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Chopped on FN Tonight

New show called Chopped, sort of an Iron Chef format, Ted Allen is the host. 3 ingredients, 3 courses, one chef gets cut after each course, winning chef gets 10 grand. Supposed to be "up-and-coming" chefs. Tonights ingredients are octopus, duck and animal crackers.
10:00 tonight on the FN with lots of repeats all week. Fingers crossed it's something worth watching!

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  1. I liked Ted Allen in the makeover show, as well as on Iron Chef. He was a shoo-in for the disclaimer-type show which cannibalised AB's show, but he's certainly watchable and Iron Chef would be better if they had unusual requirements such as including dessert again.

    1. I intend to watch it, at least once. However, I think Ted Allen is the weakest link here. He's a total dweeb without any food cred. whatsoever.

      1. okay i literally have only seen about 4 minutes since i missed the first 10 but it seems to have potential. i mean i like top chef and have DEFINITELY seen way worse there - especially this season.

        1. Watched this tonight and I figure with 1-2 more episodes I'll be able to decide if this hour is worth it. Some quick notes:

          - The "surprise" ingredients aren't as out there as I thought...they do seem to have compatability that any competant chef should be able to combine into a dish.
          - I really like how the judges are reputable chefs and not a panel of celebrity or "food fringe" hacks.
          - Ted Allen as an MC/host was perfectly fine.
          - Chef Perry looked familiar and I swear he was in this season's Top Chef "Craft New York" episode. He was one of the chefs that didn't make the cut and he got a few seconds of airtime where he utters the words "it's crap!" with a smug look on his face like a spoiled child. His behavior on Chopped makes me believe it's definitely the same person.
          - I saw enough to watch next week.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Bunson

            Agree with most of what you said. I'll definitely keep watching for now. I thought that while Ted Allen was fine, he was a little stiff, which made the format a little hokey, but I'll chalk that up to it being the pilot episode and hopefully it will get smoother.

            Loved the judges, they made the show more meaningful.

            I thought that the talent level of these "up-and-coming" chefs was pretty lame. They definitely played up their lack of ability in the editing, which made the food coming out seem better since I was expecting more disastrous results. But 3 out of 4 "chefs" have never cooked octopus before? And what was up with the vegan chef? I am so sick of chefs coming on competition shows and then wrinkling their noses and feigning disgust over ingredients. Did she think it was a vegan competition?? It reminded me of Nipa on the Next FN Star when she got the whole fish.

            There was a real lack of creativity in the dishes (except for the crepes). Granted they didn't have much time, but they didn't make very good use of the pantry.

            I don't recall Chef Perry from the Top Chef episode...they were all spoiled disgruntled wannabees!

            1. re: sibeats

              well i think it depends on what type of chef you are. lets be honest - if you are young (like at least the one girl was) some ingredients are pricey to play around with so they probably aren't where you start. and if you are a sous chef you work MANY hours of the day and do lots of cooking but perhaps not tons of creating so there very well may be items you haven't worked with. i don't know. it makes sense to me.
              i thought that some of the dishes were nice - i mean remember a 1/2 hour to think and make and plate with that much pressure is NOT a lot of time. it's easy to think you could do a lot better until you're there.
              the only thing that did throw me a bit was that even i, who love to eat but am a mediocre cook at best, thought the ingredients went together - hadn't used them all but knew they went together - so i was shocked to see a few of them stumped. but i actually thought it was kind of fun. not so much even to see how amazing they were (although i really thought the crepes were pretty genius) but to try and imagine my own ideas which was cool.

              1. re: AMFM

                Yes, but if you are a chef working in the industry, you should be able to adapt to new ingredients. It just surprised me that they seemed so clueless. It was also the vegan chefs attitude that bothered me. She seemed shocked that she was going to have to use ingredients that weren't to her liking (meaning vegan). I just thought that was a bit strange for someone coming on a mystery basket competition.
                Beyond that, I do realize they only had a 1/2 hour, and I didn't say I could do better, but these are working chefs who should be able to think a little quicker on their feet. As you said, you were also shocked that they were stumped at the ingredients. I'm not trashing the chefs, I just thought that there should have been a little more creativity in their dishes.

                1. re: sibeats

                  i agree about the adapting part - and i think they specifically picked less adaptable chefs (pastry, vegan) which i find odd. but in rereading i just realized that i think your last line (which was what threw me a bit) was in regards to top chef, not to them. i agree they weren't the most creative but i think i defended because i hadn't seen them as "spoiled, disgruntled wannabes" but when i reread it as the top chef folks - those i agree with! :)

                  1. re: AMFM

                    Yes, the last line was in response to someone who thought Perry was on Top Chef...the chefs who didn't make the cut and critiqued those that did.
                    And you are right, they probably did intentionally pick chefs that might have more trouble adapting...more drama!!

          2. Sorry, but I disagree with most posters. The judges seemed very uncomfortable, the editing of their comments bad, and Ted Allen tries so hard to be dramatic and is a wooden stick as host. First show jitters I hope. BTW, lose the stupid shots of the contestants awaiting judgement.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KHT

              I agree that Ted Allen needs to relax, but I always give a show a few episodes to iron out those issues. As for the judges, I didn't think they seemed uncomfortable at all. I've seen Alex and Aaron many times on other shows and thought they were pretty much like they usually are. Never heard of or seen the other judge though, and he was my least favorite.
              As with all these shows, less drama, more cooking!!