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Feb 3, 2011 03:49 PM

Who knew? Chopped "All Stars" coming in March!

Recently, I started a thread about how it would be excellent if the tables were reversed on Chopped, and the judges had to cook.

Little did I know at that time that such a thing was actually in the works! From my local newspaper, here's the lineup:

"The competition will air at 9 p.m. Sundays starting March 6. Here’s the schedule:

March 6: Brad Sorenson, Debbie Lee, Lisa Garza, Michael Proietti

March 13: Anne Burrell, Claire Robinson, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine

March 20: Anita Lo, Beau MacMillan, Jacques Torres, Nate Appleman

March 27: Aaron Sanchez, Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian, Maneet Chauhan

April 3: Final showdown featuring one winner from each round."

Alex Guarnaschelli won't compete, but she'll be a judge.

I knew it was a good idea...

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    1. nice! i wish my boy Conant was competing, but it's still a great lineup. thanks for posting this. the timing for when it starts is perfect too - close to when the TC All-Star finale will be airing.

      21 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Yeah, where's Scott Conant??

        Basket just for Conant: pearl onions, Vidalia onions, leeks, and shallots ... no use of fire or heat in this round!

          1. re: ipsedixit

            It's judges who have to taste this, not the contestant.

            1. re: paulj

              I think actually being forced to prepare raw onions would be more professionally traumatic than actually having to taste them.

              I wonder what's worse for a vegetarian ... eating meat, or cooking it for others to eat.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                That may be depend on the reasons for being vegetarian. if for health or taste, it is probably harder to taste than to prepare. If for moral reasons, both would violate their principals.

                There's a segment on The Splendid Table this week with the author of a book about animals we love, animals we hate, and animals we eat. He notes that 'moral' vegetarians cheat less.

                1. re: paulj

                  well i can't speak for anyone else, but during my 21 years as a vegetarian i absolutely couldn't fathom eating meat. the concept of "cheating" is bizarre to me - you're either a vegetarian or you're not. however, i did cook meat on certain occasions for other people. i wasn't happy about it, but i did it.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    You must be one of those true vegetarians who has never 'fallen off the wagon'! But apparently (according to the author I cited) there are people who claim to be vegetarian, but in unguarded moments (as in phone surveys) will admit to eating non-vegetarian items. But what struck me as most interesting was the connection between reasons for being vegetarian and the degree to which it is practiced.

                    But Scott's dislike of raw onions probably has more to do with their taste than any compunction about serving onions raw. Now his dislike of cheese with seafood may be closer to a moral issue - or at least a strongly held cultural taboo.

                    1. re: paulj

                      But Scott's dislike of raw onions probably has more to do with their taste than any compunction about serving onions raw. Now his dislike of cheese with seafood may be closer to a moral issue - or at least a strongly held cultural taboo.
                      im sure you're right...but i think in this case, dislike may be a more challenging obstacle for him to overcome. i could swear there was a recent challenge pairing fish with cheese in which he acknowledged that one or two of the dishes was good...but he's never liked anything with raw onions!

                      oh, and yes, i *was* one of those vegetarians who stayed with my butt planted firmly on the wagon seat from the first day to the last...but i jumped off with both feet several years ago, for a couple of reasons.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I've never really understood vegetarians that "cheat".

                        If you're doing it for ethical (or personal) reasons, then just have some conviction if you really believe in your own ethos.

                        If you're doing it for health reasons, then I just have to say that there are ways to eat healthy by incorporating meats (even "bad" meats like bacon), and those ways are probably healthier than being a strict vegetarians, esp. if you go through life feeling deprived.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          right, but my point is that if you're going to incorporate meat into your diet, you're not a vegetarian! i get the sense that some people claim to be vegetarians even though they occasionally eat meat because they think it makes them appear to be more virtuous somehow....which IMO is just silly.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Yes, it's always been a puzzle to me when customers or clients would say "I'm a vegetarian, I only eat fish" Huh?!?!??? Either you are or you aren't. Eating fish puts you into the "aren't" category.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              Because pescatarian sounds like a Zodiac sign?

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                my one explanation as someone who for 10 years didn't eat red meat - and used to just say simply that, but got a lot of bizarre looks in the midwest 15 years ago - sometimes it's easier to say you're a vegetarian even when you know you're not. people pestered me with tons of questions about why i didn't eat red meat - truth was it gave me terrible GI symptoms that i just didn't want to discuss with everyone. when i got pregnant with my second child (never even wanted it with my first) i got anemic, craved burgers and steak and have been able to eat it ever since. but when i said i was a vegetarian people said nothing, even if i said i sometimes ate fish. or even chicken. weird, i know. :)

                        2. re: paulj

                          -now his dislike of cheese with seafood-

                          i really think this is one he needs to get over. immediately writing off any dish that combines cheese and seafood eliminates some really good dishes that i have eaten. including several italian ones! it really makes me angry when he does that. try it first, THEN if you dont like it talk about the cheese and fish. but dont assume you wont like it just because there happen to be cheese an fish on the same plate.

                          1. re: mattstolz

                            agreed. glad to know i'm not the only one. i thought maybe i was crazy but i'd have sworn that wasn't true everywhere i'd been.

                            1. re: AMFM

                              parmesan crusted fish is one of my favorite things to order! its delicious!

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Plus lots and lots of white pepper, for his only seasoning choice. Have a nice round, Scott! : )

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      "Yeah, where's Scott Conant?"
                      I know huh? And his gorgeous teeth and equally lovely face. Dang...........oh well.
                      I know which episodes I'll make sure to tape just by reading the lineup, thanks to OP

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        oh i *hope* he'll show up as a judge at some point! he's definitely not competing, and the current list of judges doesn't include him, but a girl can dream...

                        then again, it wouldn't surprise me if he's not at all involved this time around. he's been busy opening restaurants :)

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        and red onions, we all know how he hates red onions raw or otherwise, and doesn't he hate black pepper too? silly man........... :)))

                    2. a very interesting lineup! cant wait for this to start! should be good!

                      1. if torres does not make it to dessert, anita lo is going to take 1st place

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tldmatrix

                          JT has alwasy been a favorite of mine since first seeing him on TV a hundred years ago.
                          I am not sure though how he does with food instead of dessert.
                          Guess we'll have to wait and see.
                          But he can make me dessert anytime he wants, I'd love to have his food.
                          Bought custard powder just so I could make his hot chocolate from one of his shows.
                          OOOOOOOO soooooooooo good!

                        2. I'm absolutely fascinated to see how Claire Robinson does. I would think that Anne Burrell would be the class of that group?

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: jackbauer

                            me too actually. the basket alone is sometimes more ingredients than ive ever seen her put into a single dish!

                            and really? burrel? not irvine??


                            1. re: mattstolz

                              Thanks a lot, you just broke my sarcasm detector.

                            2. re: jackbauer

                              I saw Secrets of a Restaurant Cook on Fri afternoon. Anne was making a raw asparagus salad. It looked good to me until she tasted, put the spoon back into the bowl, and tasted again. Gross.

                              1. re: Robinez

                                well, if she's the only one in the kitchen and the only one who's gonna eat it - it's really not that gross.

                                1. re: AMFM

                                  I agree. If I am cooking for myself, then sharing it with me, it isn't an issue. On the other hand, if I was showing someone how to cook a dish, certainly on tv, I would follow basic hygiene..

                                  She just seems like a sloppy cook overall in my opinion.

                                  TC, Robin

                                2. re: Robinez

                                  Really....I recall a recent of "Worst Cooks" a contestant did the exact same thing and she crushed him and would not eat his food.

                                  1. re: Bob156

                                    Yeah, I saw the same thing--she reamed the guy for putting the tasting spoon back into the bowl, and then she refused to taste his final product. However, I've seen her do the same thing multiple times on her show. She also seems to use an inordinate amount of salt (and little/no pepper), so will be interesting to see how she fares. Love this show and am amazed how creative chefs are with so little time and bizarre ingredients (gummy worms, anyone?)