Cook at all Costs season 1 review – nothing’s cheap when you are trying to win

By Ricky Valero
Published: December 16, 2022
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Cooking shows should be fun, competitive, and have some great twists, and that’s exactly why Cook at All Costs will be your next favorite reality cooking show.

We review the Netflix reality cooking competition series Cook at all Costs season 1, which was released on December 16th, 2022.

We have a competitive cooking show entering the fray streaming on Netflix in Cook at all Costs. Can this become another binge-worthy cooking show we all enjoy? Let’s dive in.

Here are the rules, the contestants start with $25,000. The first round consists of three boxes, the spending box (highest priced), which includes the best of the best ingredients. Next, you have the safe box (middle priced) containing your basic needs to make a meal. Last, you have the mystery box (lowest priced), and if you end up with it, you have the bottom-of-the-barrel ingredients. After the contestants get their boxes, they create a recipe hoping to impress our guest judge.

In between the home cooks making these recipes, they are presented with food and/or ingredients that can help put their dish over the top. However, it comes at a cost and will be deducted from their total amount. The other twist is each person can bid on the item, leading to a bidding competition. For example, in one episode, a sushi kit was offered to the cooks, and the bidding war went nuts, with one home cook spending three thousand dollars for it.

Once the first dish is complete, the guest judge tries the three dishes and awards a winner. Then, in round two, the winner is given a competitive advantage by selecting one of the three boxes and handing out the other two to their competitors. Of course, each home cook has the box amount deducted from the bottom line. The same rules apply from round one, except this round has a theme, and they must make their dish to highlight that. After another round of items to bid on, one home cook will walk away the winner and take home whatever money is left in their bank.

I have ONE major bone to pick with a specific episode. It was “American Diner,” and these folks had beef liver? DINERS DON’T HAVE BEEF LIVER!? Diners are filled with nine-page menus with everything from pancakes to country-fried steak with gravy, and all of it is good. Other than that, these episodes had a fun variety of balance in themes.

I am not sure I loved the host. I’ve spoken in past reviews about how important the host is to the overall show. It’s their job to be that liaison between the competitors, the judges, and everything in between. Unfortunately, it’s almost as if he was trying TOO HARD to be that guy. Also, he reminded me a little of a dollar store Mario Lopez. On the plus side, the guest judge chefs they had on the show were great. I loved the little tidbits about the ingredients they were about to pass down the belt.

I am a huge fan of cooking competitions, and finding ones that are “new” to the space is hard. That said, it has a few similar tones to Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen but does enough to stand out on its own. I really found myself enjoying the cooking battles amongst the home cooks because they would bicker over the bids. In most shows, we don’t see people being overly competitive with each other, yet this one did, and it made it much more enjoyable.

Overall, I binge-watched Cook at all Costs with my wife in two sittings. It’s fun and creative, and the competitive nature will have you rooting for someone to win. Maybe in season two, we could find a new host. Check it out, and thank me later.

What did you think of Netflix’s Cook at all Costs season 1? Comment below.

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