4. Choosing the mystery basket is a complex art
Deciding which ingredients make the cut is a long and intense process. If Culinary Producer Sara Hormi and Food Network Executive Chef Rob Bleifer need more than 15 seconds to come up with a dish with the given ingredients, they scrap the combo. To ensure ingredients aren't repeated too often, the duo cross-references a huge list of previous baskets. After 450 plus episodes, with 16 ingredients per show, that’s over 7,200 ingredient combinations to check!
5. Each episode has a back-up contestant
While you may only see four contestants on set, they officially can’t start shooting unless they have a fifth standby contestant ready to go. The standby jumps in in case someone doesn’t show up, gets sick, panics, or chops off a finger in the first round, and the audience is none the wiser.