Rachel vs Guy Kid’s Cook Off – Casting Guide

  • Contestants: Eight per Season
  • Top Prize: FoodNetwork.com 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 Network.com.

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┬áreaders.