We’re all guilty of occasionally popping in a microwave dinner or using Postmates when we don’t have time to make meals from scratch. But for some families, this rare fall back has become a lifestyle, popping in frozen fish and chips into the oven several times a week.
Salvation comes in the form of celebrity chefs Matthew Tebbut
and Jean-Christophe Noveli
on Family Food Challenge
. Celebrity Chefs Matthew and Jean-Christophe help families let go of their unhealthy eating habits by teaching them to make foods that are quick, easy and tasty.
fter teaching them to make a simple healthier alternative to their signature dish, the chefs pair up to run a full service in an upscale London restaurant to create competing dishes and desserts. The teams will be serving dishes to forty diners who will decide the victors. The winners takes home glory, improved cooking chops, and a year’s supply of healthy groceries.
For an Italian themed challenge chef Jean-Christophe is paired with Sasha and Jon. Jon never cooks and “doesn’t do kitchens” and relegates kitchen duties to his wife Sasha. Although Jon thinks the kitchen is Sasha’s place, Jean-Christophe disagrees. When presented with her signature dish, a sodium laden beef casserole, Noveli proclaims, “Sasha is slowly poisoning you!” Overtime, Jean-Christophe points out their high sodium intake can lead to heart disease.
Rachel gets emotional when Chef Matthew tells her the weekly frozen pot pies she makes her family contain an daily allowance of saturated fat. She begins to tear up when she realizes shes’s neglected her responsibilities in providing a nutritious meal for her family. Matthew comforts her and teaches her how to make low-fat version of a pot pie with a filo dough crust.
At the restaurant Chef Noveil’s team Sasha and Jon create turkey meatballs and tiramisu to compete with Rachel and David who create a bolognese cheese pasta bake with a fruit desert under Tebbut’s tutlege. Jon who believes that he has no place in the kitchen disappears when the pressure mounts to cook for forty guests. We are introduced to Noveli’s flair for histrionics as he slides in through counter to come to Sasha’s rescue. Despite Jon’s nerves and abandonment, their tiramisu secures a win for Sasha and Jon.
Winner Winner Curry Dinner
The Curry Night challenge pits Noveli’s team with Nicole and David against Tebbut’s team with Amanda and John. Nicole and David like other couples on the show heavily rely on high sodium frozen meals as a quick timesaver.
Tebbut’s team has a different culinary problem. Amanda often burns frozen meals and orders in chicken kabobs and fries for her family. Matthew teaches her how to make a healthier substitute to her kabob habit, low fat chicken fajitas.
Both chefs teach their teams how to make a simple curry dish that is loaded with vegetables and flavor. Despite best efforts on Noveli’s team, their chicken curry is no match for Tebbut’s Thai Green Chicken Curry dish which takes a landslide victory. And despite Noveli’s mastery of profiteroles, Tebbut’s passionfruit dessert seals the deal for their team.
A Night for British Classics
Noveli and Tebbut teach their team how to integrate vegetables into their picky children’s favorite junk food dishes. Noveli is horrified to learn that Gail’s signature dishes include tins of ravioli high in sodium and packaged mac and cheese. Jean Christophe updates Gail’s packaged mac and cheese into a baked pasta with broccoli and baked tomato layer.
Tracey’s picky children hate all vegetables except sweet corn as a topping on a pizza. Matthew teaches her how to integrate and hide vegetables by loading a homemade pizza sauce with squash and onions.
For their restaurant challenge, Noveli’s team creates a popular cottage pie that goes head on with Tebbut’s fried on one side fish and chips. And despite Noveli’s popular pie, Tebbut’s rhubarb sponge cake trumped Noveli’s bread and no butter pudding, ensuring a victory for Tracey and Peter.
Family Food Challenge reminds us that though we may be busy, healthy cooking can be quick and delicious. And although some couples win a year of free groceries, all families walk away with a focus on creating nutritious meals and better consciousness about their own health.