Advanced Television

Freevee names Mai as Host of America’s Test Kitchen

October 21, 2022

Home cooks from across America will compete to see who has what it takes to join the coveted America’s Test Kitchen team on Amazon Freevee’s new Original series, America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation. The 10-episode series, hosted by Emmy-winner Jeannie Mai Jenkins, premieres on December 9th, with new episodes airing weekly until February 10th exclusively on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. In addition, 200 episodes from previous seasons of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country are currently available—both on demand and on the America’s Test Kitchen FAST channel.

Each of the 11 contestants competing will present their dishes throughout a series of challenges that test their culinary abilities and on-camera personality. Each week, the contestants will stand in front of the judges’ panel, composed of America’s Test Kitchen icons Dan Souza, Elle Simone Scott, Jack Bishop, and Julia Collin Davison, as well as special guest judges. The last cook standing will get the job of a lifetime—becoming the newest face of America’s Test Kitchen, the opportunity to write their own cookbook, and a $100,000 prize to fund the culinary business of their dreams.

America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation is executive produced by David Lonner, David Nussbaum, Jack Bishop, Madeline Langlieb, Mark Itkin and Mark Levine. Teri Weideman (Project Runway, Bobby’s Triple Threat) serves as the series’ showrunner.

Meet The Host and Judges

Dan Souza, editor-in-chief of Cook’s Illustrated, is the only person who would research and catalogue the six different ways of eating corn on the cob or attend ice cream college just so he could create the ultimate at-home recipe. Dan is an on-screen test cook and science expert for America’s Test Kitchen and the host of the popular YouTube series What’s Eating Dan? He has contributed content to a dozen America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, including the New York Times best-seller The Science of Good Cooking (2012) and Cook’s Science (2016). Dan cut his culinary teeth as an apprentice in Hungary before graduating first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America. However, after cooking in restaurants in New York City and Boston he found his true calling: helping people make great food at home.

Food-styling guru Elle Simone Scott is a trailblazer who manages to make food both stunning and approachable. She shapes the visual aesthetic for the Cook’s Country brand and her work appears across ATK media platforms. Elle is an on-screen test cook for America’s Test Kitchen and is the star of a new show currently in production—Entertaining with Elle, which showcases her skills as a cook, teacher, and stylist and will premiere in 2023. Elle provided food styling and expert advice for Boards, Stylish Spreads for Casual Gatherings, a best-selling, highly regarded cookbook released in April 2022. In addition to her role as an executive editor at America’s Test Kitchen, Elle also uses her platform and her organization SheChef to advocate, mentor, and inspire other women of colour in the food space.

Jack Bishop, who began cooking at the age of 13, is the patriarch of America’s Test Kitchen. Jack leads the creative teams working on the company’s television shows, podcasts, videos, magazines, books, and online cooking school. Jack was part of the original team that started America’s Test Kitchen, beginning with the launch of Cook’s Illustrated in 1993. Jack directed the launch of Cook’s Country magazine in 2005 and the building of the company’s book publishing division. He is the tasting lab expert on America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country. Jack is the author of several cookbooks, including Vegetables Every Day and The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook.

Julia Collin Davison is America’s most experienced cooking instructor. In her 20+ years at America’s Test Kitchen it is estimated that Julia has sampled and tested over 20,000 recipes! Julia began working as a test cook for Cook’s Illustrated in 1999 and led recipe development for America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks for more than a decade. She is currently an executive editorial director and is also an original cast member and co-host of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country. Julia received an Augie Award from the Culinary Institute of America and was inducted into the prestigious Disciples d’Escoffier culinary society in 2018.

Jeannie Mai Jenkins is an Emmy winner who co-hosted the nationally syndicated talk show The Real for eight seasons and can currently be seen as a side-line correspondent for ABC’s extreme mini-golf competition series Holey Moley, currently in its fourth season. In 2018, Mai and her fellow The Real co-hosts received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. The show received multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Talk Series and received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Talk Series. In 2020, Mai competed on Season 29 of the hit ABC series Dancing with the Stars. In May 2021, Mai was included in the Gold House A100 list, recognizing the most impactful leaders in the Asian community.

In 2019, Mai launched her weekly web series Hello Hunnay, which takes fans on her journey through fashion, fitness, food, finances and relationships. As a self-described foodie, she enjoys the art of cooking and often showcases cultural cuisines with her family across her social platforms. Mai also hosts the podcast Listen Hunnay, where she interviews everyone from sex therapists to divorce lawyers and morticians to crime scene investigators in an effort to understand the journeys at the heart of the human being behind the career. Mai partnered with Owl’s Brew, the leader in tea-based spiked and sparkling beverages as chief brand officer, assisting with new product innovations and overall brand strategy. In addition, Mai recently launched her first fashion collection in collaboration with Macy’s, Jeannie Mai x INC. Now on her third drop, the versatile collection features the perfect spring staples for the girl ready to make a statement.

In 2017, Mai executive produced Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking, a documentary that investigates the international crisis of human sex trafficking from a deeply personal point of view. The follow up, Stopping Traffic 2: Surviving Sex Trafficking, is now available on demand.

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