HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Dec 17, 2010 08:43 AM

How about a 'Chopped' episode where the tables are turned?

After watching a few seasons of "celebrity chefs" judging the contestants - and sometimes a bit overblown with their comments - I'd personally love to see a show where the judges have to be the contestants.

Imagine any one of them - Amanda Freitag, Scott Conant, Marc Murphy, Geoffrey Zakarian, Chris Santos, Jody Williams, and even Aaron Sanchez and Alexandra Guarnaschelli - having to throw together awesome dishes from the worst, most challenging ingredient combinations the show has ever hit contestants with...

Who would judge them? Losers, winners, other tv chefs?

Whaddya think?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd love to see that. Those Chopped judges are downright rude and obnoxious at times.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mucho gordo

      As much as I've liked the episodes I've seen...I can't believe how rude they get sometimes. I guess that's what makes good TV and ratings.

      1. re: melpy

        I remember reading somewhere that the producers have them sneer and make these awful comments about the food. So I probably wouldn't blame them too much. I used to think Alexandra G was such a bitch until I read that blurb.

        Don't these judges realize that this type of exposure can be construed as negative by the public? I guess any publicity is good.

        1. re: melpy

          This is heavily edited TV, not reality.

      2. As long as Alexandra Gaurnaschelli loses, I'd watch!

        1. How about some of those nice Iron Chef judges who know nothing about food (according to opinions in other threads!), but are impressed by pretty plates?

          1. Great idea, let's pitch it to FoodTV :-)

            I actually think the chef judges would fare pretty well with the ingredients. It's the clock that' the killer. How many of them are actually working a line in their restaurant on a routine basis so their speed and moves are rote and flow like second nature. I'm guessing probably not many.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DiningDiva

              Yeah, it really isn't as difficult as it sounds, esp. with all those pantry items. Like you said, the biggest hurdle is the clock.

            2. well it's not Chopped, but...
              - Alex Guarnaschelli lost to Cat Cora on ICA
              - Geoffrey Zakarian lost to Morimoto on ICA
              - Amanda Freitag lost to Bobby Flay (by one point) on ICA; and was eliminated 6th on S2 of The Next Iron Chef
              - Aarón Sanchez battled Morimoto on ICA & it ended in a tie; and he was eliminated 6th on S1 of TNIC
              - Marc Murphy lost to Bobby Flay on ICA

              are we seeing a trend here?

              but yes, i agree it would be really interesting to see the judges compete...as long as Zakarian gets bhut jolokia peppers in one of his baskets, and Conant gets black pepper and raw onions in one of his ;)

              i do have to say, though, having eaten Scott Conant's food, IMO he's earned the right to be critical...my recent dinner at Scarpetta was one of the best restaurant meals i've ever had. and he absolutely cooked it himself - the manager gave me a tour of the kitchen, and there was Conant, crouched over the counter tending to all the food.

              4 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                "are we seeing a trend here?" - yes, they did well enough on these 'screen tests' to be invited back to work on this show. You don't have to win every contest to be a good judge, or to perform well on TV. Aaron has been on FN since the Melting Pot days, and was a competitor himself on Chefs v City. Amanda comments on the Cook Channel programs (with nice things to say about the various restaurants and shops they feature).

                Think also about pay scales and other commitments. Do you think FN wants to pay Morimoto to be a regular judge on Chopped (along with the voice over)? Flay has plenty of other FN involvement.

                1. re: paulj

                  you took my comment much too seriously - obviously i should have followed it with a tongue-in-cheek emoticon.

                  the topic of the OP was about wanting to see the judges compete, and i provided examples of the ones who have competed on other shows in the past...i was just being a wise-ass when i made that comment about seeing a trend. i'm quite aware that success on a TV cooking competition has little to do with one's abilities in the real world, whether as a judge, restaurateur, or chef...and i'm usually one of the first to point out that in threads about Top Chef.

                  i can't speak for anyone else, but i've personally never questioned whether any of these judges belong there - i know about their careers, i've eaten in some of their restaurants (Conant, Sanchez & Murphy), and i respect them all as professionals.

                  i'm also not sure how pay scales & commitments or Flay & Morimoto as Chopped judges have anything to do with my statements...

                  anyway, this isn't all that complicated. the point is simply that given how harsh they can be when judging contestants' food, it would be interesting to see how they would handle being on the other side of things.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  You beat me to saying Scott would have to serve raw onions....

                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                    Late to the party here, but I'd like to see some fish and some cheese in Conant's basket, preferably Tilapia and Velveeta, along with those onions.