BEAT THE CHEFS is an hour-long show, in which everyday people who love to cook set out to prove that their family recipes are worth prize money and bragging rights. Each week, the show pits homegrown talents against three professional chefs as they cook the same dish—from firehouse chili to Grandma’s famous chicken and dumplings—with one question in mind: Whose tastes the best? A panel of critics will judge and decide if the amateurs can “beat the chefs.” Hosted by American Idol finalist Matt Rogers (“Coming Home,”) BEAT THE CHEFS is produced by RelativityREAL, with Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and Brian A. Veskosky (“Deal or No Deal,” “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” “Fear Factor”) serving as Executive Producers.
The BEAT THE CHEFS cast members include:
The host of BEAT THE CHEFS is Matt Rogers, a finalist on the third season of “American Idol.” He is continuing his country music career, where he has been performing with various artists including James Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Granger Smith. Rogers has hosted “Coming Home” for Lifetime and “There Goes the Neighborhood” for CBS. He served as co-host for “American Idol Extra” and served as a correspondent on several sports and entertainment shows, including “The Best Damn Sports Show Period,” “Access Hollywood,” and “Entertainment Tonight.” Rogers also appeared on the ‘Idols’ edition of FAMILY FEUD.
Known for his victory over Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America” and as co-host of “Worst Cooks in America,” Beau MacMillan is executive chef of Elements restaurant at The Sanctuary resort in Arizona, named one of the “Top 100 Restaurants in America” by Gourmet. MacMillan trained at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University and is acclaimed for his distinctive style, using the freshest ingredients to create American food with Asian accents.
Chef Antonia Lofaso is familiar to foodies as a fierce competitor and favorite on “Top Chef” and a finalist on “Top Chef All-Stars.” After graduating from the French Culinary Institute in New York City, she began her career at Wolfgang Puck’s famed Spago in Beverly Hills and later went on to run the kitchen at Los Angeles hot spot Foxtail. She currently serves as consulting chef for Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City, California. Her first book, The Busy Mom’s Cookbook, will be released in August 2012.
Chef Jeff Henderson was the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, a sought-after public speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Cooked. A former at-risk youth who turned his life around after discovering his talent for cooking, Henderson has proven to be an inspiration to others. After apprenticing with renowned chef Robert Gadsby, he worked his way up through 5-star restaurants around the country, including the Hotel Bel-Air and L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, before landing at the 5-diamond Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. He will open his own restaurant in Los Angeles in 2013.
Renowned food and travel journalist Brad A. Johnson is the only critic in America to win both the James Beard Award and the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award for restaurant criticism. A global traveler with a refined palate, Johnson has visited every continent in search of the world’s finest cuisine, from the Michelin starred restaurants of Paris and Milan to the backstreets of Bangkok and the rainforest of Bali.
Christy Jordan, a ninth-generation Alabamian, publishes SouthernPlate.com, a web site dedicated to classic Southern recipes and quick and easy family favorites. She is also a contributing editor of Taste of the South magazine. Her first book, Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family, features the recipes she grew up with along with heartwarming stories of family and values that she has come to be known for. Jordan attended the University of North Alabama, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics.
BEAT THE CHEFS resident judges Johnson and Jordan will be joined by a celebrity guest judge each week, including Academy Award® Nominee and star of The Dark Knight, Eric Roberts; television personality, author and former host of OWN’s “Big Bowl of Love,” Cristina Ferrare; Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen; and Melissa Rycroft, a finalist on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and correspondent for “Good Morning America” and “Entertainment Tonight.”