Chopped is a popular cooking competition featured on Food Network and the Cooking channel. Four chefs compete for the chance to win $10,000.00. The prize money can be spent on anything the winner chooses, but it is most often used to improve upon the chef's business. All four competing chefs generally come from different professional backgrounds, though they often fit into the theme of each competition. For example, one episode might feature chefs from New Orleans while another might feature firefighters who also happen to be chefs. Chef diversity has always been a key point of the competition.
The competition takes place over the course of three rounds. These rounds are typically appetizers, entrées, and desserts, though special episodes might change the rounds to fit into a specific theme. At the beginning of each round, chefs are expected to open a basket and remove a series of 2-3 special ingredients. The food prepared for that round must feature all of the ingredients in an obvious way. Once the ingredients have been identified and explained to the chefs, they are given 30 minutes to prepare and plate the food.
At the end of each round, each chef is given the opportunity to present their plate to three judges and the host. They also have the opportunity to explain what they have prepared and defend any comments from the judges. The judges are typically a combination of chefs, food experts, or occasionally a special guest judge who is associated with the day's theme. The judges will try each plate until all food has been tasted, and then discuss the pros and cons of each in order to decide who will proceed to the next round and who will be Chopped.
All chefs will then approach the judges to find out who will be removed from the competition. This is done by lifting the cover off of a plate containing the presented food of the chopped chef. The judges always make sure to explain their decision. From there, the competition continues in the same way until one chef is declared the winner.
Chopped is currently in its 12th season and is hosted by Ted Allen.
Watch Full Episodes of Chopped
Chopped Full Episode Guide
Andrew Zimmern visits this challenge filled with bizarre surprises.
The mystery ingredients were chosen by viewers.