Best Leftovers Ever!

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Best Leftovers Ever! TV Poster Image
Fun cooking contest has tasty solutions to food waste.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Stands out for positive messages.

Positive Messages

Leftovers can be re-imagined and reworked to create terrific new meals, demonstrating ways that previously-prepared food can be consumed instead of going into the trash or compost bin. 

Positive Role Models

The judges are kind, constructive, and supportive. The cast and competitors are male and female, and of various races and ethnicities. Some contestants express competitive thoughts, but overall they're supportive of one another. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

On some rare occasions words like "hell" are uttered. 


There's a large cash prize at stake.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Best Leftovers Ever! is an amateur cooking competition that features folks re-imagining leftovers and using them to create tasty new dishes for a cash prize. Aside from the occasional "hell," the language is clean, and despite some competitive talk, the overall tone of the series is fun and family friendly. The show is a great way to learn about some of the creative ways people can reduce food waste. 

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What's the story?

BEST LEFTOVERS EVER! is a reality competition featuring talented amateur cooks creating masterful dishes from leftover food items. Hosted by singer and actress Jackie Tohn, each episode features three contestants who are given specific leftover food items and a cooking challenge that requires them to be creative while understanding the nuances associated with flavors and food preparation. Tohn, along with fellow panelists David So, and Chef Rosemary Shrager, taste the freshly made dishes. After the second challenge, the three must determine who wins the $10,000 prize for serving up the best leftover meals. 

Is it any good?

This lighthearted series features amateur cooks using ingredients from leftover meals to create brand new and tasty dishes. Like most cooking shows, there’s lots of talk about flavor profiles, food textures, and presentation. But what makes this one interesting is how fully prepared food is re-envisioned and reworked to become entrees that look and taste completely different.

The competition isn’t the most suspense-filled, and at times the panelists can get silly, but Best Leftovers Ever! is entertaining. It also offers some helpful advice about how to best store and handle different foods and ingredients. Watching it can help us begin to think a little bit more about how the food we ate yesterday can become today’s outstanding meal. It might reduce what we throw into a compost bin, too. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the many ways leftovers can be used to prepare creative and good-tasting dishes. Are you surprised by some of the ways certain cooked foods can be reworked? Are there any leftovers you think wouldn’t lend themselves well to reinvention? 

  • Why is it important to try to consume food rather than composting it? How does reducing food waste help our environment? How does Best Leftovers Ever! indirectly address these questions? Are there other media resources that can expand on these issues?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cooking shows

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