In one of the most original food-based shows to hit the airwaves, The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck serves up a side order of drama-filled reality with incredible cooking. Beck explains why “naughty” & “dirty” are good in her TV kitchen.
Ready for a reality series with good taste? Or, how about a food-themed show with just some tasty, scrumptious comfort food you actually want to eat? Then, may I suggest you sample a bite or two out of the Oxygen Channel’s delicious new docu-series The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck, which premieres September 22 at 10:00pm EST/PST on Oxygen. Unlike food competition shows such as the highly rated Top Chef, The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck takes viewers into the kitchen and inside the personal life of one of America’s most talented chefs — Houston-born Blythe Beck.
Following the fiery young chef as she prepares her “naughty” and distinctive “Sexy New American Cuisine” at the legendary Central 214 restaurant in Dallas, Texas (located inside the swank, lavish Hotel Paloma), The Naughty Kitchen also takes a peek at the drama that goes on in the lives of Beck's loud and flamboyant staff.
The cast of The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck
“Blythe is someone who was just born to be on television,” explains The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck Executive Producer Lauren Lexton. “We (Authentic Entertainment) really enjoyed making the food-themed shows we did before (Ace of Cake, Best Thing I Ever Ate). And, we also love doing what we call docu-soaps, which are shows about real people living their real lives. This show is just a perfect combination of both of those.”
As you’ll see each week on The Naughty Kitchen, Blythe Beck is on a quest for “Total World Culinary Domination.” The sassy, 29-year-old chef is considered a major culinary sensation with her "Sexy New American Cuisine" — innovative, decadent dishes made with her unique philosophy toward food and life always in mind, “Keep it naughty.” For Blythe, “naughty” means butter, cream, cheese and porkfat. It means flavorful American classics with a sexy twist, like “Buck-Nekkid Bacon,” “Dirty South Sausage Balls” and “Fudge Ménages à Trois.”
“The naughtiest thing I’ve ever done in my kitchen is take a whole slab of bacon, rub bacon fat on it and then pack it with brown sugar,” Blythe admits. “Now that’s dirty!” And, for Beck, “dirty” isn’t necessarily a filthy word — it’s a destination. “Diner by diner, dish by dish, I’m gonna make the whole world love naughty food,” the redhead admits. “This is not a job or a career. In fact, this is not a choice,” Beck admits. “This is what I am meant to do – this is my love. This is my passion. I heart cooking food.”
Chef Blythe Beck of The Naughty Kitchen
What are some of the things that you wanted to do in The Naughty Kitchen that some of the other food shows like Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen don’t offer? “Well, my whole thing about The Naughty Kitchen is that I'm on a mission. Like all those other shows out there are amazing but they're all competition shows. My show is about me, my quest and my connection with the food I cook and people eating it. Like, I get my biggest dirty moment being with my guests and watching them eat my food. So I don't really compare myself to anybody else because it's a totally different show.”
What is your quest? “My quest is for Total World Culinary Domination, and it isn’t just a catch phrase, it's a lifestyle for me. So it's totally different than any other show out here. And it's on the best network ever. They're pretty pro-women living their lives just like how they're supposed to and I heart that — I heart Oxygen.”
Since you are a Southern gal, who do you credit for influencing your Texas-bred cooking skills? “Well, I'm going to tell you right now before anyone else hears it, my parents are Yankees.”
I'm so sorry. “Thanks. (laughs) I wanted to get it out there now before you break the story. But my mom is a kick-ass cook, like she's an amazing, amazing cook. She taught me about the love of food. My family taught me that love of food and how that's really sharing and bonding. But, you know, I have to give it to my big daddy, Dean Fearing, he was my chef mentor and he really taught me the art and finesse of fine foods.”
Do you stray away from cooking any certain types of foods? “I do not stray away from any type of food, sorry, that is my favorite love on Earth. But my genre or what I call Sexy New American — that's what I do best at. But you might see me getting into some other food on the show, I'm just saying, you might see me venture out of my comfort zone. But as a chef, we're always trying to learn so I'm always interested about learning about other cultures, about other food because that's how I spread the naughty love, diner by diner, culture by culture.”
Did you always know that you wanted to go into cooking or did you have a Plan B career choice? “Oh there was no Plan B. I actually didn't know that I wanted to be a cook. I knew that I never wanted to wear pantyhose and I knew I never wanted a lunch hour. But I didn't know what the hell that meant. In college, I majored in philosophy and French and English but my main thing was Miller Lite. (laughs) Then, one time, I called for a to-go order at a restaurant and the lady said I had a great voice and was polite on the phone. She asked me if I wanted a job, and I was like, ‘Oh God, no.’ But, then she's like, ‘It could be beer money,’ and boom, I took the job as a door whore and I never looked back. I fell in love with the restaurant business. This business picked me; I didn't pick it. No it really did, it made me its bitch.”
Chef Blythe Beck of The Naughty Kitchen
How did the idea for a show about you come about? (Executive Producer) Lauren Lexton told me that an executive from Authentic walked into your restaurant and immediately thought, “She should be on television.” It really came out of the blue like that? “It did. I was supposed to be off that night, and I was being a brat and was in a really bad mood. And, you know, that's how it happened. But he was in Dallas working on another show. and I was in my restaurant being a brat so that's how we met.”
What a serendipitous moment. “I know, and thank God he's way more patient than I ever was, so I got very blessed. I wouldn't have done it without my producers; they've just been amazing people.
Have you ever cooked anything that just didn’t work or have all your dishes been pretty successful? “Well, I don't think you can walk around and be like, ‘I’m amazing and everything like that turns to butter,’ because that's certainly not true. But this whole philosophy of cooking just came to me. It was like one reporter asked me, when I first became executive chef, ‘How do you describe your food?’ And I was like, ‘Well, I call it Sexy New American,’ and he laughed. And I'm like, ‘No, it's food you ate growing up but I make it naughty.’ The whole concept of my food was that it was food that you recognized, it made you feel good, it made you feel included and part of something and you didn't need a damn dictionary to get through my menu.”
Where does the "dirty" and "sexy" come into play with the food? “I wanted it to be something that people could really relate to and be like, ‘Oh my God, that's the best blah, blah, blah I've ever had,’ because everybody has got a dirty food secret. Everybody's got something that they love to eat secretly, alone or they know how to add something to this dish to make it even better. I want to know the world's dirty food secrets. I want to share with them, I want to eat with them and I want to love on them. And that's where it came from. I would love to tell you it was some magic day but it just was like it came from inside and it just kind of flows out of me because I love it. I love food and I love people.”
Like writing a song or acting a role, you make cooking food sound very artistic… “Exactly. And chefs are just as crazy as anybody else. (laughs) It's very artistic, it's very creative and it's very personal. Every time you put a dish up there, you're putting you out there and that's why a chef take reviews so harsh if people don't like us because that's us on a plate. It's very personal, very intimate, because it's your food and your flavors and that's' why it's really important to me that I spread kind of the naughty love.”
Are you a fan of other food shows?“I am. I'm a big fan of Top Chef. I've been watching it since Season One. Tom Colicchio is pretty dreamy. Yeah, I heart Top Chef.”
Did you get used to the cameras following you around pretty quickly for the reality series? “I did. I first of all, I heart, heart, heart Oxygen. Like they were super good to me, and my producers put together the most amazing crew ever. Not only were half of them dreamy, but they were so professional and so respectful. And it got to the point like for me I don't care, like all my business is out there and it's for people to kind of enjoy and get into my life. It didn't bother me at all. And I have the best people around me between Oxygen and Authentic that it seems like this was just the way it was supposed to be.”
What do you hope viewers take away with them after watching The Naughty Kitchen? “My whole thing about this show is that I want people to walk away from this show feeling better about themselves. I want people to walk away knowing that naughty is not just about food, but it's a lifestyle. And I want people to walk away going, ‘Oh my God, if she can do it, so can I. And I’m okay just the way I am.’ That is so important to me. This goes beyond just deep frying food, which I heart. This is all about being okay with who you are and how you sound and how you look and how you act and that we all have the naughty in us and we need to show the world our naughty.”
Chef Blythe Beck of The Naughty Kitchen
Looking to prepare your own food in a whole new, “naughty, dirty” way? As a way to whet viewer’s appetites, Oxygen is also doing a series of webisodes called “Recipes from The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck” at http://naughtykitchen.oxygen.com/ that should bring out the “naughty” in everyone. In each webisode, Chef Blythe Beck, and a cast member, will demo some of Beck’s favorite and “dirtiest” kitchen tactics. Additionally, www.oxygen.com offers more “dirty little secrets” with all new photos, cast member’s blogs, naughty food quizzes and message boards.
The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck premieres September 22 at 10:00pm EST/PST on Oxygen.