Not every chef (or home cook) aims for television stardom, but, for those who do, there are ample opportunities to step into the spotlight. Reality cooking shows are proof that people are interested enough in cooking that they are willing to invite an entire cast of strangers into their living rooms each week to share cooking experiences through television shows like Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Chopped, Top Chef, Iron Chef, and Next Food Network Star. These shows are also a great way to get your foot in the door of chef stardom . . . if you are able to get through the audition process, that is. Here are some tips for preparing for a reality cooking show audition:
Give your Taste Buds some Adventure
No matter what reality television you audition for, you can bet that the more you know about food, the better your chances of faring well. There’s no better way to learn about food than trying every kind of food you can, cooked in every way imaginable. So, be adventurous! Make it a point to visit oriental markets for ingredients that you’ve never heard of, frequent lesser-known eateries in ethnic enclaves (like a Chinatown, for example), try recipes you’ve never tried, and create your own recipes from scratch. Anything that inspires your taste buds in new ways will be a valuable asset to you in the reality cooking show kitchen.
Share your Cooking with others
When you audition for a reality television show of any type, you are really selling yourself. Reality cooking shows are no different. If you want to make it past the auditions, you’ll have to prove that not only are you a great cook, but you’re also comfortable being yourself in front of the camera. This requires a certain level of confidence, and the best way to develop the type of confidence that will make you stand out from the cooking show audition crowd is to get into the habit of sharing your cooking with others. When you are at-ease with your “audience” in this way, it will relate on camera.
Watch the show you’ll be Auditioning for
Watch every single episode of every single season. You’ll want to be thoroughly familiar with the show’s hosts, layout, and challenge style, before you audition. That way you will be aptly prepared for whatever “surprises” producers might throw at you during the audition process. Not only will this help with the nerves, but it will also help you exude confidence and make a stronger impression with the judges.
What are your chances of making it onto a reality cooking show? You might never know. Prepare yourself by practicing your art and make sure you browse for the right chef’s uniform so you look your best as well. One thing you can know for certain is that you have no chance if you don’t try . . . and you have a better chance if you try harder.