Meet the Chopped Judges

Anyone who loves reality TV or cooking shows is familiar with the dramatic and entertaining game show Chopped. This cooking game show is the pinnacle of reality TV, geniously combining the elements of cooking, time restraints and prize money. The best part is, the chefs on Chopped must make a meal using all of the ingredients provided to them, which can include extremely random combos like prunes, animal crackers and cream cheese. Here are the judges who make Chopped into the popular, ridiculous show that it is!

What is Chopped?

This popular show is hosted by Ted Allen, and each episode has four chefs who compete against each other to win the grand prize of $10,000. New episodes can be watched every Tuesday at 9 pm ET on the Food Network, which owns the Cooking Channel. Host Ted Allen, who was on Iron Chef America and is a member of the Culinary Council of the Food Bank for New York City, brings his creativity and expertise to the show. There's also a dessert-themed version called Chopped Sweets, which is hosted by Scott Conant. Some other spin-offs are Chopped After Hours and Chopped Junior.

In each episode, the four chefs face off in a contest to cook a three course meal, including an appetizer, entrée and dessert round. The judges provide ingredients for the courses, which is often the most challenging aspect. These mystery ingredients come in a "mystery basket" at the start of each course, and they are usually a mixture of ingredients that would never typically be cooked together. For instance, one episode's basket ingredients consisted of watermelon, canned sardines, pepper jack cheese, and zucchini. However, the chefs also have access to a pantry and fridge of other ingredients as well, along with the kitchen stocked with equipment like a deep fryer and ice cream machine.

Each course is then judged by a panel of three judges, and one chef is "chopped" based on the result. The Chopped judges base their decision based off of the taste, presentation and creativity displayed by the course. After three courses are through, one lucky Chopped champion is left standing, earning $10,000, or in some special contests, up to $50,000! You can watch clips of this entertaining cooking competition on foodnetwork.com.

Meet The Chopped Judges

There have been many people to sit at the judges table throughout the episodes of Chopped. The first episode of Chopped, which is actually the highest rated on IMDB, features judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, and Aaron Sanchez. The mystery ingredients for the appetizer round were baby octopus, bok choy, oyster sauce, and smoked paprika. In the entree round, the contestants were given duck breast, green onions, ginger and honey. As for the dessert, they created dishes from animal crackers, prunes, and cream cheese. Sandy Davis was the first Chopped winner!

Another popular episode involved Chopped judges as chefs. Judges Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag, and Scott Conant competed for the win making dishes out of scallops, harissa, pink grapefruit, speck and more. The judges for this episode were Geoffrey Zakarian, Marcus Samuelsson, and Aaron Sanchez. Some other Chopped judges who appeared in four or more seasons are Chris Santos, Maneet Chauhan, Elizabeth Karmel, Christian Petroni, Eddie Jackson, Angie Mar,  Giorgio Rapicavoli, Tiffani Faison, and last but not least, Martha Stewart.

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