We already know Viet Pham, chef and co-owner of Forage (370 E. 900 South), is an extreme chef: I ate there last week and besides the single most amazing oyster I've ever eaten–its shell meticulously opened, the meat barely warmed with blood orange, then the shell closed again (how do they even do that??)–we had an incredible bite of fermented beef and a piece of halibut poached in whey. Just part of an 11-course menu of the most adventurous food in the state. Outlandish. Delicious. Extreme.

Now Viet's star turn in Food Network's Extreme Chefs is finally airing. We bid him farewell and good luck last March http://saltlakemagazine.com/blog/2012/03/viet-phamnext-food-network-star/ In June he was back, exhausted and only hinting about the competition. Now, when the show's second season starts on August 16, we'll get to watch Viet cook and compete in California deserts and Thai jungles, pulling needles from a cactus pad to use in a dish, whipping up a one-hour dinner on a floating dock with ingredients rescued from a capsized fishing boat. Here's the synopsis of the first episode:

“Doomsday Survival”Premieres Thursday, August 16th at 10:00pm ET/PT
Seven chefs begin their culinary adventure of a lifetime when a helicopter drops them into Salton City, California, an abandoned post-apocalyptic wasteland, where they’re left to scavenge for ingredients and tools. The chefs have only 60 minutes to raid a deserted tent village for non-perishable ingredients, build their own cooking stations, and use items like steel wool, batteries and tumbleweed to start a fire. After a tough round of judging, two chefs are sent into the Final Showdown, where they must create the perfect bite – only one will survive the apocalypse and advance to the next location.
Competitors: Scott Brandolini (Mass.), Susanne Dillingham (N.C.), Terry French (N.J.), Lance Knowling (N.J.), Viet Pham (Utah), Isadora Sarto (Vt.), Tiffany Ward (Hawaii)
Judges: Simon Majumdar, Mykel Hawke (survival expert)