Time Machine Chefs's Art Smith, Chris Cosentino, Jill Davie and Ilan Hall
Even though the Olympics
are over, anyone hungry for an international competition is in luck.
On Thursday, ABC will premiere its newest reality competition show, Time Machine Chefs
(9 p.m. ET), which takes a cooking competition and adds global (and historical) elements.
Four famous chefs – Food Network's Chris Cosentino; Top Chef
season 2 winner Ilan Hall; famed LA restaurateur Jill Davie; and Oprah
's former personal chef Art Smith – will travel abroad on Thursday's episode to prepare meals in the style and taste of two ancient societies, Tudor England and the Ming Dynasty in China. To really get into the groove, the chefs board a delightfully campy vintage blue refrigerator to travel back in time to eras where there were no microwaves or electronic mixers.
Smith, who counts Lady Gaga as a fan
, spoke about the intensity of the challenges.
"You had to cook among the elements," Smith said. "You had to figure out how to cook a bird in a hearth, and put it on a rotisserie. In other cooking shows you just throw the duck breast in the pan!"
And Smith made it clear that his skills as a modern chef, and a modern dude in general, weren't enough to downplay the difficulty of the challenges: "I should’ve stayed in boy scouts and learned how to build fires," he joked about stoking the flames in his makeshift kitchen. "There ain't no gas, honey. There are logs!"