Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sweet Genius

A week or so ago I was contacted by The Food Network to see if I was interested in interviewing Chef Ron (from the hit show Sweet Genius) for a blog post.  I jumped at this wonderful opportunity!

I absolutely love this show, and have watched it for the past two seasons.  If you haven't seen it, it is show in which four pastry chefs battle each other in three rounds of challenges - chocolate, candy and cake.  Each round has surprise ingredients that must be used in the creations, as well as some kind of inspiration to guide the chefs.  Chef Ron Ben-Israel judges each round based on creativity, originality and taste.

The 3rd season of Sweet Genius premieres on Thursday, October 18th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Yesterday I received a phone call from NYC and was lucky enough to get to chat with Chef Ron for a while. 

When asked if there were any ingredients that he hasn't given his contestants yet, but wants to in the future, he explained that they must remain surprises, but he did mention that there would be traditional/ seasonal ingredients for the holiday shows.

He told me that his favourite round of the show is the cake round.  He "love[s] cake" and thinks it has the potential to be "the most creative part."

I asked him how he comes up with inspiration for the show ideas, and he explained that there is a lot of experimenting and research that goes into it, and that the process is started a long time in advance.  He also explained that he likes to figure out what he would do with the ingredients.  Also, suggestions are often given by viewers on Facebook.

Chef Ron's job on the show involves sending home contestants each round.  I asked him if he ever felt bad sending people home, and he replied, "I really do ... most of the time I feel horrible about sending people home ... I try to be encouraging ... sometimes I don't want to send anyone home."

I asked Chef Ron if he has ever liked a contestant's recipe so much that he has made it himself, and he replied that he has and commented that he often visits the bake shops and restaurants of former contestants.

When asked what we should expect for the 3rd season, Ron said to "Expect the unexpected."  He said that there will be many "twists and turns and unusual things."  Inspiration will come from things such as art, pop culture, sports, theatre, American classics, etc..  He said that there is "something for everyone" and that this season will be "mind blowing".

I really enjoyed talking with Chef Ron and I thought that he was really nice and quite charming!  I can't wait to see what season 3 of Sweet Genius has in store!

Tune in to the following upcoming (and some holiday-themed) episodes:

Thursday, October 18th at 10:00pm ET/PT - SEASON PREMIERE!
"Cuckoo Genius"

Thursday, October 25th at 10:00pm ET/PT
"Halloween Genius"

Thursday, November 1st at 10:00pm ET/PT
"Heated Genius"

Thursday, November 8th at 10:00pm ET/PT
"Wicked Genius"

Thursday, November 15th at 10:00pm ET/PT
"Turkey Genius"

Thursday, November 22nd at 10:00pm ET/PT
"Squeaky Genius"

Thursday, December 6th at 10:00pm ET/PT
"Holiday Genius"

 Do you watch Sweet Genius?

If you had to give people 3 mystery ingredients to use in a dessert (as strange as you want), what would they be?  What would you give them for "inspiration"?

 (I would choose cilantro, coffee beans, and goat cheese with "unicorn" as the inspiration).


Unknown said...

That is such a cool experience! LUCKY!!!

sophia said...

WOW!!!!! What a great opportunity, Jolene! That sounds so cool. The show is fascinating. It's sorta like Chopped.

Hm...three ingredients...for me, maybe 1) ketchup 2) root beer and 3) goat's milk. The inspiration: Vampires. Haha!

Simply Life said...

oh my gosh, what an AMAZING experience!!!! great interview!

Anonymous said...

holy moly you are so lucky!

Kacy said...

That's so cool! I will have to check out the show.

Anonymous said...

OMG what an awesome opportunity! I'll have to check out the show!

Unknown said...

That is SUCH an amazing are quickly becoming one of the coolest people I know! haha.

I have never heard of this better believe I'll be watching now though...sounds great!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said...

What a cool opportunity!!! I love that he will visit contestants' bakeries.

Kiran @ said...

Fantastic opportunity! Bravo :)

My 3 ingredients:
lentils, chocolate and chili. Go figure ;)

Anonymous said...

I think I like that show for 2 reasons...he seems like a nut and the creativeness of the contestants.

suki said...

What a fun opportunity! I've not ever seen the show, but these competitions are always fun to watch. It's neat to see what people come up with on the spot. There's just so much talent out there. :-)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have never heard of this show, but it's so cool you got to interview him! What a cool opportunity for a foodie like you!

I would say espresso, chili powder, and agave.