Chris Wadsworth has been waiting for Sunday night’s game all year.
No, not the Cardinals-Seahawks NFL matchup on NBC. It’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” on Food Network, and Wadsworth will be playing.
The Baton Rouge chef and three other chefs shot their episode of the Guy Fieri-hosted game show about nine months ago.
“It’s been a long wait, especially since I know how it ends,” Wadsworth said.
Show rules, of course, preclude contestants from discussing how they fared on “Games,” in which chefs compete for $20,000 as they shop and cook inside a grocery store. Adding to the challenge, Fieri (“Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” “Guy’s Big Bite”) always throws in some restrictions. Sunday night, the chefs will be whipping up an upscale Thanksgiving dinner with five or fewer ingredients.
“I stayed as true to my Louisiana roots as I possibly could, with preparation of food, to ingredients, the whole nine yards,” Wadsworth said.
The show is what it is, he added.
“It’s intense and I can tell you that it’s real. Everything we did was legitimate. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into ahead of time. The clock is real. The cooking stations and everything else is real.”
In preparation, Wadsworth turned to the show’s website, he said.
“You can actually see a diagram of the store, because it is a legitimate grocery store, it’s not open to the public, but you can check aisles, see where food is, and I think they even tell you what cooking equipment is there, that kind of thing,” he said. “It’s set up like a regular grocery store, with a commercial kitchen in the middle.”
Back at home, Wadsworth said he does most of the shopping for his household, which includes wife, Sommer, and six children ages 3-14.
“It gets a little bit crazy at the grocery store no matter what.”
Wadsworth and his wife are preparing to open their new restaurant, Goûter, on Government Street in Baton Rouge in early December. Formerly of downtown’s Restaurant IPO, he said his new spot will also focus on small tapas plates filled with “Sportsman’s Paradise” fare.
“We’re not re inventing the wheel,” Wadsworth said of his Louisiana dishes. “We’re just making it better.”