TV Shows & Podcasts

The Best Moments from America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation

A look back at the very best bits of the show.

Published Feb. 15, 2023.

Whether it’s Marc’s perfectly timed quips or Rashmi’s impromptu dance sessions, ATK: Next Gen has been full of wholesome, funny, and—at times—incredibly dramatic moments.

Here’s a roundup of a few of our favorites.

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Rashmi couldn’t help but give Jack Bishop a hug

Naturally, it’s a thrilling experience getting to meet your heroes. One contestant, Rashmi Primlani, simply wasn’t able to hold in her excitement when she was introduced to the judging panel of ATK cast members.

As Jack said hello to the chefs, she launched herself at him in a warm hug, as the rest of the room chuckled at her endearing exuberance.

Marc—a longtime vegetarian—is assigned shrimp for his first dish

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching reality cooking shows, it’s that tasting as you cook is essential. Marc, while cooking his shrimp linguini in the first episode of the show, decided to flaunt this unspoken rule, as he’d been a vegetarian for over 18 years and wasn’t willing to break his streak to taste what he was preparing.

Luckily, the dish impressed judges Dan and Julia and Marc went on to see the show’s semifinals.

The elimination that sent nobody home

Starting the show off with an exciting twist, the very first elimination challenge resulted in no elimination at all.

“So, we’ve decided,” Jeannie said gravely during the episode, pausing for dramatic effect . . .

“That nobody’s going home today.”

Dan, the day’s judge, assured the contestants that learning from your mistakes is an important part of the process at America’s Test Kitchen, and we all issued a collective sigh of relief that we wouldn't be parting with anyone too soon.

When Peter decided to do the opposite of what the challenge asked

Usually when you’re given a challenge in a competition, you want to follow the rules to the very best of your ability. But given time pressure, the many TV cameras in your face, and the dazzling stage lights, it can be easy to misinterpret your task.

Sadly, that exact situation happened to Peter Cardoz, who was tasked with identifying and recreating a classic ATK recipe. Feeling confident that he had identified his dish, Peter said coyly to the cameras, “Okay, they definitely gave me a broccoli salad; now how can I make it better? I’m going with a variation of one of my old roommate’s broccoli salads.”

Sorry, can we read the assignment once more, please? Ah yes, it was, “Identify the ingredients in a meal and then recreate the popular ATK recipe as closely as you can.”

Unfortunately, this challenge sent Peter home and most likely left him with a lifelong aversion to broccoli salads.

When Jessica squandered her time with a professional food stylist

Advantages were coveted rewards throughout ATK: Next Gen, and often they were used for the contestant’s benefit. All except one, unfortunately, in which Jessica Lawson was given 5 valuable minutes of help from ATK’s food stylist and cookbook author Elle Simone Scott.

We were down to the final 15 minutes of the challenge, and Jessica brought Elle in to taste a salmon spread she’d be serving with bagel chips. Elle confirmed that the food was delicious and waited for her next instructions. But Jessica simply continued with her plating.

“That’s it, that’s all you want from me?” Elle asked suspiciously.

“That’s it!” Jessica cried out as she ran between her board and the stove.

With no further marching orders, Elle simply slinked away after helping for about 45 seconds of the allotted 5 minutes.

When the fire alarm went off in the middle of Antionette’s live demo

In the show’s finale, Antoinette was paired with Jack Bishop to complete a live cooking demonstration in the ATK studio. Always natural and at ease in front of the camera, Antoinette was a picture of confidence . . . that is, until the fire alarm was set off in the test kitchen, and she was forced to stop her live demonstration mid-sentence.

Luckily, once it was confirmed that there was no danger, Antoinette seamlessly restarted her demonstration to the awe and admiration of Elle and Dan.

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