If you dream of throwing down with Bobby Flay, kicking it up a notch with Emeril or cooking some good down home grub with the Neely’s, then getting cast on a reality cooking show is your ticket to stardom. While not every chef will want to step in front of a TV camera, for those that do aspire to be the next Rocco DiSpirito or Paula Deen, here are some tips on how to get on a reality cooking show.
Audition. It’s like playing the lottery – sure, the odds of you hitting the jackpot are low, but if you don’t buy a ticket then you definitely won’t win, right? You can talk about applying all you want but until you actually attend a cattle call or send in an audition tape, you don’t stand a chance of being chosen to appear on a reality show. Gigabiting (http://gigabiting.com/reality-tv-casting-calls/) keeps an updated list of cooking reality show casting calls, or you can search the individual show websites for audition information.Watch every episode of every show multiple times. After you’ve seen every quick-fire challenge, you should start to see what cooking skills the show is looking for. Plan accordingly. Practice as if you are already on the show. For example, have your friends shout out three or four ingredients that don’t normally go together, then jump in the kitchen and create a dish in 30 minutes or less.
Brush up on your cooking skills. Be able to dice veggies both quickly and accurately. Know the most efficient way to cut up a chicken. If there is a cuisine you’ve never been exposed to, now is the time to rectify that. Also, practice your pastry skills. Contestants on cooking reality shows always seem to get stumped whenever there is a baking challenge.
Decide on your public persona. Producers look for something that plays well on TV. You’ve got to have a “hook,” whether it’s the bad boy of the kitchen, the young ingénue everyone underestimates or the underdog. Which one are you? Be able to succinctly tell your story in a compelling way in about a minute or two.
With your audition reel in hand and your chef’s knife sharpened, you’ll be that much closer to realizing your dream of being a cooking reality show star.