Chopped (TV series)
|Created by||Dave Noll and Michael Krupat|
|Directed by||Michael Pearlman|
|Presented by||Ted Allen|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||23|
|No. of episodes||280 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44 mins.|
|Original channel||Food Network|
|Original release||January 13, 2009– present|
Chopped is an American reality based cooking television series created by Dave Noll and Michael Krupat, with executive producer Linda Lea, and hosted by Ted Allen that pits four chefs against each other competing 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. Their challenge is to take a mystery basket of ingredients and turn them into a dish that is judged on their creativity, presentation, and taste with minimal time to plan and execute. The show is divided into three rounds: "Appetizer", "Entrée", and "Dessert". In each round, the chefs are given a basket containing between three and five (usually four) ingredients, and the dish each competitor prepares must contain some of each ingredient in some way, and although forgetting an ingredient isn't an automatic disqualification, the judges will take such an occurrence into consideration. The ingredients are often not commonly prepared together. For example, in "Yucca, Watermelon, Tortillas," (originally aired on February 10, 2009) the appetizer "course baskets" contained 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. Each round has a time limit: twenty minutes for the Appetizer round (thirty minutes in some season one episodes), and thirty minutes for the Entrée and Dessert rounds (some episodes gave the chefs 40 or 45 minutes in the entrée round to allow them to handle whole large poultry, e.g. turkeys, geese, or ducks; another gave the chefs fifty minutes in the dessert round). The chefs must cook their dishes and complete four platings (one for each judge plus one "beauty plate") before time runs out. After each round, the judges critique the dishes based on presentation, taste, and creativity. The judges then decide which chef is "chopped," that is, eliminated from the competition. Thus, by the dessert round, only two chefs remain. When deciding the winner, the judges consider not only the dessert course, but the entire meal presented by each chef as a whole. 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 at the start of the day and some preparations, such as pre-heating ovens and bringing water to a boil, are done in advance of each round.
Injuries such as cuts and burns are fairly commonplace. For safety reasons, if a contestant does suffer a cut, their food is inspected for blood before being served to the judges. If a dish may contain blood it is inadmissible, but does not necessarily result in a disqualification.
Dishes that contain ingredients that must be specially prepared are not admissible if not properly prepared. Allen will often advise contestants of this when necessary.
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", due to the popularity the first competition had. 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 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. 
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.
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. Chopped also ran a five episode celebrity tournament with the winner received $50,000 for their 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.
|Giada De Laurentiis||♦|
|Lee Anne Wong||♦||♦|
|1||13||January 13, 2009||April 7, 2009|
|2||13||June 14, 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||6||July 12, 2011||August 16, 2011|
|9||16||August 30, 2011||December 13, 2011|
|10||6||December 20, 2011||January 30, 2012|
|11||16||February 7, 2012||May 8, 2012|
|12||17||May 29, 2012||August 21, 2012|
|13||15||September 4, 2012||January 1, 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||February 23, 2014|
|19||13||February 4, 2014||May 6, 2014|
|20||13||March 18, 2014||November 25, 2014|
|21||13||July 15, 2014||January 13, 2015|
|22||TBA||October 14, 2014||TBA|
|23||TBA||December 16, 2014||TBA|
|24||TBA||April 28, 2015||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 eight 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.
Beginning January 2, 2014 Food network has also aired a Canadian adaptation of Chopped called Chopped Canada hosted by Canadian born actor Dean McDermott and featuring Canadian contestants and judges. 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.