Culinary television shows have gotten quite some buzz in the past couple of years, not only are they awesome for viewing but they’re also intriguing and pretty cool for someone learning how to cook. There are so many hit culinary cooking shows on the television, that it’s pretty hard to keep count, among which include typical favorites like MasterChef and Iron Chef.
However, today we’ll be discussing one of the biggest culinary television shows on the air, one that has been a hit since it first premiered in 2009, and one that sees the host and visiting chefs go the extra mile to give an amazing viewer experience.
Today we’ll be talking about “Chopped”, a reality-based cooking television game show that has kept viewers glued to the screens for another dramatic twist in the culinary tale. Here we’ll be talking about the premise of the show, what chefs get if they come out on top.
Next, we’ll examine the profiles of the judges on the show, the rumored pay of the judges and host, and many other interesting things about one of the biggest hit shows all around the United States of America. So without further ado, let’s get to chopping and serving.
Chopped is a cooking reality show which pitches upcoming and already established chefs against each other to compete for the $10,000 grand prize at the end of each episode. The show has been hosted by the culinary expert Ted Allen, and us divided into three rounds, seeing each chef show off their expertise or otherwise cooking Appetizers, Entrées, and
Desserts with the occasional exceptions. This show gives room for the chefs to be creative as they each get a basket containing four mystery ingredients and are expected to whip up a treat within a certain time frame, with it being almost a rule that they must use every single thing contained in the mystery basket.
You might be thinking that how exactly would a chef come up with something in such a tender scenario with such strange ingredients? The good thing is that all the contestants would be given complete access to a pantry and refrigerator which contains tons of familiar ingredients that would lend a helping hand to their dish.
The kitchen is also stocked up with a variety of top-notch machines and equipment to make the cooking quite luxurious indeed, with all these being catered for by the Food Network.
There is a time frame for the preparation of such dishes, and time is of the essence, as the clock stops for no chef. The timeframe for rounds varies, as each contestant is given twenty minutes to prepare an Appetizer, while they are given thirty minutes each at the max to prepare the Entrée and Dessert.
How Do You Win Chopped?
The above processes are subject to review depending on the nature of the secret ingredients, but there has never been an occasion where the time-lagged because of the absence of a tool or cooking ingredient.
Typically, on the show, Ted Allen and his judges consider a lot of things before eliminating contestants and reaching their final decision, such things being considered to include presentation, taste, and creativity. The final round is judged based on all the above factors, and if in the rarest of occurrences there’s a tie, the competition would be judged based on the overall performance throughout the competition.
The winner of the competition would be gifted a sum of $10,000 on a regular show, while this amount is significantly increased for special shows like celebrity matches and all-star appearances.
Chopped has attracted some of the biggest names in the culinary industry in the United States of America. It is well funded, properly run, rakes in tons of revenue, and it’s little wonder why a lot of household names have frequented the show. Some of the notable judges of this superb TV series include:
1) Ted Allen
This is the grand host of chopped, and he has been a fixture on the show since the very beginning, earning plaudits and acclaim for his superb timing, wittiness, and knowledge of culinary arts. He has hosted a lot of famous television shows revolving around cooking such as Queer Eye, Chopped, Chopped Junior, America’s Best Cook and he also makes frequent appearances on the hit TV show The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
He is a writer, author, wine taster, and someone that takes up opportunities as they come, as long as they are fun and include fun in some way or the other. He earned his stripes in the journalism industry initially, getting hard-earned opportunities such as copy editor at the Lafayette, reporter for Lerner Newspapers, and last but not the least as a contributing editor for Esquire.
It was after this last gig that he crossed over to television, playing a significant part in the success of various franchises like Queer Eye, Iron Chef America, Food Detectives, Chopped, and among other gigs. He is also a cookbook author and a multiple award recipient.
2) Alex Guarnaschelli
Executive chef, television personality, host, and mother. Alex Guarnaschelli is an absolute gem in the kitchen and on the camera, and she has been one of the main reasons behind the staggering success of Chopped over the years. Asides from her work on Chopped she has a series of television shows that she helms notably Alex’s Day Off, The Cooking Loft, and Supermarket Stakeout.
Before the days of Chopped and the likes, Alex Guarnaschelli cut her teeth in the culinary industry as a chef in a couple of restaurants in Europe and the United States of America before becoming the executive chef at Butter and later the chair of the Museum of Food and Drink’s Culinary Council.
She has had her television show since the year 2009, she has authored three cookbooks, and she has made uncountable television appearances on some of the most visible TV shows in the country.
3) Chris Santos
Chris Santos is a chef, restaurant owner, cooking show judge, and entrepreneur, he has been in the culinary industry for decades and he landed a judging gig on Chopped in 2009 and has been a fixture in the show ever since.
Chris Santos has come a long way from being a young teenage dishwasher in a small local restaurant in his hometown, as he had bigger things in mind during his eventful stint there.
He studied culinary arts at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University and graduated in 1993 with honors. After moving to New York, he got a job at the Time Café eventually moving up the ranks to become executive chef at the age of 23.
Santos is an avid traveler and is reputed to have visited over ten nations and dwelled in just about every big European city you can imagine. He had his restaurants, he has appeared in numerous cooking shows, he has a significant social media presence, and he’s one of the most loved chefs in Chopped.
The Most Popular Judge in Chopped
While this segment might lead to a few hot takes and disagreements, a couple of things were considered before we selected the most popular judge on the hit cooking reality TV show Chopped.
We first had to consider the judge that caused the most website traffic, a judge that is also super successful in her career, and someone that the masses can identify with thanks to her come-up story.
There was only one chef that ticked all the boxes, and that master chef is none other than Maneet Chauhan.
Maneet Chauhan is a spectacular Indian American chef with a preference for the unorthodox, she has been the executive chef for several prestigious restaurants all around the United States of America in cities such as Nashville, Chicago, DC, and New York. She has appeared on several popular television shows over the years including but not limited to Iron Chef, Chopped, The View, and The Today Show.
She is the most famous chef of Punjabi origin, and she has never ceased to fly her county’s flag even in her adopted home of the United States of America. She is one of the few judges on Chopped that went to a culinary school to sharpen her skills, and this has had a significant influence on her cooking techniques.
She is also a restaurant owner, as she opened her self-named restaurant in the city of Nashville in 2014, and it is reputed to accommodate over 100 people at a sitting.
She has also authored a couple of commercially and critically acclaimed cookbooks available to both Indian as well as American customers, which contain some of her best recipes for success. Maneet Chauhan has a huge social media following, and her influence spans different countries across the continents of Asia and North America.
Chopped is a dream come through for culinary enthusiasts, they could win a grand prize of $10,000 for doing what they want, and they would be exposed to an endless amount of connections in the culinary industry as long as they don’t bottle the opportunity.
The host and judges are also benefitting from the platform, as most of them have built a significant following after just a few episodes on the platform. We aren’t so sure about what exactly the host and judges earn for being a part of Chopped, but one thing is for sure, they’re all under contract with the Food Network.
This show has been around for over a decade, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. The contestants are getting better by the episode, the judges are always super inspired, and there are a series of amazing one-offs that keep viewers craving for more.