This story is part of , our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.
Could a Top Chef make an exact replica of an In-N-Out burger? Could an Iron Chef take the essence of a Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch and reinvent it into a gourmet delight? Well, that’s the idea behind the TruTV series Fast Foodies, which is currently airing its second season. In each episode, a celebrity chef shares a favorite fast-food item, and three award-winning chefs try to remake it exactly. Once they’re done, the chefs then create their own signature remix version of the food.
Fast Foodies is a celebration of fast food and friends. The three chefs who have to remake people’s most beloved fast-food items are Kristen Kish, Jeremy Ford and Justin Sutherland, a mix of Top Chef and Iron Chef winners. Nearly as important as the fast-food item that’s chosen for each episode are the celebrity guests who serve as muses, distractions and entertainers to Kish and company.
In season 1, comedian Bobby Lee had the chefs tackle a sausage Egg McMuffin sandwich. Actor Joel McHale challenged them to redo a Portillo’s Chicago-style hot dog. Other celebrities and their favorite fast-food items include Andy Ritcher and the fish fillet sandwich, Ron Funches and the Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich and Nikki Glasser and McDonald’s chicken McNuggets (or a vegan version of them).
Fast Foodies is a far cry from the seemingly endless parade of cutthroat overdramatic reality cooking shows. It falls neatly into the same spectrum as the Great British Baking Show, just with more tattoos and shots of booze. And it’s the friendship between Kish, Ford and Sutherland and the way they challenge one another that really makes the show compelling. I guess I shouldn’t discredit just how fascinating it is to watch three insanely talented chefs remake my favorite fast food and then reinvent it completely. Like the food it celebrates, Fast Foodies is a perfect mix of familiar comfort and inventive creativity that I crave now more than ever.
Luckily for me Kish, Ford and Sutherland were my guests on. Kish explained why the show is such a joy for her.
“The beauty of the entire show is that it’s very rare for three professional chefs to come together and actually have the time, space and energy to soak in what everyone else is doing without feeling either intimidated or feeling like you have to be better,” said Kish. “It’s just the schooling that every adult chef needs.”
Sutherland describes the show as the “best restaurant culinary school.”
During our conversation, the three discuss the impact the show has had on their lives and why you should order fish on a Monday. And Ford shares a sneak peak at his new restaurant, the Butcher’s Club.
Catch new episodes of Fast Foodies every Thursday on TruTV. Listen to my full interview with Kish, Ford and Sutherland in the podcast player at the top of this article. Subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.