House of Food

Common Sense Media says

Reality cooking competition serves up cattiness, language.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are a few cooking-related learning moments, but much of the focus is on the interpersonal drama between the contestants. 

Positive role models

The judges comments range from being constructive to tearing contestants (and their food) apart. Cast members are sometimes catty and mean.


There's lots of silly arguing, some of which results in screaming, pushing, and throwing things. 


Some sexual innuendo related to food, plus some comments about people looking looking sexy.


Words like "ass," plus curses like "s--t" and "f--k" bleeped. Rude gestures are blurred. 


Local LA eateries and haunts are sometimes featured. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (especially wine) visible. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that House of Food features a series-long cooking competition, but contains all the reality drama one expects from an MTV show. There's lots of catty behavior (some of which leads to screaming and throwing things), bleeped cursing, blurred rude gestures, and some sexual innuendo. Drinking is also part of the lifestyle of the contestants. Older tweens might be able to handle it, but it's really meant for teens and up. 

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

HOUSE OF FOOD is an MTV reality series featuring a group of young, aspiring chefs with limited experience competing for a chance to launch their culinary career. Eight contestants from across the country live together in a swanky LA house, where they get advice by their host, Chris Nirschel, and mentored by their executive chef judges, Casey Lane, Brendan Collins, and Brooke Williamson. Each episode features the group getting a culinary lesson from one chef and then competing with each other to see who executes the best dish. They also get a chance to work in some professional kitchens. The winner of the competition wins an apprenticeship with a top Los Angeles chef.

Is it any good?


It's a cooking competition, but the focus on food is overshadowed by the Real World-like drama that takes place between the contestants. Some of the cast members, who range from arrogant divas to confused rock-and roll types, seem more like recognizable caricatures than real people and seem designed to create contrived voyeuristic moments. 

Despite the conflict, the only real edginess to the show comes from the chefs, whose critiquing style makes them appear as unapproachable and unlikable as some of the contestants. Meanwhile, they only offer some limited teachable moments. Foodies tuning in will be sorely disappointed, and folks looking for a new reality fare recipe will find little new on the menu. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cooking competitions. Are these competitions designed to highlight the culinary arts, or is it really about the reality drama between contestants? Is it realistic to think that inexperienced contestants can learn how to cook dishes (and cook them well) quickly? 

  • Why are cooking shows so popular? Do you think they inspire people to cook?

TV details

Cast:Chris Nirschel, Brooke Williamson, Casey Lane
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of House of Food was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byM&M1995 July 28, 2014

MTV's newest reality series blends "The Real World" and "Top Chef."

If House of Food being cancelled is not an indication of the show's lackluster quality, I don't know what is. If you do end up catching up on the first full season of the series online though (which I don't recommend), be prepared to take in spoonfuls of typical, manufactured MTV drama. The show's concept is something that could have worked out if it was done right, but that is simply not the case. For a food competition, it seems that the central focus is too much on the contestant's interpersonal relationships, which would be better fitted for a season of "The Real World." The judges tend to put down the amateur chefs and sometimes offer no constructive criticisms. Since the show emphasizes the in-house drama rather than the actual meat of the series which is supposed to be the cooking aspect of it, petty arguments break out and are often instigated by the cast members themselves. Drinks and objects are thrown, screaming matches ensue, doors are slammed, pranks gone wrong result in confrontation, and so on. A lot of bleeped swear words and middle finger gestures. Additionally, the girls and guys ogle one another, there is a tumoltuous love triangle in the house, flirtation, making out, one sexually charged on-camera moment, and intimate discussion about bedroom practices. There is an episode surrounding one of the male contestant's homosexuality and possible homophobic remarks made by the "villain" of the show, Suki. The cast occasionally spends a night out on the town drinking and getting drunk. One episode sees the cast travelling in a party bus and dancing on a stripper pole. Finally, the judges' restaurants are obnoxiously promoted.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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