Home > Uncategorized > 5 Reasons I am Addicted to Chopped

5 Reasons I am Addicted to Chopped

I’ll be honest.  I am a Food Network junkie.  I don’t watch the actual cooking shows, I love, need, live for the competition shows.  Challenge, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef, Next Food Network Star, ah, I love them all.  But nothing, nothing, compares to Chopped.

Set your DVR, mark your calendar, do whatever you must do, but DO NOT miss it!

If you’ve never seen Chopped, oh my goodness, shame on you!  Crawl out of your Food-Network-deprived bubble and tune in.  You get three chefs, a basket of ingredients and a panel of judges to make insightful and snarky comments.  Oh, and there’s a time limit, too.  It sounds just like any other cooking competition, but it’s not.  It’s special.  Why, you ask?  Why, my dears, it sounds like you want a list!

The Contestants

Which one's going down first? Here's hoping it's the arrogant butthead!

By and large, the contestants are normal, hardworking, talented chefs.  But there are two specific categories that most entertain me.  I love the humble chef who has fought his/her way to the top and simply wants a little recognition.  I root for these chefs and it makes me sad if they’re chopped.  I want these chefs to win as much as I want the other type to lose, quickly and with great humiliation.  The other chef is the arrogant, egotistical, a-hole who is perfectly comfortable telling his/her competitors how much better he/she is than they are.  I want to jump and cheer when these guys screw up and get chopped in the first round, and it’s just icing on the cake when they say in the exit interview that “the judges just don’t understand my food.”  Yeah, this is true, not many people understand undercooked chicken.  The exception that trumps my feelings toward these two types, or any contestant, for that matter is crying.  Just stop it.  There’s no crying in Chopped, unless you’re Alex Guarnaschelli.

The Judges

DO NOT interrupt Alex. She will snap your head off, then cry with you.

I love them all!  I love it when someone tries to interrupt Alex and she gets all bitchy and snaps on them.  I love when someone tries to argue cooking technique with Chris and he shuts them down.  I love how Aaron tries to put a positive spin on the most awful dishes, and then corrects the pronunciation of Latin words.    I love Amanda’s angry face.  Okay, let’s be honest here, it’s sounding like I enjoy seeing people get put in their places.  It’s true, I do.  And there’s no one on television who can do it better than the Chopped judges.  Hats off, ladies and gentlemen.  You tell those bitches how you’re really supposed to cook goat brains.

Ted Allen

Suave and accessible. And he sits on the counter, too!

If there is a more likable guy on earth, I’ve never seen him.  I just adore Ted.  He’s encouraging, friendly and he plays dumb about ingredients to make us ignorant viewers feel better.  Also, there aren’t many men who can so successfully pull off the jeans & Chucks with a jacket and tie with quite the finesse that Ted does.  I love him so much, I want to take him home and make him my new best friend.  Even as I’m cheering for the jackass that just got Chopped, he’s wearing his friendly sad face and being nice.  Ted is so much better than I.

The Ingredients

There's never any shortage of WTF moments.

Where else are you going to learn about ingredients such as black chicken, preserved eggs, tamarind or sea beans?  Chopped is the reason that when my kids ask, “What’s this?” in the produce department, I can confidently deliver a monologue on Asian pears or Jicama, thus reinforcing the idea that Mom does, in fact, know everything.  Chopped has also gone a very long way in convincing me of the importance of adding a little acidity to rich dishes.  Chopped is both making me a better cook and educating me on ingredients that I would never, ever dream of eating.  I still won’t eat them, but at least I know about them.

Scott Conant

Look at him! Just. Look. At him. (sigh)

You may believe that Scott belongs in the Judges section, and my friends, you could not be more wrong.  Scott Conant deserves his own section, because he’s my favorite.  There are many things I love about him, first and foremost, he is a beautiful man.  When he smiles, I swoon.  There are no words.  He is perfect.  Another thing I love is his absolutely unreasonable hatred of raw red onions.  Put red onions on his plate, do it!  Oh, he gets so mad and I love it!  You can just see the outrage all over his beautiful face.  My all time favorite Scott Conant quote regarding red onions?  “I have anger toward this.”  Ha!  Thank you Scott Conant, for proving that even the best of the best chefs still get pissed off when they’re served food that they don’t like and for making me feel better about my own dislike of raw onions.  Also, he’s quite cute when he’s in a red onion fit of rage.

Do I have an unhealthy attachment to this show?  Do I have a not-so-secret crush on Scott Conant?  Do I think it’s hysterical when a holier-than-thou chef serves bloody chicken?  Do I almost pee my pants when there are thirty seconds left and a chef hasn’t even gotten plates yet?  Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!!

All images via Google images.  Scott Conant has a website, but there are more pics of food than of him.  Boo.

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  1. Martha
    April 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    This cracks me up.. it is such a wonderful show. How did you read my mind on this… I really think I have seen them all but I enjoy watching the repeats as well..They are very “educational” by introducing us to unfamiliar foods that one would never attempt in our own kitchens to cook with (I like feeling like a “know it all” cause I now know what those things are). I too like to see chef’s “cut down to size” but also understand that they do need a bit of confidence to succeed in such a competitive business and that they know that there is a fine line between cocky and arrogance and the judges are quick to let them know when they cross it. Everyone in my house also enjoys watching it.. but Food Network is on all the time at my house.. we also enjoy the Triple D with Guy Fieri ..makes me want to go find the best restaurant in my neighborhood 🙂
    Love your post girl!!

    • April 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Eric is trying hard to convince us to take a Triple D family roadtrip for vacation, but I’m on the fence. Lord knows I have enough trouble watching the calories without piling on the delicious gravy from Flavortown. Also, “road trip” and “two young kids” don’t really go together.

    • April 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Also, Martha, when you get your Chopped invite, I’m going to need to go with you, to stalk, I mean, meet Scott Conant.

  2. Martha
    April 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Oh we should do a whole family vacation road trip.. Triple D style to the Food Network studios 🙂 .. oh my we would need a vacation from that vacation and a purging session… LOL .. I aspire to do Chopped.. but I am not arrogant enough .. there are many people in my Culinary classes I would love to do a “chopped” session with to knock them down a few notches!! They have more attitude than actual skill or brain cells..
    Not sure if you saw this one.. but it was a fun read..
    http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2012/04/20/the-chopped-basket-revealed/

  3. May 4, 2012 at 4:31 am

    What about Top Chef? I watch that religiously even though I suck at cooking. A girl can dream.

    • May 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

      Oddly, I’ve never watched it. I’m going to need to check it out, I know I’m missing out!

      • May 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

        Around the World in 80 Plates is sort of like it and starts on bravo next Wednesday night. I’ll be watching for sure! Maybe we can find another hot host. 😉

      • May 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

        I’m setting my DVR now…I can’t get enough cooking shows!

  1. June 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

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