Ever think you would want to eat yak?  Or have wasabi ice cream?  Matt Weaver, a chef from Austin, Texas, could probably convince you to eat anything on his On Networks show, Stump the Chef.

In each seven-minute installment, three odd ingredients are chosen – like Liver, Olives and French Fries or Beets, Oysters and Canned Peaches – and Weaver has to concoct a new dish.  I’m no gastronome and Escoffier certainly isn’t a recognized name in my household, but it’s still easy to tell that Weaver has skills.  He makes the unlikely food combinations look easily edible.



Three judges – different in each episode, ranging from finger food fans to bona fide food critics – decide whether Weaver has been “stumped” or passes the challenge.  Given the chef’s genuine enthusiasm in the kitchen and his endearing demeanor, you’re always hoping for the best.


Two commentators, including co-creator Cliff Wildman, follow Weaver’s progress and go out of their way to work in punny humor.  ###They’ve got the commentator voice down pact and their play-by-play is as corny as you’d expect, but they also sprinkle in some Alton Brown style foodie info for the epicurious.  Each episode also serves up more education in “Matt’s Tangent,” a segment where Weaver explains the culinary origins of one ingredient he’s cooking up.

Stump the Chef has classic game show graphics, which adds to the kitsch appeal.  It’s like Iron Chef meets Bob Barker except the commentators are comedians and the ingredients are way cooler.  It’s entertaining, too.  After a full serving of episodes it’s still fun to watch Weaver take a few weird things, turn them into a dish, and then see what the judges have to say.

Check out all the episodes of On Networks’ Stump the Chef here

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