Chopped (TV series)

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GenreCooking show
Created by
  • Linda Lea
  • Dave Noll
  • Michael Krupat
Directed byMichael Pearlman
Presented byTed Allen
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons42
No. of episodes515 + 26 specials (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Edward Schindler (supervising prod.)
  • Jessica Paul (supervising prod.)
  • Loe Fahie (EIC)
  • Amy Stanford
  • Noah Odabashian
  • Nassdja Valentin
  • Janet Pirchio
  • Sarah Douglass
  • Beth Paholak
  • Kate Kenny
  • Laurie Benner
  • Evald Ridore
  • Jonathan Soule
  • Amanda Durett Cercone
  • Erik Klein
  • Matt Hollywood
  • Brad Yankus
  • Jimmy Drakulias (On-Line Editor)
  • Axuve Espinosa
  • Michael Wei
  • Gregory Corwin
  • Evan Wise
  • Brian D'Amico
  • Mike Stern
  • Barney Schmidt
Running time42 mins.
Production company(s)Notional
Original networkFood Network
Original releaseJanuary 13, 2009 (2009-01-13) –
External links

Chopped is an American reality-based cooking television game show series created by Michael Krupat, Dave Noll and Linda Lea. It is hosted by Ted Allen. The series pits four chefs against each other as they compete for a chance to win $10,000. New episodes air every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Food Network.


In each episode, four chefs compete in a three-round contest, where they attempt to incorporate unusual combinations of ingredients into dishes that are later evaluated by a panel of three judges.[1][2] At the beginning of each round (typically "Appetizer", "Entrée", and "Dessert", but with occasional exceptions), the chefs are each given a basket containing four mystery ingredients and are expected to create dishes that use all of them in some way. Although failing to use an ingredient is not an automatic disqualification, the judges do take such omissions into account when making their decisions. The ingredients are often not commonly prepared together. For example, in the episode "Yucca, Watermelon, Tortillas," the Appetizer ingredients consisted of watermelon, canned sardines, pepper jack cheese, and zucchini. The chefs are given unlimited access to a pantry and refrigerator stocked with a wide variety of other ingredients, and each chef has his/her own stations for preparing and cooking food. The kitchen also includes a variety of specialized tools and equipment for the chefs' use, such as a deep fryer, a blast chiller, and an ice cream machine.

Each round has a time limit, typically 20 minutes for Appetizer, and 30 minutes each for Entrée and Dessert. These limits have been extended on occasion for special-format episodes and for rounds in which one or more mystery ingredients require additional preparation/cooking time. The chefs must cook their dishes and complete four platings (three for the judges and one "beauty plate") before time runs out.[3] Once time has expired, the judges critique the dishes based on presentation, taste and creativity and select one chef to be "chopped" - eliminated from the competition with no winnings. Allen reveals the judges' decision by lifting a cloche on their table to show the losing chef's dish, and one of the judges comments on the reason for their choice to the eliminated chef. In the Dessert round, the judges consider not only the dishes created by the two chefs during that round, but also their overall performance throughout the competition. The winner receives $10,000, although in special competitions, winners can earn anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000.

Medical personnel are on hand to treat any injuries that occur during the competition and may, at their discretion, disqualify chefs who are unable to continue safely. If the judges deem a chef's dish unsafe to eat for any reason (contamination by blood or other bodily fluids, improper cooking, inedible items on the plate, etc.), they do not taste it but can still critique its presentation and creativity.

Production notes[edit]

According to host Ted Allen, the show's unaired pilot episode, which was taped at the Culinary School at the Art Institute of New York, was "...originally a lot more elaborate. It was set in a mansion, the host was a butler, the butler held a Chihuahua, and when a chef was chopped the losing dish was fed to the Chihuahua." The Food Network found the pilot episode "a little too weird", but decided to keep the general premise of the show in a more straightforward competition format.[4]

An episode of Chopped takes approximately 12 hours to tape, with deliberations after each round taking about 20 minutes.[4] Judging is done by consensus among the judges.[5]

While contestants do not know the ingredients ahead of time, they are given a tour of the kitchen prior to taping. Some preliminary tasks, such as preheating ovens and bringing water to a boil, are done in advance of each round.[3]

Chefs must be 19 years or older to appear on the regular show. Teenagers and children are occasionally invited to compete in special episodes.

Special episodes[edit]

Chopped Champions[edit]

Starting September 8, 2009, Food Network aired a four-episode Chopped Champions tournament, in which 13 previous winners were invited to face off again. Four chefs competed per episode; the three losing chefs were eliminated from the tournament, while the winner received $10,000 and faced three new competitors in the next episode.

As of October 2018, the network has aired five additional Chopped Champions tournaments, each consisting of four preliminary heats and a finale. Four previous champions compete in each preliminary heat; the winner receives no money, but secures a slot in the finale to compete for a $50,000 grand prize.

Chopped All-Stars[edit]

Starting March 6, 2011, and continuing for four additional episodes, Food Network aired the "Chopped All-Stars" Tournament. Sixteen chefs competed. The first four episodes featured four types of chef: The Next Food Network Star contestants, Food Network celebrities, celebrity chefs, and Chopped judges. The winners of those four episodes then competed against each other in the "Grand Finale", where the winner received $50,000 to donate to a charity of his or her choice. Nate Appleman, a celebrity chef, won the competition and donated his $50,000 to Kawasaki Disease research, a disease from which his son suffered.

Starting April 8, 2012, and continuing for four additional episodes, Food Network aired the second "Chopped All-Stars" Tournament. Sixteen new chefs competed, again ranging from four different categories of chef: Iron Chef America chefs (the newest of the four categories), Food Network and Cooking Channel celebrities, The Next Food Network Star contestants, and Chopped judges. Celebrity chef & Chopped judge Marcus Samuelsson won this second competition, donating the $50,000 grand prize to the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program of New York (aka C-CAP), which helps under-served youth through culinary arts education and employment.

On April 7, 2013, the third installment of the "Chopped All-Stars" Tournament premiered on Food Network. Over the course of four episodes, sixteen chefs competed in groups of four. There were four different categories of the chefs through the episodes: Food Network vs. Cooking Channel, Mega Chefs, Chopped Judges, and celebrities, respectively. Winners of each of these rounds went on to compete against each other in the "Grand Finale" episode, where the winner received $50,000 to donate to a charity of his or her choice. Celebrity chef and Chopped judge Scott Conant won this competition, donating $50,000 to the Keep Memory Alive Foundation.

On April 28, 2015, the fourth "All-Stars" Tournament began airing, with an increased grand prize of $75,000 to the winner. As before, they are split into groups of four chefs per episode, with the winner of each of the first four episodes competing in the fifth "Grand Finale" episode for the top prize. Unlike previous tournaments, however, the 16 chefs involved were not split into "categories", but were sorted in what seems to be a more random fashion.[6] The winner was Anne Burrell who was playing for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Chopped Grill Masters[edit]

Starting July 22, 2012, and continuing for four additional episodes, Food Network aired the "Chopped Grill Masters" Tournament. Sixteen "pro" grillers competed. The winners of the first four episodes competed against each other in the "Grand Finale" for a $50,000 prize. The "Grill Masters" episodes were taped outdoors at Old Tucson Studios near Tucson, AZ. The winner was Ernest Servantes, Executive Chef at Texas Lutheran University and Pit Boss at Burnt Bean Company.[7]

In the summer of 2015, a second "Grill Masters" Tournament occurred, and was sponsored by Lea & Perrins. Like the previous "Grill Masters" Tournament, it was filmed on location and 16 "pro" grillers competed. The 4 preliminary heat winners advanced to the finals where they would compete for a $50,000 grand prize. The winner was Angie Mar. The second heat of this particular tournament marked the first time that Chopped used a brand name on a basket ingredient, which in this case was the Worcestershire sauce, possibly because the ingredient was a product of tournament sponsor Lea & Perrins.

On July 5, 2016 another 5-part "Grill Masters" Tournament premiered. This tournament was taped at the Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA, and featured 16 "pro" grillers. In contrast to past tournaments, the 4 finalists each won a guaranteed $10,000 for winning their heat, and the finalists competed to win another $50,000 for a total grand prize of $60,000. The winner of this tournament was Sophina Uong.[8]

Chopped Tournament Of Stars[edit]

During Season 19, Chopped held a 5-part "Tournament Of Stars". It was identical in format to the "All Stars" Tournaments, with 16 celebrities competing to win $50,000 for charity. The contestants were divided into 4 categorical groups for the first 4 episodes(sports stars, Rachael Vs. Guy finalists, comedians, and actors respectively). The winner was Michael Imperioli who donated his winnings to the Pure Land Project, an organization which helps build and maintain schools in rural Tibet.

Chopped Ultimate Champions[edit]

During Season 21, a 5-part "Ultimate Champions" Tournament was held, featuring 16 returning champions (12 amateurs and 4 professional chefs) competing to win $50,000, plus a new car of the winners choice from Buick. Like most celebrity tournaments, the returning champions were divided into 4 categorical groups for the 1st 4 episodes(professionals, amateur champs, heroes, and celebrities respectively). The winner was Diana Sabater. The finale of this tournament also marked the 1st time that both civilian and celebrity contestants competed in the same episode.

Chopped: Impossible[edit]

In the fall of 2015, Chopped aired a four-part "Chopped: Impossible" Tournament in which 12 former champions were invited back to compete for a grand prize of up to $40,000. Each basket contained ingredient combinations that were specifically chosen to be more difficult than usual. Four chefs competed in each of three preliminary heats, with Restaurant: Impossible host Robert Irvine as one of the three judges. The winners advanced to a two-round finale (Appetizer and Entree), in which Irvine observed their cooking but did not serve as a judge. The winner of the finale received $15,000 and competed directly against Irvine in a "Wild Card Entree" round; if the chef's dish was judged superior to Irvine's, he/she won an additional $25,000.

Teen Tournament[edit]

Three 5-part Teen Tournaments have been held to date, in seasons 21, 25 and 29, following the same structure as other tournaments. Four teen chefs competed in each preliminary heat, with the winners advancing to the finale. Prizes were awarded in the finale as follows:

  • Season 21: $25,000 cash and a $40,000 culinary school scholarship for the winner; $1,000 gift certificate for each of the other finalists
  • Seasons 25 and 29: $25,000 cash for the winner; $1,000 gift certificate and a show-branded chef's jacket for each of the other finalists

Chopped After Hours[edit]

Chopped After Hours is a spin-off series that premiered on September 15, 2015 and airs at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesdays. Episodes consist of three segments, each featuring judges from a different Chopped episode as they prepare dishes using one of the mystery ingredient baskets given to the original contestants.[9] The second season premiered on July 5, 2016.[10]

Chopped Star Power[edit]

In season 33, Chopped will be holding a tournament consisting of 16 celebrities divided into four categories: internet celebrities, athletes, comedians, and TV and film stars, with a grand prize of $50,000 for charity. The event began on March 28, 2017.[11]

Chopped: Sweets Showdown[edit]

On September 5, 2019, it was announced that a five-episode stunt titled Chopped: Sweets Showdown will premiere on October 1, 2019.[12]

Other Special Episodes[edit]

Chopped Amateurs features contestants who do not have professional training or schooling; most are self-taught. Celebrity episodes: four celebrities competing for charity. Some episodes have featured teens or children competing. Occasionally the prize is a scholarship to a culinary school. Losing contestants on these episodes often receive a consolation prize, typically a $1,000 shopping spree on On one occurrence the prize was a $40,000 scholarship, the runner-up received a $20,000 scholarship while the other two contestants each received a $5,000 scholarship. Holiday themed episodes have also occurred featuring holiday inspired ingredients (such as a chocolate Santa on a Christmas episode or candy blood on a halloween show) and the contestants are asked to prepare holiday themed dishes. There were also several themed episodes with non-holiday themes. These themes were based on either themed ingredients (e.g. spicy foods), world cuisines (e.g. Italian, Australian, New Orleans), chefs with the same background (notably, redemption episodes featuring former contestants that got "chopped" in their first appearances), or a combination.


Judges of Chopped
Judge Seasons
Specials 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Alex Guarnaschelli 1-35
Geoffrey Zakarian 1-33
Marc Murphy 1-26 28-35
Amanda Freitag 1-35
Aarón Sanchez 1-32
Chris Santos 1-29 31-32
Scott Conant 1-4 6 9-11 13-35
Jody Williams 2 3 4
Sue Torres 3 5
Josh Capon 3
Mark Bittman 3
Marcus Samuelsson 4-6 9-18 24-28 30-34
Maneet Chauhan 6-7 9-35
Ken Oringer 7
Zakary Pelaccio 8 9 11
Susan Feniger 9
Seamus Mullen 9 11
Sam Kass 9 13
Missy Robbins 10 11
Anne Burrell 11 29
Elizabeth Karmel 12 15 16 22
Alton Brown
Giada De Laurentiis
Bobby Flay 29
Claudia Fleming 12
Marco Canora 13
Lee Anne Wong 13 14
Jet Tila 13
John Li 15 20
Cheryl Barbara 17
Ron Ben-Israel 17
Joseph Brown 18
Michelle Bernstein 18 22
Hooni Kim 18
Alex Stupak 18 21 23
Bruno DiFabio 18
Spike Mendelsohn 18
Christina Tosi 18 22 23
Adam Sobel 18
Greg Koch 18
Silvena Rowe 18
Edi Frauneder 20 25
Peter Oleyer 21
Michael Chernow 22
Andrew Zimmern 22
Natasha Case 22
Jeff Mauro 23
Adam Moskowitz 23
Ray Lampe 23
Amy Mills
Tim Love
Roger Mooking 24
Rocco DiSpirito 24
Robert Irvine
Johnny Iuzzini 27
Christian Petroni 27 28
Chris Cheung 27
Eddie Jackson 27 32 33
Tino Feliciano 27
John Suley 27
Nick Anderer 27
Angie Mar 28
Ulrich Koberstein 28
David Loewenberg 28
Janine Booth 28
Michael Chiarello
Craig Samuel 29
Edward Lee 29
Giorgio Rapicavoli 30
Laura Vitale 30
Leah Cohen 31
Dale Talde 31
Katrina Markoff 32
Zac Young 32
James Tahhan 32
Ali Khan 34
Elizabeth Heiskell 34
Nancy Silverton 34
Jordan Andino 35
Tiffani Faison 35
Einat Admony 35
Michael Psilakis 35
Jose Garces 35
Marc Forgione 35
Lauren Gerrie 35
David Guas 35

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Premiere Finale
1 13 January 13, 2009 (2009-01-13) April 7, 2009 (2009-04-07)
2 13 June 16, 2009 (2009-06-16) September 29, 2009 (2009-09-29)
3 13 October 13, 2009 (2009-10-13) March 9, 2010 (2010-03-09)
4 13 April 6, 2010 (2010-04-06) July 13, 2010 (2010-07-13)
5 13 July 20, 2010 (2010-07-20) November 28, 2010 (2010-11-28)
6 12 January 4, 2011 (2011-01-04) April 26, 2011 (2011-04-26)
7 10 May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03) July 5, 2011 (2011-07-05)
8 9 July 12, 2011 (2011-07-12) December 6, 2011 (2011-12-06)
9 13 August 30, 2011 (2011-08-30) December 13, 2011 (2011-12-13)
10 13 December 20, 2011 (2011-12-20) May 29, 2012 (2012-05-29)
11 13 February 7, 2012 (2012-02-07) November 25, 2012 (2012-11-25)
12 13 June 5, 2012 (2012-06-05) November 20, 2012 (2012-11-20)
13 12 September 4, 2012 (2012-09-04) February 26, 2013 (2013-02-26)
14 13 January 6, 2013 (2013-01-06) May 5, 2013 (2013-05-05)
15 13 April 2, 2013 (2013-04-02) July 23, 2013 (2013-07-23)
16 13 June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02) November 12, 2013 (2013-11-12)
17 13 August 13, 2013 (2013-08-13) December 3, 2013 (2013-12-03)
18 13 November 26, 2013 (2013-11-26) May 13, 2014 (2014-05-13)
19 13 February 4, 2014 (2014-02-04) June 10, 2014 (2014-06-10)
20 13 March 18, 2014 (2014-03-18) November 25, 2014 (2014-11-25)
21 13 July 15, 2014 (2014-07-15) January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)
22 13 October 14, 2014 (2014-10-14) June 30, 2015 (2015-06-30)
23 13 December 16, 2014 (2014-12-16) June 16, 2015 (2015-06-16)
24 13 April 28, 2015 (2015-04-28) December 8, 2015 (2015-12-08)
25 13 August 25, 2015 (2015-08-25) December 1, 2015 (2015-12-01)
26 8 October 6, 2015 (2015-10-06) December 17, 2015 (2015-12-17)
Junior 13 October 27, 2015 (2015-10-27) January 19, 2016 (2016-01-19)
27 13 January 5, 2016 (2016-01-05) March 17, 2016 (2016-03-17)
28 13 March 29, 2016 (2016-03-29) June 21, 2016 (2016-06-21)
29 13 August 7, 2016 (2016-08-07) September 27, 2016 (2016-09-27)
30 8 September 22, 2016 (2016-09-22) December 20, 2016 (2016-12-20)
31 20 October 13, 2016 (2016-10-13) December 29, 2016 (2016-12-29)
32 12 January 3, 2017 (2017-01-03) May 2, 2017 (2017-05-02)
33 8 March 21, 2017 (2017-03-21) May 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)
34 8 May 9, 2017 (2017-05-09) July 11, 2017 (2017-07-11)
35 TBA July 18, 2017 (2017-07-18) TBA (TBA)
Specials 15 July 22, 2012 (2012-07-22) TBA (TBA)

Former contestants competing in other reality shows[edit]

Some of the contestants on Chopped would go on to appear in Fox's reality show Hell's Kitchen. William Lustberg, the runner up on the ninth episode of the first season, was the runner up on season 9 of Hell's Kitchen. Roshni Mansukhani, the winner of the fourth episode of the second season, was eliminated in the eighth episode of the tenth season of Hell's Kitchen. Jackie Baldassari, who was eliminated after the entrée in the tenth episode of the ninth season of Chopped, was eliminated in the ninth episode of the eleventh season of Hell's Kitchen. Anthony "Anton" Testino, who was eliminated after the appetizer in the tenth episode of the fifth season, was eliminated in the fourteenth episode of the twelfth season of Hell's Kitchen. Robyn Almodovar, the winner of the sixth episode of the twenty-fourth season, had previously been eliminated in the sixteenth episode of the tenth season of Hell's Kitchen and was later eliminated in thirteenth episode of the seventeenth season of Hell's Kitchen. Finally, Hassan Musselmani, who was eliminated after the dessert in the third episode of the 35th season of Chopped, had previously been eliminated in the seventh episode of the fifteenth season of Hell's Kitchen. In addition, Frank Bilotti, who was eliminated after the entrée in the third episode of the 37th season, had previously been eliminated in the tenth episode of the thirteenth season of Hell's Kitchen. Some former contestants and judges from Chopped have also appeared on Beat Bobby Flay, as well as several former contestants appearing on another Food Network series Cutthroat Kitchen.[13]


Chopped was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2012.[14]

International adaptations[edit]

Chopped Canada[edit]

Beginning on January 2, 2014, Food Network also aired a Canadian version of Chopped called Chopped Canada, which features Canadian contestants and judges. That adaptation was originally hosted by Canadian-born actor Dean McDermott for the first two seasons, and is now hosted by former CFL wide receiver Brad Smith. The rules are identical to the US counterpart as is the $10,000 prize. The show was cancelled on February 11, 2017,only lasting 4 seasons.

Chopped South Africa[edit]

Beginning July 23, 2014, Food Network South Africa began airing a local adaptation of Chopped called Chopped South Africa.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bricker, Tierney; Mullins, Jenna (April 5, 2013). "Best TV You're Not Watching: Chopped on Food Network". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Dave Zornow (2010-10-27). "Chop Till You Drop: Nyack Gourmet on Food Network". Nyack News. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  3. ^ a b Ekizian, John G. (April 3, 2012). "Beat the clock: Backstage secrets of chef-killer 'Chopped'". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Ted Allen on His New Book, Crushing Chefs' Dreams, and Chopped's Lost Chihuahua". May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  5. ^ Dehnart, Andy (21 September 2010). "Chopped judge Amanda Freitag reveals judging secrets". Reality Blurred. Retrieved 2015-08-08. The judges deliberations are ‘incredibly long deliberations where none of us agree on anything,…. We really all have to be on the same page, and we really all feel strongly about that.’ In other words, decisions are unanimous.
  6. ^ Photo gallery of the "Chopped All-Stars" Season 4 competitors
  7. ^ Petty, Kathleen (December 2012). "Ernest Servantes". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  8. ^ "Chopped Grill Masters Heads to the Napa Valley for Season 3". Food Network. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  9. ^ Dickie, George (15 September 2015). "'Chopped' judges let their hair down 'After Hours'". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  10. ^ Cooper, Matt. "TV This Week, July 3–9: Independence Day specials and more". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  11. ^ Celebrities Enter the Chopped Kitchen for Charity in the All-New Star Power Tournament
  12. ^ "Chefs Must Have the Sweet Touch in New Tournament "Chopped: Sweets Showdown"". The Futon Critic. September 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Beat Bobby Flay Episodes". Food Network. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Chopped (Host Ted Allen)" (Press release). Centennial, Colorado, USA: Culinary Hall of Fame, LLC. October 20, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "Chopped South Africa". Scripps Networks International (UK) Limited. 2014.

External links[edit]