Corbin Tomaszeski laments the fact that, with many having busy lifestyles, families aren’t able to enjoy quality time preparing or sharing dinner together.
They’ll get a little bit of both—in a seriously amped-up manner—via The Incredible Food Race. Debuting Wednesday on Food Network, celebrity chef Tomaszeski and ET Canada host Rick Campanelli serve as hosts and ringmasters as two families face off in physical challenges followed by a live cook-off in front of an audience; the audience then tastes both meals and votes for the winning family. What does the triumphant squad go home with? Groceries for a year courtesy of Walmart Canada.
“Competition shows usually award product, some kind of service or monetary amount,” Tomaszeski says. “There’s something really attractive and tangible when it’s food and you have the control over what you buy. And, hello, food is a basic necessity.” The former Restaurant Takeover host explains The Incredible Food Race is more about bringing people together and having fun, with a big prize at the end.
It doesn’t take long for the “fun” challenges to turn into a bona fide competition in Episode 1. The super-athletic Snyman family face off against the vegan Buddle-Gills in three tests designed to give distinct advantages during the final cook-off. The biggest of those three advantages? Several minutes with Tomaszeski coaching them while preparing food for the hungry voting audience. The Dinner Party Wars judge admits that, unlike feelgood co-host Campanelli, he wants to hear smack talk and see some tears because it makes for good TV. One of Tomaszeski’s favourite challenges is called “Sumo Sushi,” and features a team member rolling their own rice-based recipes … while wearing inflatable sumo wrestler costumes.
At this point, Season 1 is a mere six episodes filmed in Toronto, but Tomaszeski hopes, if a sophomore season is ordered, The Incredible Food Race can become a country-wide affair.
“I think we’ve only just scratched the surface with Season 1,” he says. “I think we should travel or have people from across Canada come here because there are so many different types of families and components of families out there that it’s a good idea.”
The Incredible Food Race airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network.