The season finale of Top Chef: Texas was this week, and that presents a serious dilemma for many of us foodies: What to watch now? As is the sad truth about so many TV genres, there are some wonderful food flicks for the silver screen—and also some truly terrible ones.
But if you’re desperate for a quick fix for your foodie-TV craving, we’ve got you covered. Tune in to these three Top Chef replacements that will leave you entertained (and your mouth watering!).
1. Chopped, Tuesdays at 10/9c on the Food Network
Ted Allen of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame is an immensely likable host on this fast-paced culinary competition, as are the chef and restaurateur judges. Each week, four contestants compete to be the last one “chopped” after planning a meal of mystery ingredients within just 30 minutes. The mystery ingredients range from the normal (avocados, green onions) to the downright weird (gooey duck, chicken in a can, the southeast Asian fruit durian). The time constraints and mish-mash of products present an enormous challenge (seriously, it takes me 20 minutes just to get my ingredients in order when I cook at home) and it’s always fun to see what the chefs come up with.
2. Iron Chef America, Sundays at 10/9c on the Food Network
This ultimate cooking competition takes place in the Food Network’s Kitchen Stadium. It can veer towards corny at times—e.g. The Chairman’s overdramatic gestures—but the quirky, lovable, and extremely knowledgeable commentator Elton Bown more than makes up for the cheesiness. The meals are elaborate, the knives fly fast, and the wide variety of cooking techniques utilized (who knew you could do so much with grapes?) make this a top foodie choice. Watch to see if new Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian lives up to his new title.
3. Bizarre Foods America, Mondays at 9/8c on the Travel Channel
A spinoff of Bizarre Foods hosted by adventurous eater Andrew Zimmerman, this show reveals the strange, unusual, and downright baffling local cuisine of the United States. Part travel show, part culinary adventure, it’s a great pick if you want to discover the hidden ethnic foods that are eaten in your own city. Best of all? Once Zimmerman’s done, you can go try the food for yourself. Just bring a hearty appetite and a strong stomach—he’s eaten everything from smoked raccoon in New Orleans to lamb-brain sandwiches in Detroit.