If you’ve been cooking the quick and easy recipes in our daily videos lately, you have probably freed up a lot of extra time in your nightly schedule. So, allow us to suggest some evening entertainment: Time Machine Chefs, a new show that debuts on ABC tonight (9pm ET), is not your average cooking competition. In it, chefs Art Smith, Chris Cosentino, Jill Davie and Ilan Hall cook their way through elaborately staged replications of the Ming Dynasty and the Tudor Era. The setting is as authentic as it gets without an actual time machine: We’re talking no running water and no electricity, much less a food processor.
We sat down with Art Smith, a self-described “serial cooking-show contestant” (he’s currently participating in Top Chef Masters for the second time) and asked him about the biggest challenge he faced on the show. His answer after, the jump.
EDF: What was the toughest part of the show for you?
ART SMITH: Well, some cooking shows can be predictable, but not this one. No one is prepared for this one, I certainly wasn’t! It was physically exhausting. But, the hardest thing for me was the animals. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m an animal lover, and we had to roast and eat a peacock! That’s how they used to do it, I guess. It tastes like roast turkey.
What era would you want to cook in? Maybe it's the remnants of my Oregon Trail computer game obsession, but I've always wondered what it would be like to cook like a 19th century pioneer.