Top Chef Just Desserts TV Poster Image

Top Chef Just Desserts



Dessert competition is more bitter than sweet.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although the series highlights the challenges of creating pastries and desserts (making it clear that it's not an easy job), the contestants' frequently nasty behavior sends iffy messages about competition and professionalism.

Positive role models

Some of the contestants exhibit unsportsmanlike behavior, including arguing and sabotage. On the plus side, they're a diverse group.


Contestants often engage in catty arguments and exchange insults.


Some mild sexual innuendo related to certain foods/desserts being "sexy."


Words like “damn,” “crap,” “bitch,” and “ass” are audible, while curses like  “s--t” and “f--k” are fully bleeped.


Show sponsors include Godiva and Buick. Food and liquor brands like Alta Dena cream, Makers Mark Whisky, and Kahlua are sometimes visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent drinking (champagne, beer, wine, cocktails) with meals, at entertainment venues, and during periods when the contestants aren't cooking. Contestants sometimes get into drunken arguments.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Top Chef spin-off -- in which contestants participate in dessert-preparation competitions -- includes some mild sexual innuendo and lots of salty language (words like “damn,” “crap,” “bitch," and “ass” are audible, while “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped). There's also frequent catty arguing among the contestants (sometimes when they're drunk) and some very unsportsmanlike behavior -- including outright sabotage. Show sponsors like Godiva and Buick are prominently featured, while brands like Kahlua are occasionally visible.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS -- the latest installment in the Top Chef franchise -- 12 of America’s top pastry chefs whip up creative, deliciously sweet dishes in hopes of winning the Top Chef title. Under the gaze of host/Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, the contestants attempt to show off their baking and pastry skills in a series of challenges designed to test their cooking abilities, creativity, and ingenuity. Their desserts must tempt the tastebuds of a panel of elite judges that includes Simmons, critically acclaimed pastry chef John Iuzzini, and guest judges like Master Chef Hubert Keller and entertaining expert Dannielle Kyrillos. The contestant who makes it through the competition without being eliminated wins major prizes, including $100,000, a car, and, of course, the coveted title.

Is it any good?


This cooking competition series highlights the differences between creating desserts and whipping up savory dishes. It underscores how creating sophisticated desserts requires a mastery of both art and science that requires chefs to be both artists and inventors.

Foodies will definitely enjoy watching spectacular desserts being created, but some of the series' reality show drama is anything but sweet. The competition brings out some very unsportsmanlike behavior in some contestants, including catty arguing and acts of sabotage. And there's also lots of strong language and some drunken behavior. The end result? The show may feature some pretty confections, but it leaves a bitter taste behind.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different skills required to be a dessert chef vs. a savory food chef. What's the difference between a baker and a pastry chef? What kind of scientific and/or innovative techniques do chefs need to have to create sophisticated dessert plates?

  • Do you think the contestants' behavior here reflects their real personalities, or are they trying to create a more dramatic reality show experience? Do you think they act this way when the cameras are off? Do you think their behavior will impact their careers in the professional cooking world?

TV details

Premiere date:September 15, 2010
Cast:Gail Simmons, Hubert Keller, John Iuzzini
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Top Chef Just Desserts was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Cake decorating competition has a slight edge.
  • Reality show's recipe has hearty helping of mature issues.
  • Reality show offers fun look at making fantastical desserts.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old May 9, 2011

It's fine!

I don't think this show should be for ages 14+, as the review indicates. It does have some mild language that is audible, but most of it is just bleeped out. Also, the show encourages you to pursue your dreams and to do the best you can in everything because nothing in life is an easy road. All in all, I'd recommend it. My only problem with the show, but most reality TV shows are like this, are the constant commericials.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?