As television shows go, reality TV has given us some of the greatest hits of the last 10 years. Showcasing genuine reactions to often dramatic situations, it frequently makes for compelling viewing, especially when it features a high-octane premise.
Kitchen Casino was one such example. Premiering in April 2014, it was commissioned for a single season – a move that deeply disappointed many viewers. With big personalities, a fun formula, and an attractive cash prize, it made for some truly gripping television, even if it was criminally shortlived.
Now, rumors are swirling that it may be set to make a comeback, and while these have yet to be confirmed, we can’t help but get our hopes up. Here are just a few of the reasons why.
The gripping, casino-themed rounds
While Kitchen Casino had much to recommend it, perhaps its greatest selling point was its unique formula, which married the stresses and strife of shows like MasterChef with the excitement and unpredictability of gaming.
Round one, aka Chef Slots, was our favorite. A quick look at any online casino will uncover a number of food-themed bingo and slots options, from Red Hot Tamales to Sausage Party and Rich Treats, but this television show turned that concept on its head, asking contestants to spin a specially devised video slot machine to find out what dish they’d be making.
Round two, on the other hand, was inspired by roulette and swapped the meals the chefs were working on at regular intervals. Poker was the source of the next challenge, with the cards that were dealt dictating the ingredients that must be used. Lastly came the High Roller’s Wheel, which gave the winner the chance to potentially triple their winnings!
When it premiered in 2014 on the Food Network, Kitchen Casino was headed up by the brilliant Bill Rancic, and this was one of its biggest selling points. No stranger to reality TV, Rancic had previously starred in the first season of The Apprentice, going on to win the show and get hired. Remaining part of the Trump Organization even after his initial one-year contract expired, Rancic remained close to America’s 45th President, often filling in as a judge on the show when regular panel members were absent.
A series of other reality television gigs followed, including Kitchen Casino, where Rancic arguably lit up the screen with his witty asides and gripping commentary. In light of this, we’d essentially watch any show that America’s original entrepreneur fronted.
The $30,000 cash prize
As those who’ve enjoyed the occasional flutter will attest, much of the thrill of playing comes from the duality of gambling, with the risk counterbalancing the reward. This was also a big part of the fun in Kitchen Casino, where a potential prize pot of $30,000 was on the table.
Not only did this give contestants a lot to play for and encourage them to really up the ante, but it also meant they were presented with a nail-biting final conundrum come the close of the show: to either walk away with $10,000 or gamble what they’d already won on spinning the wheel and potentially tripling their prize money.
Compelling and filled with the most thrilling twists and turns, Kitchen Casino was a truly wonderful cooking show – one that took a tried-and-tested formula and managed to make it even more exciting. Canceled after only one season, it never quite got the chance to shine as it should, but if the latest rumors are to be believed, we may yet get to enjoy it again. We’ve got everything crossed that this is, indeed, the case!