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Take Home Chef
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in each episode, a chef walks up to a "random" shopper in a grocery store and offers to take care of the cooking that night. They then agree on a menu, gather the ingredients, and return to the shopper's home to cook. While it's obvious that this is a controlled environment, parents who watch with young kids might want to remind their children that talking to strangers isn't OK, no matter how friendly or responsible they seem.
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What's the story?
TAKE HOME CHEF serves up viewers a half-hour of home cooking as an unsuspecting shopper is whisked from the grocery store and treated to a personal food preparation lesson in his or her own kitchen. Australian-born chef/author Curtis Stone serves as the show's host and cooking instructor. In each episode, Stone zeros in on a shopper and guides cameras around the aisles as he and his new student work together to choose the ingredients for the meal they're going to prepare. Next stop: the shopper's home, where Stone provides meal preparation tricks and tips. At the end of each episode, the shopper's family returns home to a surprise gourmet meal.
Is it any good?
Foodies will appreciate the insider tricks that Stone divulges. For example, in one episode, he suggests spearing grilled shrimp with slices of sugarcane rather than plain wood skewers to make the food sweeter. Viewers looking for compelling reality fare may be disappointed -- Stone's energy and useful tips help keep viewers' attention, but the episodes feel a bit weak without the surprises, challenges, or suspenseful moments inherent in most reality TV -- but fans of cooking shows will likely find Take Home Chef tasty enough.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the risks of talking to strangers. Why is it important to be alert in public places? What should kids do if they're approached by a stranger? Families with older children can discuss how to prepare a meal. Why do you read a recipe? How do you time your cooking so that all the elements are ready in time? Or take it one step further and make a meal together.