Chopped (TV series)
|Directed by||Michael Pearlman|
|Presented by||Ted Allen|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||26|
|No. of episodes||324 + 15 specials (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44 mins.|
|Original network||Food Network|
|Original release||January 13, 2009– present|
Chopped is an American reality-based cooking television game show series created by Michael Krupat and Dave Noll with Executive Producer 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 10 p.m. ET on Food Network.
- 1 Format
- 2 Production notes
- 3 Special Episodes
- 4 Judges
- 5 Series overview
- 6 Former contestants competing in other reality shows
- 7 Awards
- 8 International adaptations
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In each episode, four chefs compete in a three-round contest, attempting to incorporate unusual combinations of ingredients into dishes that are evaluated by a panel of three judges. At the beginning of each round ("Appetizer", "Entrée", and "Dessert"), the chefs are each given a basket containing three to five mystery ingredients and are expected to 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 competitors are given access to a pantry and refrigerator stocked with a wide variety of other ingredients.
In early episodes, Allen introduced the competition to the contestants as follows: "There are three rounds: Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert. Each round comes with its own basket of mystery ingredients and you must use every ingredient in the basket in some way. Also available to you, our pantry and fridge. Each round is timed. When the clock runs out, our judges will critique your work on presentation, taste and creativity. If your dish doesn't cut it, you will be chopped." Some episodes would narrow the intro (in its shortest form): "You know the rules. Three rounds, mandatory mystery ingredients. If your dish doesn't cut it, you will be chopped."
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. 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. Ted 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 the panel's choice. In the Dessert round, the judges consider not only the dishes created by the two chefs in that round, but also their overall performance throughout the competition. The winner receives $10,000.
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.
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. When necessary, Allen advises the chefs of special preparation requirements for the mystery ingredients; any improperly prepared dishes are automatically deemed inadmissible.
Injuries such as cuts and burns are fairly commonplace, and a medic is always on hand in the kitchen to deal with any injuries. For safety reasons, if a contestant does suffer a cut, his/her food is inspected for blood before being served to the judges. If a dish is contaminated in any way, including the presence of blood, it is excluded from tasting but can still be evaluated on presentation and creativity. Any chef who suffers a serious enough injury is offered a chance to withdraw from the competition, which has happened on one occasion to date.
If a chef fails to use all of the mystery ingredients, the dish is still admissible, but the judges will take the omission into consideration during their deliberations. In extreme circumstances, if a chef has no edible components on his/her plate, the judges will allow him/her to bring over any edible components from his/her station for tasting from the pot or pan, usually with consent from the other chefs first.
Starting September 8, 2009, and continuing for three additional episodes, Food Network aired the "Chopped Champions Event", wherein thirteen past winners returned and faced off against each other (four per episode) to retain their title of Chopped Champion. The winner of an episode in the event earned an additional $10,000 and moved on to the next episode to face a new set of three previous champions. The winner was Darius Peacock, Executive Chef, Exceptional Taste Catering, Trenton, NJ
Starting August 31, 2010, and continuing for four additional episodes, Food Network aired the "$50,000 Tournament." Sixteen past champions competed. The winners of the first four episodes competed against each other in the "Grand Finale" for the $50,000 prize. The winner was Madison Cowan, Chef and Caterer, Avenue Inc, New York City.
Starting August 30, 2011, and continuing for four additional episodes, Food Network aired another "$50,000 Tournament," because of the first competition's popularity. Sixteen new past champions competed. The winner was Danielle Saunders, a private chef from New York City.
Starting January 15, 2013, a new season of "Chopped Champions" began airing, with sixteen new past champions competing for the $50,000 prize. The winner was Jun Tanaka, Executive Chef from London, England.
Starting March 28, 2016, another 5-part "Chopped Champions" Tournament began, featuring 16 new returning champions competing to win the $50,000 grand prize. The winner was Adam Greenburg, Corporate Executive Chef of the Barcelona Restaurant Group from Norwalk, CT.
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. The winner was Anne Burrell who was playing for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Chopped Grill Masters
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.
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 May 25, 2016, Food Network announced that starting July 5, 2016 will be another 5-part "Grill Masters" Tournament. This tournament will be taped at the Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA, and will feature 16 "pro" grillers. In contrast to past tournaments, the 4 finalists will each win a guaranteed $10,000 for winning their heat, and the finalists will compete to win another $50,000 for a total grand prize of $60,000.
Chopped Tournament Of Stars
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
During Season 21 was a 5-part "Ultimate Champions" Tournament 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.
In the fall of 2015, Chopped aired a 4 part "Chopped Impossible" Tournament featuring 12 former champions competing to win a grand prize of up to $40,000. Each basket contained ingredient combinations that were more difficult than usual. In each of the 3 heats, 4 chefs competed and Restaurant Impossible host Robert Irvine served as a guest judge. The 3 finalists faced off in a 2 round finale: appetizer and entree, and the judges took both rounds into consideration when choosing the winner. The winner won a guaranteed $15,000 and competed in a "wild card" entree round against Robert Irvine for a chance to win an additional $25,000, bringing their total to $40,000. The winner was Emily Chapman, who managed to beat Robert Irvine and win the full $40,000.
In season 21, Chopped held a 5 part "Teen Tournament" featuring 16 teen chefs competing. The winners of each of the 4 heats advanced to the finale to compete for a grand prize of $65,000($25,000 for themselves plus a $40,000 culinary school scholarship). The other 3 finalists each received a $1,000 FoodNetwork.com gift certificate. 4 of the non winners from the tournament would return for a teen chef redemption episode in season 25.
In season 25, a second 5 part "Teen Tournament" was held. It was almost identical in format to the previous "Teen Tournament", with 16 teen chefs competing. The 4 winners from the preliminary rounds returned for the finale for a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize. The other 3 finalists each received a $1,000 FoodNetwork.com gift certificate, plus an authentic "Chopped" chefs coat.
Other Special Episodes
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 foodnetwork.com. 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.
|Giada De Laurentiis||♦|
|Lee Anne Wong||♦||♦|
|1||13||January 13, 2009||April 7, 2009|
|2||13||June 16, 2009||September 29, 2009|
|3||13||October 13, 2009||March 9, 2010|
|4||13||April 6, 2010||July 13, 2010|
|5||13||July 20, 2010||November 28, 2010|
|6||12||January 4, 2011||April 26, 2011|
|7||10||May 3, 2011||July 5, 2011|
|8||9||July 12, 2011||December 6, 2011|
|9||13||August 30, 2011||December 13, 2011|
|10||13||December 20, 2011||May 29, 2012|
|11||13||February 7, 2012||November 25, 2012|
|12||13||June 5, 2012||November 20, 2012|
|13||12||September 4, 2012||February 26, 2013|
|14||13||January 6, 2013||May 5, 2013|
|15||13||April 2, 2013||July 23, 2013|
|16||13||June 2, 2013||November 12, 2013|
|17||13||August 13, 2013||December 3, 2013|
|18||13||November 26, 2013||May 13, 2014|
|19||13||February 4, 2014||June 10, 2014|
|20||13||March 18, 2014||November 25, 2014|
|21||13||July 15, 2014||January 13, 2015|
|22||13||October 14, 2014||June 30, 2015|
|23||13||December 16, 2014||June 16, 2015|
|24||13||April 28, 2015||December 8, 2015|
|25||13||August 25, 2015||December 1, 2015|
|26||8||October 6, 2015||December 17, 2015|
|Junior||13||October 27, 2015||January 19, 2016|
|27||13||January 5, 2016||March 17, 2016|
|28||TBA||March 29, 2016||TBA|
|Specials||15||July 22, 2012||TBA|
Former contestants competing in other reality shows
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 of Chopped, was the runner up on season 9 of Hell's Kitchen. Roshni Mansukhani, the winner of the fourth episode of the second season of Chopped, 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. Finally, Anthony "Anton" Testino, who was eliminated after the appetizer in the tenth episode of the fifth season of Chopped, was eliminated in the fourteenth episode of the twelfth 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 Cutthroat Kitchen.
Beginning 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 2 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.
Chopped South Africa
- Bricker, Tierney; Mullins, Jenna (April 5, 2013). "Best TV You're Not Watching: Chopped on Food Network". eonline.com. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- Dave Zornow (2010-10-27). "Chop Till You Drop: Nyack Gourmet on Food Network". Nyack News. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- Ekizian, John G. (April 3, 2012). "Beat the clock: Backstage secrets of chef-killer ‘Chopped’". nypost.com. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Ted Allen on His New Book, Crushing Chefs’ Dreams, and Chopped’s Lost Chihuahua". newyork.grubstreet.com. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- 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.
- Photo gallery of the "Chopped All-Stars" Season 4 competitors
- Petty, Kathleen (December 2012). "Ernest Servantes". sanantoniomag.com. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Beat Bobby Flay Episodes". foodnetwork.com. Food Network. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
- Culinary Hall of Fame Induction
- "Chopped South Africa". Scripps Networks International (UK) Limited. 2014.