Private Chefs of Beverly Hills Serves Up Insects, Catfights and a Whole Lot of "No's"
If you thought the drama on Top Chefs: Just Desserts is over-the-top, wait until you watch the second season of Private Chefs of Beverly Hills. "We are the king of drama!" Private Chefs' Brooke Peterson tells TVGuide.com. "I mean, you really cannot beat parents who spend an exorbitant amount of money to throw their children a circus-themed birthday party and buy them, like, three cars on top of it." The Food Network docu-soap follows Peterson and five fellow chefs from the company Big City Chefs, who cater and cook for Beverly Hills' rich and famous in pairs — a rewarding and ofttimes, "pain-in-the-a---" gig, Peterson says. See what else the chef has to say about the new season and why, despite all the drama, she can't imagine working anywhere else.
TVGuide.com: Last season, you guys worked a Botox party and a doggy shower. What can top that?
Brooke Peterson: A lot! This season is going to be wilder, more demanding. I think the clients are more intense. You're going to see them fighting for their menus more. Last season, people played nicely together. ... There are some pretty wild scenes. We do some off-the-beaten-track food, like food you would never eat in the United States. It's cuisine in Third World countries. We do some insects. You'll see more celebrities this season, like Lorenzo Lamas, and you'll more catfights between the chefs. It is just drama-driven.
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TVGuide.com: Are you part of the catfighting?
Peterson: [Laughs] Yes! I have a big problem with people who tell me they're going to do something and then don't do it or can't. Keep your word! Brian [Hill] and I do the first episode together and we do a sweet-17 party. It's insane. For those who do not live in Beverly Hills, this is when people spend more money on their children's birthdays than most people do on weddings. My parents are like, "Turn on the sprinkler! The cake's from the grocery store." ... But Brian had never baked before. I had started out doing pastry. Brian decided that he would like to do pastry, and I'll let you see how it turned out.
TVGuide.com: I'm assuming you took the reins back?
Peterson: I had to take them back. She made it clear that the most important part was the dessert. We interviewed her before to find out what she wanted. She goes, "It's been really unfair because I haven't had a party every summer because we've been in Europe." And I thought, "Hmm, yes, I guess that's really difficult for you. Let's cry yourself to sleep at night." We did a circus theme. She styled the whole thing and it's nothing I've ever seen before in my life. That's another thing — the visuals this season are unbelievable. The things that people do in Beverly Hills for parties — I don't know where the economic correction is because they are spectacular. You're not going to emulate them the exact same way they did, but you can take away some great ideas.
TVGuide.com: How often do you butt heads with the clients?
Peterson: Well, my biggest catfights are usually with them. I don't hire an interior designer to come into my house and then do the design. You ask me to cater your dinner party and you tell me you want ham-and-cheese sandwiches? We're going to have a fight. I fight for the way I think it should be done best because that's why I'm there. I've thrown about 500 big dinner parties and you have to have faith in me that I know the way guests are going to want to eat, the way you're going to want to eat, the way the party is going to progress.
TVGuide.com: Is it hard to work with and for them while you're arguing?
Peterson: Not really. Usually, most of them see what I'm saying. These clients are used to having people cater to their every whim, and most of the time, they're doing themselves a huge disservice because they're not getting the full experience. They're getting "yes" a lot, so they're getting the same thing over and over again, and they think they can get what they want all the time. You're going to hear a whole lot of "no's" from me. If you don't allow people to do their job, you don't always get the best results. I mean, I know what I'm doing!
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TVGuide.com: Do you ever considering not working in Beverly Hills?
Peterson: It's a double-edged sword like anything else. I am so entertained on a daily basis and I don't think I would get to do some of things I get to do [if I were] in Milwaukee. We play with budgets in Beverly Hills that you don't get to play with in the rest of the country. These people are doing this on a Tuesday night. So I can't see myself leaving. The look of some people in Beverly Hills actually is not what is going on underneath. You have to get past that surface. I find I like people the more I work with them. As much as they throw temper tantrums, they never leave a party without saying, "Thank you. That was one of the best dinners."
TVGuide.com: If you come back for a third season, what would you like to see?
Peterson: I would like to see all of the chefs work together on one event. We've never done a big event together — the six of us. I think the six of us can run a 250-person event. These are big personalities, so I think it'd be hilarious. And bring back clients!
Private Chefs of Beverly Hills premieres Tuesday at 9/8c on Food Network.