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Yet another cooking competition coming your way: 'The Chopping Block'

February 1, 2009 |  4:47 pm

Chopping_block_3One of the commercials debuting during NBC's Super Bowl coverage: A sneak peek of the network's new reality cooking show, "The Chopping Block," starring Marco -- no last name necessary -- as the "world's greatest chef."

Cue the sinster lighting, the dramatic music, and the dark musings of British Michelin star chef Marco Pierre White of the U.K.'s "Hell's Kitchen":

"Before you kill something, think about it," Marco says amid interspersed snippets of cooking contestants driven to the edge of despair. "Kill something for the right reasons. Kill it to eat it."

The show debuts March 11 and features eight couples, each competing to win $250,000 and a shot at their own restaurant.

It's too soon to say for sure, but the show looks like "Top Chef's" fan favorite competition, kitchen wars, meets Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen" meets "Chopped." It's just the latest TV show to join the cooking competition party (and the latest to use cleaver-as-logo).

But what do you think? Are you planning on tuning in?

Here are more details from NBC:

"The Chopping Block" will expose the unseen pitfalls and behind-the-scenes madness that goes into opening a restaurant. ...

The heat is on when White ushers the couples -- split into two teams of four couples each –- to two empty restaurant spaces, side by side, in the middle of Manhattan. ... Both establishments will open at the same time and will be competing for the same customers -- against 26,000 other restaurants in the world's busiest (and hungriest) city.

In each episode, noted food critics will be assigned to observe the chaos that inevitably unfolds on opening night, and after the dust has settled, White will return with the reviews. The worst-performing team will have to plead their case -- because one couple will be asked to remove their aprons as they are sent home.

There's the suggestion that these couples will soon be driven to the edge -- and perhaps clawing at each others' throats -- as Marco says: "You can never allow emotions into your judgment."

Two Los Angeles couples will be among the eight couples, including Lisa Stalvey and Michael Anapol, 50-something "former hippies" who want to open their own restaurant, and sisters Kelsey and Vanessa Henderson. Kelsey is a private chef who "apprenticed under Madonna’s lead macrobiotic chef for a year before taking over the position altogether."

At one point during the preview, the couples are seen lining up submissively while Marco's alludes to the hearding of sheep: "I don't like sheep, unless I'm eating it."

As if all of this isn't ominous enough, he adds in closing: "They do not know how hard it's gonna be."

Photo credit: NBC Universal