Before the great server meltdown of 2009, (note to self – back up everything!) I wrote this article in 2008, a few weeks after the debut of Food Network’s “Chopped” series. I was rather opinionated; and while my opinion really hasn’t changed much, it has tempered somewhat. Before I get into what I feel about Chopped three-plus years later, I thought I drag this out of the MirePoix Vegas archives to share.
Am I the only one in the world who feels that this program is, well, a little silly?
I feel that the Culinary Art is an honorable one, and (genuine) chefs do their best to take great ingredients and create miraculous dishes. So WTF is Chopped?
The chefs (genuinely passionate and sincere, every one) are given baskets of “ingredients,” ranging from beautiful plantains to boxes of fruit punch. Please. I just watched a vegetarian chef cry her way off of the set as she was “chopped” for not doing a great job with chorizo. Who’da thunk.
I think the funniest part is watching the judges try to be serious about the flavor of the concoctions that the chefs try to create from the treif (that’s Yiddish for unkosher, garbage food) they are given. And they’re SERIOUS! Most of the ingredients that the chefs are given are best served being dumped in a bin somewhere, but not used to create the gourmet-level dishes that the judges seem constantly surprised that they’re not tasting.
Food Network- between the “Chairman” whooshes on Iron Chef America and the silliness of this show – you are quickly descending into the realm of parody, and are becoming irrelevant. I’m tired of fast-forwarding the DVR through the silly parts. The “Competition” shows, while giving viewers something to do other than just, well, *view,* are becoming a little much. Maybe it’s time to do something clever and have shows on just cooking! (there’s intended sarcasm in there – it’s just hard to convey in print sometimes) PBS does a great job with Julia Child: Lessons with Master Chefs, and the special programs showcasing ethnic cuisine and how-to’s. Isn’t that what Food Network *used* to do?