fail. Some narrowly escaped elimination last week, but now others are on the line to be expelled from the Novelli Academy.||44:32||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|8||Closed CaptioningVideoToo Many Cooks||The mood at the Novelli Academy is somber in the aftermath of one student leaving after failing three tests. But there is no time to dwell because Chef Novelli has announced that as their final, the students will collectively prepare a gala dinner for local esteemed chefs and other VIPs. Chef Novelli chooses one of his students to be the head chef for the gala dinner. In an attempt to complete some of the more arduous tasks prior to the dinner, the students gather the night before the gala for prep work. However, two students have a problem with their assigned dish thus the entire class falls behind. With graduation at stake, tensions arise between two students in particular, and everyone is worried about the final outcome of the dinner, especially the head chef. The result of this meal will determine who graduates, and who does not.||44:34||$1.99||View in iTunes|
|9||Closed CaptioningVideoThe Last Supper||The gala dinner has finally arrived and the students are scrambling to finish their dishes. In a classic Chef Novelli move, he announces that he will be standing at the end of the assembly with a trash bin tasting the food prior to it leaving the kitchen. Which dishes will measure up, and which will end up in the trash? The pressure is intense as the students present their dish to their esteemed guests, and wonder if Chef Novelli will allow them to finally graduate.||44:35||$1.99||View in iTunes|
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I saw Episode 1 on Bravo, and decided to purchase a season pass. This is not Top Chef because Novelli while strict, explains technique and instructs the cheftestants. I think that's good because just being told your dish is unacceptable without explanation is humiliating. Novelli is a strict taskmaster but these cheftants will aim high. I enjoy his explanations of techique: he made a caramel "cage" which is a masterpiece of sugar work. He made it look less complicated. I have good expectations for this season because he hss his silly moments as well. But they are there to learn and you know it. I hope he succeeds and wish him well. This show has great potential and Novelli, who's new to this format, still conveys his extensive knowledge - he is a walking culinary encyclopedia,
The show is fun although it has a couple of tasteless moments. I've tried his tomato sauce recipe and learned that star anise is not sweet at all - the vanilla counters it nicely. My only complaint, if that's what you'd call it, is that the cheftestant mix is a little odd: the home cook who wants to learn more, the ex-porn star, the Navy sub cook, the professional chef, the "citizen of the world" who tries too hard to be a man of the world, the cooking school grad who grates on peoples' nerves, the bride-to-be who is wickedly funny at times, the caterer who has no formal training (and is overly dramatic) and the obligatory "ditzy" blonde. Otherwise, I just love the episodes. Novelli is self-taught yet has racked up an impressive set of awards and laurels. I like that we see the compilation of an entire week in the episode - they have a lot of time to prep and practice before their weekly test. I love how he keeps them off balance when he judges their food, too.
Interesting note: Episode 9 of MTV's "My Super Sweet Sixteen" features Suzanne's daughter - with Suzanne walking away with the whole episode!
I completed this recipe and the vanilla bean and star anise provided a subtle layer of flavor. Need to be careful not to add too much sugar.
There is a free recipe for this sauce but I paid more attention to the demonstration.