Restaurant staff invited to join new weight loss show

A new TV show has put out a casting call to all overweight chefs, restaurateurs, wait staff, sommeliers, food critics, cookbook authors and culinary instructors in the US who are carrying around extra foie gras and jelly donut bellies.

From the producers of Kitchen Nightmares and Celebrity Fit Club, the new series will center around people who work in the food industry and follow their efforts as they try to slim down while working in an environment where they face maddening temptation every day.

The show is looking for people who are more than 75 lbs (34 kg) overweight, and will give them access to trainers, nutritionists and medical professionals over 17 weeks, during which time the candidates will try to achieve their fitness goals.

Producers have tapped into a show premise that marries two favorite, classic TV concepts: food TV and drama in the kitchen with the always popular before and after makeover success story.

It also debunks a longstanding proverb in the food world, "Never trust a skinny chef," a saying that has become less relevant in recent years with the explosion of food TV and the svelte, bikini figures of celebrity chefs like Giada De Laurentiis and Sandra Lee.

And it's not just female chefs who are trying to fight the extra 10 pounds that cameras add.

Rocco DiSpirito, a TV chef and host of Bravo's Rocco's Dinner Party, parlayed his struggle to lose the extra 20 pounds (9 kg) he was carrying into a cookbook, Now Eat This! Diet.

Last January, Iron Chef America host Alton Brown also chronicled his weight loss on an episode of his show Good Eats called "Live and Let Diet."

In 2009, Brown changed his eating habits to include more vegetables, whole grains, fish, and leafy greens and over the course of nine months lost 50 lbs (23 kg).

To submit an application for the culinary weight loss casting, meanwhile, producers invite candidates to send a profile that includes a short 300-word personal essay in addition to photos.

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