Chopped (TV Series 2007– ) Poster

(2007– )

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1/10
" Fixed "
Matthew_Capitano25 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This show is fixed.

You can tell the judges have decided beforehand which contestant they want to win. Once, they chopped a chef even though his competitor forgot to put the meat on the entree plate. Chefs with particularly troubled pasts, revealed during the bio part of the show, often seem to win the competition. The judges are predictably smug and unfriendly, oftentimes critiquing a dish by saying something really stupid, like "The dessert is too sweet." I'd like to see the judges prepare something on the clock, but they don't have the guts to do it. Every one of them knows they'd get 'chopped'.

Not a real competition. A legitimate contest would be much more interesting ..... and fair.
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1/10
fed up
BadSausages20 October 2011
I really enjoy watching the contestant chefs prepare elegant gourmet dishes from surprise unusual ingredients. For a while, that worked for me. But the more I watched, the more disgusted I became by the judges.

Of course, we, the audience, don't see everything that happened, only what the directors splice together for broadcast. And we can't taste the food. We can only hear the comments of the judges and the contestants. And we can only see the scenes cut from the various cameras, scenes provided obviously out of their natural sequence and spliced together to provide a feel for the competition rather than a raw presentation of it.

That is what the audience has and it is all the audience can use to judge the program. If the directors have omitted important information that would change our opinion, too bad.

The show's host gives the rules at the beginning of the show. Each dish will be judged on presentation, taste, and creativity. But creativity rarely gets the judges' thumbs up. The contest begins with each of four chefs preparing an appetizer. The chef with the "worst" appetizer is chopped and each of the three remaining chefs prepares an entrée. The chef with the "worst" entrée is chopped and each of the two remaining chefs prepares a dessert. The winner is chosen based on all three courses.

Given that scenario, a chef who is second worst in both the first and the second rounds should have a nearly impossible task of winning. However, it happens more often than we would expect. The judges' critiques of the first two courses are shown again along with their critiques of the final course, but the judges' interpretation inexplicably changes so that one final contestant, who earlier was deemed by them to be far inferior to the other final contestant, in the final analysis becomes a close competitor and even wins.

Worse for me is that chefs whose dishes appear to be quite beautiful and are given only mild negative comments by the judges, are chopped over chefs whose dishes appear to be quite unappealing and are given far more severe negative comments by the judges. In too many cases, judges have chopped chefs, not for any objective flaw, but because of the judges inappropriate subjective criteria, e.g., the absolute quantity (i.e., not the relative quantity of how much of one thing versus another thing was on a plate, but how much in total was on a plate, e.g., one clam was not enough for an appetizer, a sandwich was too much), the sweetness of a dessert (one judge likes things very sweet, another judge doesn't), the sweetness of an appetizer (one judge doesn't like sweet appetizers), the degree to which something should be cooked (some judges prefer rare, some prefer medium, none like well done).

Recall the criteria: presentation; taste; and creativity. Portion size is not among the criteria, unless we stretch presentation to cover this, and that would be quite a stretch. Taste, I think, means that it should taste good, that the flavors of the required ingredients shine clearly and are well balanced. Again, it would be a stretch to include in the taste criteria whether an appetizer should or shouldn't be sweet. Of course, any dish, even a dessert, may be too sweet. And that would be factor in taste, along with too bland, too salty, too sour, too bitter. But too sweet is not at all the same as sweet or not sweet. And the degree of doneness (rare, medium, well) clearly does not fit under any of the criteria.

There are things that must be cooked to a minimum degree (e.g., chicken and pig). And anything can be overcooked. No, these don't fall under presentation, taste, or creativity. Nor does chef's blood, but getting your blood in the food is also a no-no. As is double-dipping, i.e., tasting the food from a utensil and putting the utensil back into the food. Indeed, sanitary conditions aren't among the criteria. But these are universal rules and properly implied. Things like rare, medium, well are personal preferences and not properly implied.

To be fair, if the judges have a standard by which dishes are to be judged, they should inform the contestants beforehand. But they don't. After a while, the show became, for me, an exercise in watching mediocrity win $10,000. I am not entertained by watching mediocre chefs play it safe with their cooking. I see nothing interesting. I learn nothing interesting. For those reasons, I had to chop this program from my schedule.
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9/10
Great Reality TV
wight42511 August 2013
In a world of fake reality television shows the simple idea of pairing 4 people up against each other competing for $10,000 while cooking offers more than most.

Being a bit of a foodie myself I really enjoy the mystery basket approach of secret ingredients. I find this show much more "real" than say Iron Chef America. The strict time limit and need to produce all 4 plates single handedly makes for more intense buzzer beater endings to each round.

The quick personal stories of each competitor in the beginning of the program set up each episode to give the viewer a sense of their expertise (or lack there of) as well as occupation. There have been teen chefs, stay at home moms, and military personnel.

The recent episode of accepting suggestions from social media sites was also a fantastic idea that I enjoyed as well.

My only suggestions to improve the show might be to add fan of the show to guest judge along side the professional judges from time to time. I would also like to see less "sob story" during the cooking portion of the show and focus more on the techniques and commentary from the judges. Also for those strange mystery basket ingredients I would like to hear more from the judges about what they know about it and how they might integrate the ingredient if they were competing.

Overall one of my top shows to watch each and every week.
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7/10
Laughable at times, but fun and different
AStormOfSwords1312 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Chopped is not exactly the most prominent Reality TV competition. American Idol is having its final season next year, Survivor has been here since 2000 and is going to be at 32 seasons by this time next year, and I have watched Big Brother from the US and Canada editions (not to mention that Canada watches US Big Brother and vice versa). However, Chopped is a different kind of game.

On Chopped, you are given 4 ingredients for each meal from a basket and you have to make a dish out of whatever ingredients you pull out of the box, however bizarre they are, in a given amount of time (any other ingredient and machine in the kitchen can also be used). Seems simple enough, right? Well... not really. The show has 3 judges who will eat anything off the plates, critique the dishes, and decide who goes home out of a starting roster of 4 people. The insanity that goes on in the kitchen makes for a scramble that will put avid food fans at the edge of their seats. Really, it's the scrambling to make their dishes that shines in this show because not only does it make it fun, it crowns deserving winners upon deserving winners. I have even seen 1 winner of the show appear again as a judge, so if one of the judges wanted to be in the kitchen, don't count them out.

The judges critiques/comments I am mixed on. What judges make notes on while the contestants cook I do find to be positive feedback and helps us, the audience, learn about the ingredients that come out of the basket. But when giving criticism about the dishes, it can sometimes get pretty stupid real quick. Describing desserts too sweet and saying that grilled cheese cannot be a dessert are 2 examples of that and some of the eliminations are, in all honesty, kind of bogus as a result. But a lot of other criticisms are very fair and so unfair eliminations are not too much of a problem. I like Scott Conant, Chris Santos, and Amanda whatsherface especially as judges.

My other big problem is that the host is way too easy to make fun of during the cooking portions of the episodes and so it makes the show more laughable at times when it really doesn't need to be as so. However, it doesn't destroy the show entirely as he does a professional job with the eliminations and introductions.

All in all, Chopped is a fine choice for people who want to find something different on TV. However, it really needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
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Fudging Judging
bcjjjs19 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Reading the IMDb reviews prompted me to write one. Unlike some reviewers, I truly love the show's concept of four ridiculous ingredients and having to whip up an appetizer, entree and dessert within so-many minutes. Obviously, many other viewers do as well which is why the show is still on the air. Ted Allen is the perfect host.

I wholeheartedly agree that the judges can be irritating. *SPOILER ALERT* In the episode "Offal Surprise", Marc Murphy reprimands (!) Aaron Dubois, a chef with a great personality, for taking a sip of alcohol while he was making his dish. Dubois counters, "I was just having fun!" Dubois is then reprimanded for having fun in the competition. I kid you not! *SPOILER ALERT* In the episode "Viewers' Choice Baskets", Scott Conant, after tasting Tre Goshall's dish, states "that is the worst thing I've ever put in my mouth." Goshall counters, "I think that is an exaggeration." Indeed! There you have two examples of the sizes of Murphy's and Conant's egos.

My least favorite judge is Maneet Chauhan. If I had a dollar for every time she states, "too sweet"! My hope is that Maneet goes on a permanent vacation from Chopped. Alex Guarnaschelli seems moody; in some episodes, she is completely fair and in others, Alex appears to be very nasty.

I agree with the IMDb reviewers that the judges' decision on who wins each round seems fixed. *SPOILER ALERT* For example, I thought for sure that Dubois would win the "Offal Surprise" episode but as soon as he expressed that he was "having fun", Dubois' fate was inevitable.

If Chopped would do away with the "panel of judges" concept and stick to three fair judges, particularly Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Samuelson & Amanda Freitag, viewers would be happy.They criticize without slinging insults and praise with warmth and friendliness. However, I know the panel of judges format is here to stay and that the judges have very busy lives in reality, being unable to donate their time to every Chopped episode.
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1/10
INSULT To the Art of Fine Cooking (And to Common Sense)
poetcomic131 January 2015
I watched the first episode and I am still picking my jaw up off the floor. The contestants kept a constant self-pity party going through the whole show about how THEY must each win, they MUST or they will be DESTROYED. It was SICKENING.

The premise of the show is to give each chef a box of bizarre and even revolting ingredients and force them to concoct a finished dish using those ingredients (which included such swill as grape jelly beans and sickening canned shrimp, okra and buttermilk (!) and to do it in a RIDICULOUSLY short amount of time.

The great and truly creative chefs of the haute cuisine spend days mixing, changing and redoing elements of a dish to create something magical.... constantly changing, tasting, adjusting, tasting, Substituting this for that... and only once in awhile do they come up with a masterpiece. Some of the signature dishes of well known chefs have been through 40 or 50 versions before they are perfected.

This show is a travesty and an insult because it does not even acknowledge the most fundamental aspects of true culinary art. I can count on ONE HAND the times I saw these 'chefs' even taste anything at all.

The dishes these chefs were forced to come up with were so DEPRESSING.
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3/10
Most of the judges suck
funnyjoni23 July 2012
I like the format of this show and used to enjoy watching it. Today I noticed that I have 6 unwatched episodes on my DVR and I deleted them. The judges seem to judge based on who they want to win not who should win (could also be BAD editing, don't know). It seems like a death sentence to say that you are competitive, you have a lot of experience, something is your specialty or that you teach.

Get some new unbiased judges and I would love to tune in again but for now Zakrian,Sammuelsson and Conant are the only judges that have any credibility for me.

Go ahead and defend your people Food Network, defend them until the show is off the air.
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1/10
Crapped
swhitten796 July 2012
I am so sick and tired of the three chefs with attitudes. I think that they have forgotten how to cook since they sit on their butts so much and judge other chefs. I think at times once they taste a dish and think to themselves DAMMM why didn't I think of that... I think their EGOs get in the way of fair judging. I would love to see them go against some of these chefs instead of each other and then be judged by the co-workers. Why not bring back some of the chopped champs back and have them judge them and shred their dishes. And Scott for a Chef that likes to throw so many punches about too many red onions, peppers, or any other vegetable that you don't like; why don't you get off your butt and challenge yourself by being on one of the stupid episodes that they fix for judges to win. I think you would be chopped first!
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6/10
Choppy Judging
nikkiten197920 March 2018
This would be an amazing show if the judges (maybe not all) judged not by the look or personality of a "chef", but by the dish served... the fact is that the judges have decided beforehand WHO their winner is going to be from the first dish - the rest is nitpicking to trick the viewer into believing that others put out an inferior dish.

Another thing I don't like much about this show is lack of diversity... which is painfully lacking. Diversity in cuisines, chefs, etc. It's always the same types of food we see - same entrees, same types of appetizers, same types of desserts. Are these chefs foodies or are they looking for their own personal chefs to work in their kitchens at home?? The show as of late been very whited-out, definitely not enough people of other ethnicities (especially Black, Asian, or dark Hispanic) and if there are they VERY rareeeely win the show no matter how great a dish they present.
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Annoyed
ray_raygirl31 January 2018
I really dont understand the judging or the editing of this show...how is it that contestant gets the better review at the end AND LOSES....RIDICULOUS. Its like a set up to fail...use to love chopped now im getting real annoyed
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7/10
You've Been Chopped
DKosty12330 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I give this show a solid rating though I have only become a recent viewer of this. I base it on the following-

Ted Allen - the host, is perfect for this type of program.

The contestants are real battlers.

Foods chosen for this is creative.

When the show finally had a "Beat Bobby Flay" Chopped episode, they came up with a field of 12 champs to try to beat him. They had a champs tourney to decide who would challenge him. While the concept was good here, they made one mistake in setting it up. The final episode only started with 3 people and Flay only had to face 1 champ in a final round. They should redo this tourney and have Flay face off with 3 former champs in all 3 courses and see if he can handle all 3 meal courses.

This makes Flays victory in the tourney much like a rigged contest. It is much easier to win chopped when you only have to do 1 course. Granted the winner, just like on Flays own series, got to name what they had to make, but the difference between winning 1 course and winning all three is huge.

Each regular show starts with an appetizer round, then an entree round, and then a desert round. Each round has a box of ingredients that must be used to make each course. Usually the box creates a challenge that forces the contestant to be creative.

Then a panel of judges sample each dish and decides which dish should be chopped. Now if every dish is ever raw, there will be a commercial break where the judges all have to run to the water closet. Usually this does not happen, but then Ted Allen controls the proceedings quite strictly.

The show is worth watching just to see how weird the food can be, and how strange the contestants and judges are. It is fun to find judges who like ostrich legs, and eel. Maybe some day the challenge will be to feature beauty mud in a dish. After all, women who use this stuff have been tasting it for years.
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7/10
Mysterious and mundane all at once! I like it.
sstobierre12 May 2015
1. If you appreciate creativity, you'll enjoy this show. 2. To think that you have twenty minutes to plan, prepare, execute and present an appetizer; thirty minutes each to do the same for an entrée and desert? 3. It makes me wonder, how many episodes were not aired because of the numerous contestants who could not finish. 4. Oh! and did I mention the mystery basket ingredients, usually one to a few of those have not been used before by the contestants. 5. Why not use liquid Nitrogen when making ice cream? It's so much quicker. 6. For special showings like the championship series, why not award the winners of each of the four episodes the usual $10,000 like the regular showings? Their prize shouldn't just be a spot in the final championship round. 7. I suspect the judges are bored and closed-minded, how about revamping the judging panel occasionally? 8. The judges inform contestants that they can use as little or as much of the mystery ingredients as they wish, yet when the cooks do that, judges have a problem with it. Where is the consistency?
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1/10
Wasn't meant for the lower class
Noah9 March 2017
I'm going to step away from what everyone else has been talking about. I feel like you have no chance of winning if you don't meet their standard. It could be your style of cooking but it can also be the way you look or your race. I don't want to sound like a lot of these people don't deserve the win but you have no chance of winning if you're not white and you have no chance of winning if you're white and look ghetto. The show is meant for the classy white fans.
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