TACOMA — Representing Tacoma and Olympia, two chefs — both women — are competing on two new cooking shows, both streaming now.
Kristen Lyon, the executive chef of Odin Brewing in Tacoma, appears in Season 4, Episode 2 of “FireMasters,” a grilling competition on the Cooking Channel and Food Network Canada.
On Discovery+, Elise Landry, co-owner of the barely year-old Chicory in Olympia, jumped into the first season of “Chopped Next Gen,” a fresh spin on the wildly successful (47 seasons since 2009) Food Network series.
Hosted by Canadian chef Dylan Benoit and produced by a TopChef Canada veteran, “FireMasters” is filmed in Hamilton, Ontario, outside of Toronto, on a set built from the bones of an old warehouse. Each contestant has a cooking space outfitted with one charcoal and two gas grills, plus a bullet smoker and a communal concrete block fire pit.
In the first round, three chefs cook a dish that epitomizes their style. The two winners compete in the second round, and the winner there cooks against one of the judges in the final round — with $10,000 on the table. If the judge edges out the contestant, they win notoriety, not the money.
Lyons said she learned of the show through a friend, applied and video-interviewed a few times before heading to Canada in 2019. She described waking at 5 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start time, which was “disorienting,” in part because cooking time lasts just 30 minutes.
“So much goes into it besides just what you see in the final edits,” she said. “Competition cooking is a whole other beast than day-to-day operations, and I look forward to doing more of it!”
In Episode 4, titled “A Blaze of Glory,” she showed off a beef tenderloin prepared in a Spanish-inspired way with cilantro gremolata, a charred onion soubise and “barn burner” whiskey beans.
While “FireMasters” has been compared to “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Chopped Next Gen” also leans into a modern take on cooking shows looking to attract “young, hip and hungry chefs,” according to a March Discovery+ press release. A five-episode sister series, “Chopped 420,” challenges four chefs who have incorporated cannabis into their food.
Actress Liza Koshy hosts Next Gen, whose judging panel includes chefs who themselves have climbed the ranks of being a fresh face to award-winning, including TopChef Mei Lin and James Beard winner Kuame Onwuachi.
The model mirrors Chopped, with three rounds which include an appetizer, entree and dessert, made with mystery basket ingredients.
Landry said she couldn’t share details of the episode just yet. It began airing June 1.
“FireMasters” aired in Canada in April and became available on U.S. streaming platforms (Amazon, Hulu, Discovery+) May 27.