Marcel's Quantum Kitchen

TV review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen TV Poster Image
Manufactured drama and bleeps abound in this cooking series.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The cooking techniques consistently involve creative application of science and chemicals. The results encourage interest in new ways to apply science knowledge. But there is also an emphasis on interpersonal drama.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The lead chef is an intensely creative person who demonstrates the value of applied science knowledge. At the same time, his behavior is petulant and frequently brings him into conflict with others.


The cooking crew frequently peppers their language with strong swear words like "f--k" and "s--t" that are bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking. One of the catering company's employees specializes in creative cocktails.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this cooking-oriented reality series emphasizes conflict as much as content and has a lot of bleeped swear words. The featured catering company's goal is to prepare creative dishes using cutting-edge techniques, so there are some great lessons here on applied science, but only for pre-teens and older.

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What's the story?

Former Top Chef contestant Marcel Vigneron has become known for his particular brand of "molecular gastronomy," where unusual preparation methods are used to create everything from Jell-O that looks like fruit to edible maps. This series spotlights Marcel as the head of his own catering company providing creative and unexpected food and drink for high-end parties. Marcel has to train and supervise a support team that isn't always on the same page, and always wow his clients with strange and amazing concepts.

Is it any good?

As Top Chef fans know, Marcel Vigneron has become one of those classic reality TV characters that you either love, hate, or just love to hate. Marcel seems to emphasize the "love to hate" aspects of his personality on MARCEL'S QUANTUM KITCHEN, a show where the crazy cooking techniques and creative party ideas would seem fun and refreshing...if only the guy who knows how to execute them wasn't around.

Whether through editing, intentional behavior, or just natural personality, Marcel comes off as just as obnoxious on his own show as he ever was on Top Chef. The producers seem to stack the deck for some engineered conflict; for example, a woman hired as front-of-house staff also has to prove her ability to create baked apple butter that can be folded into parchment, even though there's no logical reason for a professional catering manager to master such an obscure task. Yet she tries, and it annoys Marcel, and it will probably also annoy the audience, because the reasoning behind that and so many other aspects of the series seems to be solely to manipulate viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the show spotlights food without covering health-related issues. Do the dishes on the show look like healthy food? What about them seemed unhealthy?

  • Do you think it's worth the time and energy to prepare food using these outrageous techniques, or is the simple way still the best?

  • What's going on with the media's obsession with food and cooking? Do you think this is a positive trend?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality television

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