Playing with Fire: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

Playing with Fire - Season 1

The E! Network heats up their Sundays starting on March 17 when they debut the new docu-series Playing with Fire, a show about a group of restaurateurs and chefs exploring New York’s culinary scene. The series joins a huge list of reality shows including Keeping up with the Kardashians. Here are some facts you may need to know about this new program.

1. The Show Explores New York’s Nightlife

New York Nightlife

Playing with Fire will explore the New York food scene as well as the nightlife through the eyes of a group filled with chefs and restaurant owners on the rise. The cast includes Candice Kumai, a Californian with dreams of success; twin brothers Derek and Daniel Koch, food entrepreneurs; ambassador and cookbook author Anna Boiardi, whose passion for food runs in the family; and pastry chef Julie Elkind, whose expertise in desserts precedes her reputation has a hard-knocking boss.

2. Viewers Get to See a Close Look at a Chef’s Life

Daniel and Derek Koch at Toy Opening

Viewers of the show will get to see the inner workings of how food is prepared during big events in the city. During the premiere episode, Derek and Daniel Koch will be preparing for the grand opening of a new restaurant at the Gansevoort Hotel. People will experience the tension between these two brothers as they try to balance their work and relationships. Also in the episode, viewers will be introduced to Julie Eklind, whose hard as a nails attitude makes problems both professionally and personally.

3. Some Famous Guest Stars Will Appear

Tood English - Jennifer Esposito

Famous chef and restaurateur Todd English will be making some appearances in some of the episodes. He will make his debut on the first episode where he will be celebrating his birthday as well as the 10th anniversary of his popular restaurant, Olives. We will also be seeing actress Jennifer Esposito, who will be following her baking ambitions when she takes a class from cast member Anna Boiardi.

4. One of the Cast is a Descendant of a Famous Chef

Anna Boiardi

You may not recognize Anna Boiardi’s face, but her last name may ring a bell. That’s because she is the great granddaughter and niece of the founders of the Chef Boyardee Company. As a wife and mother, she has been trying to make a name for herself by bringing Italian cuisine to the modern home kitchens, just like her ancestors. Besides teaching traditional Italian dishes, Anna is also an author of the cookbook “Delicious Memories,” a book filled of recipes that were passed down in her family when she started learning to cook from her mother.

5. A Top Chef Contestant Makes A Debut

Candice Kumai

Cast member Candice Kumai was a former Top Chef contestant before getting her chance to be on this program. After her stint on Top Chef, she wrote cookbooks to help others learn to make easy and delicious food. Her first book “Cook Yourself Thin” became a success and launched her own show of the same name on Lifetime. Her cookbooks have proven to readers that food can be delicious, healthy, and easy to make. She was also the judge of Iron Chef America on the Food Network.

6. The Series Will Have Six Hour-Long Episodes

Suzanne Kolb

Playing with Fire will debut this month and will continue to air its six-episode series. The show began production last fall 2012 and is all set to premiere on March 17. E! Entertainment President Suzanne Kolb made the announcement on Wednesday. “We’re excited to provide E! viewers with this unique new perspective on New York’s world-famous food culture and the charismatic, driven individuals who thrive in it,” Kolb said. “Playing with Fire embodies a world in which a combination of talent, ambition, a lot of charm and a little gamesmanship are needed to reach the ultimate goal — long-term success in a high-stakes industry.”

7. Check Out the Promo

To get a taste of what to expect, check out the promo for this highly anticipated series airing on the E! Network.

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8. Cast Members Already Promoting Show Through Twitter

Julie Eklind had already expressed her excitement of the show’s debut on her Twitter. She even posted a pic of the cast and is awaiting to see what viewers will think of her performance tweeting, “Less than 2 weeks away until we see our show/work come to life!”

Julie Elkind's Twitter


Anna Boiardi also commented on the show talking about its debut during Oscar night, “Promo for #playing withfire premiered tonight on e! During Oscar pre- show! If u missed it you can see it on e! online.”

Anna Boiardi's Twitter

9. The Series Order Comes Three Days After E! President Lisa Berger Resigned


The pickup for the series just comes three days after Lisa Berger left her post as President of Programming at E!, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The former boss was known for successfully launching the Kardashian brand on the network. After working nine years, she left the network without any reason or what plans she has next.

10. The Series is Funded By Atlas Media Corp.

Bruce David Klein

Playing with Fire is being produced by Atlas Media Corp., a media company known for their TV shows and specials like Hotel Impossible and Behind the Bash with Giada DeLaurentiis. “We’re thrilled to be working with E! on this sexy docu-soap set right in our own backyard of New York,” says Bruce David Klein, President and Executive Producer of the NY-based Atlas Media Corp. “This ensemble cast has explosive passion and creativity — and together they represent the best of what’s happening in the world’s greatest food city.”

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