In a world of fake reality television shows the simple idea of pairing 4 people up against each other competing for $10,000 while cooking offers more than most.
Being a bit of a foodie myself I really enjoy the mystery basket approach of secret ingredients. I find this show much more "real" than say Iron Chef America. The strict time limit and need to produce all 4 plates single handedly makes for more intense buzzer beater endings to each round.
The quick personal stories of each competitor in the beginning of the program set up each episode to give the viewer a sense of their expertise (or lack there of) as well as occupation. There have been teen chefs, stay at home moms, and military personnel.
The recent episode of accepting suggestions from social media sites was also a fantastic idea that I enjoyed as well.
My only suggestions to improve the show might be to add fan of the show to guest judge along side the professional judges from time to time. I would also like to see less "sob story" during the cooking portion of the show and focus more on the techniques and commentary from the judges. Also for those strange mystery basket ingredients I would like to hear more from the judges about what they know about it and how they might integrate the ingredient if they were competing.
Overall one of my top shows to watch each and every week.