Food Network sends word that Ron Ben-Israel, owner of his eponymous cake shop, will be heading up a new show for the network: Sweet Genius will premiere at 10 p.m. on September 22. But wait, don’t they already have a cake guy on the network? Yes, they do. This show is different: It’s a competition show. Per the press release, “Viewers are taken on a sugary journey as four of America’s premier pastry chefs compete each week in three unique elimination challenges judged by Ben-Israel himself.” Oh, so it’s like Chopped, but with desserts? Wonder what Bourdain will have to say about that.
Here’s the pertinent info from the release:
FOOD NETWORK HITS A ‘SWEET’ SPOT WITH
RON BEN-ISRAEL’S NEW PRIMETIME SERIES ‘SWEET GENIUS’
Series Premieres Thursday, September 22nd at 10pm ET/PT
NEW YORK – August 23, 2011 - Food Network’s primetime brings master pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel to the forefront in the new sugar-packed competition Sweet Genius, premiering Thursday, September 22nd at 10pm ET/PT. Viewers are taken on a sugary journey as four of America’s premier pastry chefs compete each week in three unique elimination challenges judged by Ben-Israel himself. Each round tests their ability to create magical and inventive desserts, while being given an inspiration, surprise ingredients, and a finite amount of time. The winners from each challenge advance to the final test, with the last chef standing receiving a $10,000 cash prize.
“We wanted to create the ultimate sweets competition: one that could test the creativity, visual ingenuity, and complex flavors wielded by the world’s best pastry artists,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “Ron’s brilliant reputation as a superstar in the pastry world makes him the perfect person to determine who else can truly be considered a ‘Sweet Genius’.”
Over the course of this eight-episode series highlighting numerous pastry challenges, the chefs will test their pastry skills and imagination, as they prepare delectable desserts from a range of inspirations and ingredients, such as incorporating cheese puffs in a frozen dessert inspired by fire, creating a dessert with carbonated candies from the inspiration of a disco ball, and utilizing the inspiration of diamonds as they prepare a frozen treat with the ingredients of duck fat and fusilli.