Category: Cooking Show

Food Network Star – Casting Guide

Food Network Star Reality Show - Logo
  • Contestants: 12 per Season
  • Top Prize: Show on Food Network
  • Selectivity: 4 Star
  • Original Release Date: June 5, 2005
  • Finale Date: —

Food Network Star – Show Overview

This is a multiple episode reality show that appears on Food Networkin which one contestant is eliminated each week. The show is judged by Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis. Each week there are two culinary challenges with the first being a reward style challenge and the second being for elimination. This is not merely a cooking competition as the winner will need a strong camera presence as well. The most recent winner, “The Gourmet Cowboy” Lenny is a great example of this. It is debatable whether Lenny was the best chef of the finals, but there was no one even close to him in terms of likability. His antics struck accord with the American viewing audience, and he won the show by a landslide.

This is one of the most selective shows on the Food Network as simply appearing on the show can boost a contestant’s career. Additionally while a Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen has 4 contestants per episode, this show has a mere 14 per year. Often the competitors on Food Network Star have appeared and even won other reality shows on the the network. While there isn’t a specifically promoted prize payout, being the host of a show will immediately provide credibility and a significant career push.

Food Network Star Casting Tips

There are two methods of applying of this show for season 11. The first method is to attend on of the in person casting calls. We will have complete date, time, and locations below. The second method is to submit a 3 minute video explaining why you should appear on the show. For most people attending an in person casting call is going to be preferable. The open casting calls will often have 30 to 50 people, and you are certain to meet actual staff. If you attend one of the open calls be memorable and entertaining. You will have a chance to convey your energy, and under all circumstances be on all the time. Don’t sit passively in a corner waiting to speak to the staffing team, engage the other applicants. Remember they are not simply looking for the best chef in the room, but rather someone that a subsection of the viewing audience can relate.

If you don’t have the presence to command a room, then you may prefer the online video submission. The beauty of this is that through editing and post production, you can really enhance how you sell yourself and idea for the show. This method can be especially effective if you have a very active online presence with Youtube or other videos. This will provide the casting department a chance to see how you perform under the cameras. We recommend shooting 30 minutes for each minute of video with multiple takes of each piece and then editing it down. One of the best ways to get a feel of what you need in your video is to look at someone who was cast on the show, and we found a stellar example. Below is Nicole Gafney who was a finalist in FNS Season 10. She demonstrates her ability to both cook, connect with the camera, and interesting describe the steps she is taking.

Regardless of how you apply, it is imperative that you have a solid “Point of View” or “POV” as they refer to it on the show. The worst POVs are the ones in which contestants merely try to use their home region. Sarah is a great example of this from Season 10. Her “Point of View” was Texas, and that simply didn’t resonate with the execs. She would have been far better using the “Cooking for Kids” or “Busy Mom Meals” that focused on her ability to create healthy meals that would be enjoyed by people of any age. Remember, you need to be a “expert” in the field so you may want to guest publish on some blogs or create videos on the topic. Even creating a few references online before being cast is going to help with your credibility. One of the most unique concept that I have seen is “The Sandwich King”. His entire culinary goal and show was explained in that simple phrase, and he went on to both win a season and appear on many other shows.

Applicant Restrictions:

There are few restrictions regarding applying for the show; however, the production team is looking for people who have experience and talent building furniture. This is not a competition that will provide any level of training so everyone needs to be a master in woodwork and metal craft before applying. While there are many benefits to appearing on the show, it may be best to hone your skills and be proficient at every aspect of furniture construction.
  • Must be 18+ Years Old
  • Must be able to be in United States.
  • Must not have been on another nationwide cooking show in the past three years.
  • Must be available 6-8 weeks in January 2015 to April 2015 for Filming
  • Applications Must be Submitted before December 8, 2014/li>

Food Network Star Auditions Casting Calls

There are eight casting calls for season 11. Please remember prior to appearing in one of the casting calls to complete the online application so they are prepared to speak to you. As part of completing the form, you will be asked which city you plan to try out.
DateCityAudition VenueCasting Call Times
October 24, 2014Los Angeles, CAMarriott, Burbank Airport 2500 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 9150510am to 1pm
November 1, 2014Denver, COMagnolia Hotel 818 17th St, Denver, CO 8020210am to 1pm
November 1, 2014Philadelphia, PADoubleTree Hotel Philadelphia 237 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19107Noon to 3pm
November 8, 2014Austin, TXHilton Garden Inn Downtown 500 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 7870110am to 1pm
November 9, 2014Atlanta, GAW Atlanta Downtown 45 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 3030810am to 1pm
November 15, 2014Miama, FLEpic Hotel 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami, FL 3313110am to 1pm
November 22, 2014New York, NY Galway Pub 7 E 36th St, New York, NY 1001610am to 1pm

Food Network Star Online Application Process

The first step in applying for the show is to complete the form which will ask for the following information. You will need to complete this regardless of whether you plan to submit a video or attend a casting call.
  • Your Contact Information (Full Name and Phone Number)
  • Brief Description of your Experience/Background
  • Examples of your culinary experience/awards

Finally, if you applied to be on this show, we’d love to hear your story whether or not you were selected to appear on air. Feel free to click the link below to share your story with us and our readers.

Top Chef – Casting Guide

Top Chef Logo
  • Contestants: 16 per Season
  • Top Prize: $200,000
  • Selectivity: 4 Star
Bravo’s Top Chef has been cooking up a great reality show since 2006. Padma Lakshmi currently hosts this elimination style reality show which has seen famous professional chef judges such as Anthony Bourdain, Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson and Wolfgang Puck. For this prestigious cooking show approximately 16 contesants compete in various cook-offs and related challenges, for a large monetary grand prize of $200,000, as well as the esteemed title of Top Chef Winner.

Top Chef Overview & Strategy

Top Chef is now preparing for their upcoming 13th season and looking for skilled, creative chefs that are passionate and knowledgeable about food. This show can launch major careers, so only serious interested chefs should apply. The show has the contestants participating in various weekly challenges, with the panel of famous judges critiquing along the way. The challenges include the Quickfire challenge which has the contestants making dishes in a short period of time, with a certain theme or ingredient that must be used. The Elimination challenge allows more thought and creativity to go into the dish or meal with a much longer time limit, and the judges choose a winner as well as who is in the bottom and must pack their knives and go home.

Traditionally, the winners of Top Chef have gone on to have very successful careers because the show has a great reputation of having some of the best chefs as contestants. Below are some tips to help you be successful on the show:

Some important extras to keep in mind about ‘playing the game’:

  • Research and practice dishes from other cultures. Is there one genre of food that you usually steer clear of? Don’t have a weakness when it comes to what you can and can’t do.

  • Watch past episodes and attempt to do the challenges yourself, keeping in mind time, presentation, and ingredient choice.

  • Have a unique hook. You will have your own signature dishes that you have perfected over the years. Make sure those are very unique to you, and that you have your own twist.

  • Know some classics and really make them standout. Remember, the judges have seen (and are!) some of the best chefs in the world. So having your own take on classics can really give you an advantage.

  • Be aware of the latest trends. Know all the cutting edge techniques used by popular chefs today, to help set you apart from the crowd.

Top Chef Casting Process

To be a contestant on Top Chef you should already be a professional chef or at least have been trained in the field. You will need to convey your cooking abilities and creativity in the application, as well as a video or an in-person audition.

These are the steps to follow to be considered as a contestant on Top Chef :

In the online application you will need to write a ‘self biography’ of up to 70 words. This isn’t much, so on top of making a very exciting video, you will need to articulate yourself well in under 70 words.

Tips to make your personality shine through in your casting video:
  1. Complete the online pre-registration form. This is where you will fill in factual information about yourself, including your schooling. Have a photograph of yourself available to upload.

  2. Fill out the in-depth application form which will need printed out. If you are able to attend an open call audition, you must bring the completed application with you. If you are making a video, you must send in the form with the video link. The application form is lengthy, and will ask for a detailed history of your culinary skills, background, and reference. Be prepared to explain your style of cooking, using relevant terminology and what inspires your creations.

  3. Attend an open call audition OR mail in a video. There are multiple open calls at various times throughout the year. If making a video, you can send it in DVD format or upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and send in the web address.

  4. Bring with you (or send in) 3-5 recent photos of yourself, 10-15 photos of finely plated food that you have created, and your resume.

The open calls around the US are the best way to audition for the show. If you can attend an open call, you do not need to make a video. But if you are unable to travel to one of those locations, making a 5-10 minute video showcasing your cooking talents is a must. If you need to make a video, film it with no fancy editing in a professional kitchen. They will want to see you in action creating a dish. Remember to show off the following:

Big Brother Application Restrictions

  • Must be 21+ Years Old
  • Must be a legal US Resident

When you have the video and photos, you can apply using the Application Form.

Finally, if you applied to be on this show, we’d love to hear your story whether or not you were selected to appear on air. Feel free to click the link below to share your story with us and our readers.

Save My Bakery – Casting Guide

Save My Bakery Logo
  • Contestants: One Bakery per Episode
  • Top Prize: Bakery Rennovation
  • Selectivity: 2 Star
This is a single episode reality show hosted by Kerry Vincent. She is famous baker and sugar artist who currently owns a shop in Oklahoma. She is known for her time on the Food Network Challenge, and many people refer to her as “The Queen of Cakes”. She is a true legend in the industry both for her flavors as well as her decorating ability. The show appeared on the Food Network with the reruns still airing.

The show has a very procedural format in which each episode Kerry shares the background of a struggling bakery. Most of the bakeries have had success in the past; however, they failed to keep their designs current. She also seems to need to teach the managers to be more assertive when dealing with the staff. The production team also seem to be drawn to bakeries that have a family relationship that is creating tension. Once the background is explained to the public, the viewers are taken to the current shop which is shot to make it look dated and cluttered. Unlike Bar Rescue, they are never meant to appear unsanitary. The show simply focuses how the environment isn’t conducive to selling pastries and cookies.

After the viewers are introduced to the bakery, the staff is introduced. There is a bit of time in which every employee receives a tad bit of airtime so they can share their story. This may be something to discuss with your staff before applying for the show in case someone feels strongly about not appearing on the show. Additionally, each staff member will be asked for their ideas on improving the bakery as well as the weekly competition that we’ll discuss in detail below. The interactions between the staff are the key element of the show in which Kerry attempts to get the owner or manager to face the reality of their issues.

In each episode, the current product is tasted and reviewed for the viewers. After that Kerry will provide recommendations on changing recipes and designs with an eye towards the staff’s current limitations. This along with the renovations are the two most valuable items that come from appearing on the show. Most of the time the recipes and presentations are dated so having someone who can provide an honest critique is really going to move the business forward. After the food is reviewed, the show’s production team will create a reason for a bake off between the employees. This is less about getting a winner and more about allowing everyone on the show to have the spotlight a tad while providing a venue for launching some new products.

Directly prior to the launch, there will be a heart to heart talk over tea. This is a nice friendly conversation in which the owners are encouraged and review the lessons they learned while being on the show. After this, the bakery is revealed which usually has a completely new upscale interior with some work done on the exterior. The better design of the bakery is a major reason the shop is able to raise prices as well as the free advertising obtained from appearing on the show. This show also has one of the highest success rates for any of the “Takeover” style shows. As of the writing, we are unaware of any contestant which appeared on this show that later went on to close their establishment.

Save my Bakery Cancelled

Despite the success the contestants achieved after appearing on the show, the ratings simply weren’t there. The show premiered in 2014 and aired 10 episodes. The show is currently in a holding pattern. While we are unaware of an order to create any new episodes, Food Network is airing one episode per week both on the US and in UK. There is a possibility if it can gain the necessary audience that a revised version be launched.

Save my Bakery Updates and Tips

We haven’t received any updates from the contestants who appeared on this show. If either applied for this show or appeared on it, we would love to hear from you to get any tips you have for people who aspire to be on the show.

Save My Bakery Casting

As of Spring 2015, the show is currently not creating season 2. We will update this page when or if the application process is opened in the future.


Food Court Wars – Casting Guide

Food Court Wars Logo
  • Contestants: Two Teams per Episode
  • Top Prize: $100,000
  • Selectivity: 2 Star
This is a single episode reality show hosted by Tyler Florence that is a simpler version of Food Truck Faceoff. The show appeared on the Food Network with the reruns still airing. The basic premise of the show is that two team consisting of two contestants each launch a restaurant in a food court. The competition takes place over three days in which each team creates a menu, markets the launch and finally opens the doors. The team that generates the most revenue from sales wins a fully paid one year lease for their restaurant in the food court which the show claims if valued at $100,000.
The show was modestly popular in its 2013 and 2014 seasons averaging about 1 million views. The final and 20th episode of the show aired on May 29, 2014, and there has been no additional information about future casting.

Food Court Wars Cancellation

There have been some reports that the show was cancelled after its 2014 season. The show completed the 13 episode production run and received respectable number of viewers. We haven’t received official word that the show is cancelled so it’s possible the production schedule was delayed to make this a summer series rather one that is more competitive in the January time frame. Additionally, the show continues to have an active website on Food Network’s page.

Food Court Wars Show Overview & Strategy

The overall competition is based solely on generating the most revenue from operating the restaurant on the final day of the competition. The show offers a prize worth roughly $100,000 from the lease plus the advertising they received from being on the show which is roughly another $30,000+ depending on the market. Overall, this is incredibly high prize value for beating out one other team. For comparison, the winner of Chopped or Cupcake Wars much each defeat 3 other bakers to simply win a $10,000 prize. Food Court Wars prize is more than 10x those payouts. From a production standpoint, the show gets a huge benefit in that the mall gets a bump in traffic from the food court wars creating a very robust symbiotic relationship.

Due to the rules around the show, there are some special strategies that we’d recommend. These are certainly not the optimal methods for running a long-term business, but in the short-term to simply generate total income these will provide and advantage over a team who chooses just to play it straight.

  1. Create Simple & Fast Food – The winner of the show will need to sell more than 700 servings. The quality of the food is less important than being able to serve everyone. If a team is too slow, they risk losing a lot of their customers.

  2. Bring Friends & Family – As the contestants compete in their home town, there’s a real opportunity to pack the line with followers of your existing business.

  3. Sell Multiple Items Per Customer – While it may be difficult to get more than 100 people to visit your shop during the few hour window that it’s open, it is completely within the rules to sell multiple items per customer. This means if you have the people you bring in all order three or four of the exact same dish, you can more than triple the earnings which gaining time making three dishes at once.

  4. Don’t Offer Food Options – This is really a numbers game. You will be far better off creating an item like Fried Chicken or Donuts rather than something that needs to be personalized for each guest.

  5. Use Social Media – Ensure that you announce to all your twitter, instagram and facebook followers that you will be setting up a shop. They can really pack the lines to ensure there is no downtime.

  6. Have a Closing Strategy – The show appears to allows everyone who has placed an order when the time is closed to be served. When you are getting ready for time to be called, you should take these steps. Have all three members of the team begin taking orders and collecting money. The time may run out with a deficit of 100 orders, but they will still count even if the food is delivered later. Also, have a closer who clears out the inventory. Essentially have a close friend of family member place a $300 order for 60 assorted items right before time is called.

Reality Show Casting Process

The show is produced by Gordon Ramsay’s One Potato Two Potato company. Each competitor is required to complete this 15 page application form The form will take most people between 2-3 hours to complete so this is best something done over the course of an afternoon. Additionally, we recommend saving a copy of the file on your own computer so you can easily pull the answers back if there’s a mistake while filling out the whole form. The show has these requirements of the contestants: ies to all applicants:

  • Must be at least 18 years if age at the time of the application submission.

  • Must be a legal U.S. citizen or permanent legal U.S. resident.

  • Must be in excellent physical and mental health.

  • Must be able to exclusively work on the Program for at least 5 days, plus any necessary travel days, with no other commitments.

  • Must be within one-hour’s driving distance to the designated prize location. However, if willing to relocate to accommodate the prize location, must be able to provide a relocation plan.

  • The Team must be able to provide a short business plan.

  • The Team, as a whole, must possess the managerial skills and the culinary skills to run a restaurant.

  • At no time during the casting process are applicants allowed to contact any mall in the designated city. All inquiries must mandatorily go through the casting company without exception.

Finally, if you applied to be on this show, we’d love to hear your story whether or not you were selected to appear on air. Feel free to click the link below to share your story with us and our readers. Also, anyone who won this show is especially suggested to contact us as we would happily do a feature article on your story with an update for all our readers.


Rachel vs Guy Kid’s Cook Off – Casting Guide

Food Network Logo

  • Contestants: Eight per Season
  • Top Prize: Show
  • Selectivity: 3 Star
This is a season long reality show that appears on Food Network. The show is hosted by Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri. It is different than most season long shows like Kids Baking Challenge and Food Network Star because the series lacks the weekly eliminations. Each week the contestants are given two challenges. The first is a reward challenge in which one winner from each team wins a prize of about $1000-$2000. The second challenge has the kids battling for “stars” which can be used to provide an advantage in the season finale. The person who wins the final cook-off wins the show, and gets their own web series show that appears on Food

Rachel vs Guy: Kids Cook-Off Overview & Strategy

The show is unique in that you only compete for stars against members of your own team. This is similar to Worst Cooks in America without the weekly eliminations. One of the most interesting elements of this show is that the “Kidtestants” help out other members of their own team. This is very counter-productive as they seem to have pride between who wins best overall of the week between “Team Rachel” or “Team Guy”. As there are 4 members on each team, having someone on your team crash and burn on a challenge greatly increases your odds for getting a star. If one person just bombs a challenge, this means there are two stars divided between the three remaining kids on the team. You don’t want to necessarily sabotage someone, but it is only self-destructive to help a teammate. The optimal person to help would be the weakest member of the opposing team. Since you can’t get their stars, you are only directing them to the weaker competitors which both improves your overall chances of winning the finale as well as making you look super nice and awesome that you’ll help the weaker competitors. The stars are awarded in the following categories:
  • Food Quality: The judges evaluate the success of the dish created. This encompasses everything from the taste, presentation, and creativity of the dish..
  • Camera Presence: Each week, there is also a camera challenge in which the contestants explain their dish. This is independent of the actual food as the judges are simply looking for the person who connected best with the audience when describing what they made and how.

Of the eight kids in the show, each week one will win two “stars”. Three will each win one “star” and the remaining four will win zero stars. This makes the average number of stars will be slightly higher than one half the number of episodes. As an example after 6 episodes, there will be 30 “stars” divided between the eight kids meaning the average will be 3.75 “stars” per kid. Invariably, there will be some kids who do really well and dominate a lot of the challenge, and other who struggle that have 1-2 “stars”. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum don’t get discouraged. The “stars” are an advantage, but the person going into the finale with the most stars has never actually wont he show so the advantage isn’t something that can’t be overcome.

One of the unique elements of this show is that the lack of eliminations really encourage risk taking. Because the strategy on this show is so very different, we will include a few specific tips and tactics to help with your chances on the show:

  1. Be Nice!!! – All contestants on this show will appear in all episodes. Being in this show can serve as a springboard for a YouTube cooking channel for everyone whether they win or not. You should create a persona that is interesting to the audience to capture as many crossover viewers as possible.
  3. Big Dishes Last – The most important challenge is the finale as it determines the overall winner. The contestants should work with an adult and possibly professional chef to get an incredible dish that can create with complete certainty.
  5. Don’t Cry at least on Camera – This can be daunting when you put your heart into a dish and come out without a win. Regardless, you want to appear strong during the filming. If you feel yourself being overwhelmed, pull your bottom lip inside as it will help stop the crying reflex.
  7. Listen to Guy & Rachel – This show is very much a teach show in which Guy and Rachel work with the kids on their recipe. As they often have a say in the winner, it’s best advised to listen to them. The only time to really stray from their advice is during the team meeting if they recommend going down a path that you have no experience that will lead to a failed dish.
  9. Don’t Underestimate Camera Challenges – The contestants spend an hour working on the food and next to no time on the presentation. There is a huge advantage if you can always do well for the camera. You should begin every challenge with a crafted story that has been practiced in the mirror and then include the dish names/ingredients. Another tip is to take some improv classes if there are any in your area. These classes cost $25-$30 and can really help people think on their feet and deal with the stressful situations.
  11. Least Favorite Food – Each year the producers always ask the parents for the contestants least favorite food and then require them to create a dish featuring that item. Knowing this, you should pick an ingredient that is versatile like peppers, tomatoes or eggs. This will allow you to make multiple dishes regardless of any other restriction and just puts you way ahead of the competition.

Rachel vs Guy: Kids Cook-Off Casting Process

The casting and filming for season 2 is now complete. We have all the details from that casting round below as it will help you provide for the likely information you will want to be preparing for the 2015 season. This show casts in the spring and films in the summer. The deadline for the 2014 season was April 14, 2014, and we have included a link to that application. We will also be updating this page with the 2015 form once it becomes active.

Applicant Restrictions:

The show is open to people who live in the US between the ages of 8 & 13. The application must also be submitted only by a parent, and the contestants must be available for the shooting schedule that is likely to be summer 2015.

Finally, if you applied to be on this show, we’d love to hear your story whether or not you were selected to appear on air. Feel free to click the link below to share your story with us and our readers.