Chef Marcus Samuelsson has a long list of TV credits. The man behind Red Rooster and Streetbird has made appearances on Chopped, Top Chef and Iron Chef. According to his IMDB page he also did a stint as a camera operator on Expedition: Robinson, which a Scandinavian member of our staff says was a Swedish version of Survivor, so everyone get to YouTubing to see a chef’s cinematography skills in action. Tonight he’s adding one more credit to that page on CBS’s Undercover Boss. In Samuelsson’s episode the series seems to do away with the conceit that bosses dress up in not-so-convincing disguises at their own companies to observe how their employees behave when they think no one is watching them. Instead of going to one of his many restaurants (where the chef is already a fixture, likely aware of how things run and almost certainly unable to fool anyone into believing he is anyone other than Marcus Samuelsson), he heads to New Rochelle, New York and Monroe College’s Culinary Institute to “find new talent.”
As usual there is a rather apparent wig and facial prosthetic in play as the chef pretends to be Vijay Gandhi, an Ohio insurance salesman with a heart of gold—or at least a desire to open his own restaurant despite not knowing what the word “braise” means.
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It looks like this is a bit of an experiment for CBS, which last week tried out another undercover celebrity on the show—country star Darius Rucker.
So does Samuelsson end up finding new talent for his restaurant empire? If you’ve watched an episode of Undercover Boss before you almost certainly know the answer to that question, but no spoilers! OK, one spoiler—according to the Monroe’s dean, at least one amateur participant in tonight’s show gets a full scholarship to the Culinary Institute. Good on CBS for giving back.
The chef’s episode of Undercover Boss airs tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.