Cooking Under Fire Heats up the Web On

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Ming Tsai, Todd English, And Michael Ruhlman put aspiring chefs to the test to find out who can handle the heat. Meet the contestants at

The world has watched celebrity chefs reach rock-star status, and the number of aspiring talent is rapidly on the rise. … But the fast-paced, everyday pressures of the restaurant industry are anything but glamorous as wannabe chefs struggle to climb the culinary ladder. So who can really handle the pressure of “cooking under fire”? That’s the question PBS will answer in the brand-new prime-time reality series Cooking Under Fire, premiering on Wednesday, April 27 at 8pm (and running at 8:30pm through July—check local listings).

Served up by PBS as “reality TV that feeds your brain,” the documentary-style series will track twelve contestants—ranging in age from 23 to 42, including four women and eight men—as they embark on a coast-to-coast cooking competition in four of the nation’s culinary capitals—Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and New York. In twelve episodes, the show will give viewers an insider’s look at the mental and physical challenges and intense pressures faced in today’s highly competitive restaurant industry, and the combination of talent and skills that it takes to succeed as a chef—from creativity and culinary acumen to management abilities and purchasing power.

Beginning Tuesday, April 26th visitors to can:

  • Meet the contestants and follow their progress via journals written throughout the competition (updated weekly)
  • Watch the first two episodes and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage
  • Vote for your favorite chef-in-training in an interactive poll
  • Stay on top of the action with the weekly re-cap, complete with a slide show of key moments—and dishes
  • Test your own cooking skills with selected recipes from the series’ celebrity judges and guest chefs
  • Access online food resources via our collection of favorite links
  • Learn more about the series and celebrity chefs

About the Cooking Under Fire Production Team

Cooking Under Fire is based on an idea by Lance Reynolds, President of Atlantic Films & Television, Inc., who has represented some of America's leading celebrity chefs, including Jamie Oliver ("The Naked Chef"). The production team also includes John Rieber, founder of A Better Machine, Inc. and former Senior Vice President of Original Programming for E! Entertainment Television, who created programming such as the “Wild On” travel series and “Revealed with Jules Asner”; and Laurie Donnelly, head of WGBH Lifestyle Productions; and represents an award-winning combination of feature film, documentary, how-to, and lifestyle programming experts. The Cooking Under Fire Web site is produced by WGBH Interactive.


Cooking Under Fire is a co-production of WGBH Lifestyle Productions, Lance Reynolds, and John Rieber. Corporate funding is provided by Chrysler, Inspiration Comes Standard; Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.; and All-Clad. Additional funding provided by public television viewers.

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup, along with some of public television's best-known lifestyle shows and children's programs and many public radio favorites. WGBH is the number one producer of Web sites on, the most-visited dot-org on the Internet. WGBH is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont- Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For more information visit

©2005 WGBH Educational Foundation

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Jennifer Welsh
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