Rachael vs. Guy Episode One: Peanut Butter and Sadness

I love junk food TV, Celebrity Apprentice is one of my favorite reality shows, and if that isn’t junk food TV, I don’t know what is. So when I heard that the Food Network was making a show that made quasi-celebrities cook in an elimination style format, I was excited. Want to know why I titled episode one Peanut Butter and Sadness? Keep reading!

First off, let’s get one thing straight: I only knew who six out of the eight celebrities were. That’s better than Celebrity Apprentice, where I only know who about 4 of the 16 celebrities are. I didn’t know who Cornelia Guest and Chili were, but I did know Dean McDermott, Johnny Weir, Hines Ward, Carnie Wilson, Kathy Najimy (love her), and the voice of an angel, Gilbert Gottfried. Pretty good.

Right off the bat they showed all the celebrities cooking in their own kitchen, and both Kathy Najimy and Cornelia Guest revealed that they’d be cooking vegan/vegetarian throughout the competition. Immediately, I knew that would put them in a rough spot. I’m really pulling for Kathy, both because she’s been such a part of my childhood with Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, and King of the Hill and because she’s playing for an animal charity, so I hope this wasn’t a setback for her.

The celebrities were tasked with putting on a dinner theater show for 100 people. That meant they’d have to prepare a full dinner for the guests and put on a show. Seems like something Donald Trump himself came up with. I love it, because if the celebrities want to earn money for their charity, they damned well better be ready to act the fool. If I were ever to do one of these shows, I would do anything for my charity.

Team Rachael (Kathy, Carnie, Hines, and Gilbert): Most of them made some really nice looking food. Kathy adapted her mother’s Lebanese stuffed mushrooms to be vegetarian, Carnie made a cookbook-quality mac and cheese and a bread pudding (that in my opinion, needed bourbon), Hines made his mom’s Asian chicken wings, and then there was Gilbert.

I should’ve known what to expect from Gilbert when they never showed him preparing food in his home; I honestly didn’t think he would make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his item. But he did. In his defense, he put some cinnamon into it. Part of me thinks that someone like MC Hammer dropped out of the show at the last minute and the Food Network producer saw Gilbert walking by and asked him to compete, but that’s speculation.

Their performance was good, and Kathy spoke some bizarre backwards language and Gilbert unsurprisingly stole the show wearing a wig and feather boa. He hoped that the performance would overshadow his food. Again, A PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH.

Team Guy (Cornelia, Dean, Johnny, and Chili): First of all, I’ve always said Johnny Weir is just a fascinating person to watch. His uniqueness is something that just commands attention, and I love to just watch him be himself. Anyway, after going on about his diet being scrutinized for years, he decided to go against Guy’s advice and make a low-fat chicken meatball and doused it in white truffle oil. Even I, who have never cooked with truffle oil, can only assume how little you need to use in the recipes considering it costs a fortune. Cornelia made a vegetarian chili, Dean made a skirt steak, and Chili made Chil-apia tostadas (get it? ha…ha…ha…)

For their performance they did a Wild West style performance. The memorable part here was Johnny Weir wearing a corset and getting kissed by Dean McDermott on stage. For a moment, the Food Network felt like Bravo or Showtime.

Then it was time for the boardroom elimination cook off. The eaters felt Rachael’s team dropped the ball, and Kathy’s lackluster mushrooms and Gilbert’s “cooking” earned them the bottom two spots. They would have to cook against one another. Kathy made her mom’s hummus, which looked absolutely delicious. Gilbert whipped out a shocker and made Crepes Suzette with a chocolate ganache and berry compote. Not really, he just made another PB&J. Unsurprisingly, he was sent home first. I really think he let his charity down, he didn’t seem to take it seriously at all, but I understand it must’ve seemed daunting. Give the Donald a call, Gilbert, I’m sure he’s got room for you on an upcoming Celebrity Apprentice. Come back next Monday for my recap of Episode Two!

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