Everyone wrote Mise en Place off as another cheap reality competition knockoff tv series because the premise was identical to a much better cooking show in which two teams of chefs competed for a lucrative position at a Michelin 5-Star restaurant, while working in a restaurant-style kitchen set up in the television studio. A series of cooking challenges that escalated in difficulty were designed to eliminate contestants until there was a single winner.
Despite this similarity, the show set itself apart immediately in the very first episode during the “eat it, now meat it” challenge, where chef-contestants had to recreate a protein dish prepared by celebrity chef and host, Jacquez Devereaux, by taste alone. The loser of the challenge faced elimination after the host delivered the show’s catchphrase, “You will be served.”
When it was later revealed that the protein in the dish was human flesh which had to be correctly identified by gender, nationality and country and city of origin in order to secure a win and the loser was escorted to the show’s abattoir to be cut into sections for the next competition, the show became an instant ratings success.