What is 'Chopped'?:
Premiering January 13, 2009, Chopped is a reality cooking competition on the Food Network. Each episode of the show features four chefs who must transform the ingredients of a mystery box into a coherent dish for a panel of judges, for a chance to win $10,000.
How Does 'Chopped' Work?:
Chopped works by pitting four up-and-coming chefs against each other in a competition that gives the chefs the contents of a mystery box, seconds to plan and only thirty minutes to complete their dishes--which are judged on their creativity, presentation and taste.
Each episode features three rounds: "Appetizer," "Entrée," and "Dessert." In each round the chefs are given three-five ingredients which aren't usually combined together. For example, they might be given watermelon, canned sardines, pepper jack cheese, and zucchini.
As each course is judged, one of the chefs is "chopped," until, by the dessert round only two contestants still remain. The winner is chosen based on the totality of the meal they presented.
What Does the Winner of 'Chopped' Win?:
Each winner of Chopped wins $10,000. There have also been several "$50,000 Tournaments" in which 13-16 previous contestants return to compete for $50,000.
Who Judges 'Chopped'?:
Chopped features three judges each episode and has a roster of nine regular judges:
- Aarón Sanchez: this Latin chefs appears on multiple Food Network shows, including Heat Seekers, Chefs vs. City and Iron Chef America.
- Alex Guarnaschelli another Food Network star, Guarnaschelli has her own shows The Cooking Loft and Alex’s Day Off.
- Amanda Freitag battled Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, competed on The Next Iron Chef Season Two and frequently appears on Cooking Channel's Unique Eats.
- Chris Santos is the raising chef behind The Stanton Social and Beauty and Essex.
- Geoffrey Zakarian has opened award winning restaurants, serves as a recurring judge on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and won Season Four of The Next Iron Chef.
- Maneet Chauhan is executive chef of Vermilion and a former contestant on The Next Iron Chef.
- Marc Murphy is head of Benchmarc Restaurants and appears on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, The Best Thing I Ever Made and Unique Eats.
- Marcus Samuelsson: an award winning restauranteur behind Red Rooster Harlem he has also appeared on Top Chef Masters, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, and his own show, The Inner Chef, on the Discovery Channel.
- Scott Conant the renown chef behind the award winning Scarpetta restaurant also hosts Food Network's 24 Hour Restaurant Battle.
Who Hosts 'Chopped'?:
The host of Food Network's Chopped is Ted Allen, best known for his turn as the food guru on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Ted Allen has also served as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and Food Network’s Iron Chef America. He is a contributing editor at Esquire magazine and writes for other publications like Bon Appétit and Food Network Magazine. He was a restaurant critic for Chicago magazine.
Who Produces 'Chopped'?:
Chopped was created by Michael Krupat and is executive produced by Linda Lea, Dave Noll (of City Lights Television) and Vivian Sorenson.
When Does 'Chopped' Air?:
Chopped airs Tuesdays on on the Food Network at 10/9PM Central.