By Lynn Elber Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Consider the simple but beloved chocolate chip cookie. Now imagine that cookie encrusting a brioche roll tucked around a turkey meatball.
Or turn your thoughts to a mass-produced cherry pie transformed into an eggroll with dipping sauce. Or the prospect of potato chip soup.
Such is the culinary fallout from “Rewrapped,” a new Food Network series that builds on the tradition of “Unwrapped,” a longtime channel staple that airs on the Cooking Channel.
“Unwrapped,” now in reruns, pulls the veil back on how peanut butter, snack cakes, marshmallows and other such items are commercially produced.
“Rewrapped,” debuting at 8 p.m. today and hosted by Joey Fatone, is a competition in which chefs recreate a brand product and then use it in original, sometimes mind-boggling, recipes.
The desire to “repurpose” footage from “Unwrapped” led to the new series from producer BSTV Entertainment, according to Marc Summers, a game-show host (“Double Dare”) and comedian who leads its three-judge panel.
Summers is familiar to Food Network viewers as the host of “Unwrapped,” and is a producer whose credits include the channel’s “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible,” which marks its 100th episode on May 7.
On “Rewrapped,” clips of food production lead into the contest in which three chefs try to match the product’s commercial taste and appearance.
There can be unexpected challenges, like the smile on Pepperidge Farm’s tiny Goldfish crackers. Chefs deftly employed such tools as coat hangers and foil to fashion the grin, Summers said.
Points are awarded and carried into round two, which turns up the creative heat with recipes that can be sweet or savory. They also can give a judge pause.
“The chefs put these things in front of you and you think, ‘Oh, this is not going to be good,”’ Summers said. But when he sampled the cookie-meatball-brioche mash-up, he recalled, “Oh, my God, my head exploded. It was fantastic.”
Is he typically such an open-minded eater?
“I have become a bit of a foodie but I’m still not one of those folks who want quail eggs and mustard, or whatever fancy-schmancy stuff folks eat today,” he said.