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Out of all the popular shows on the Food Network, one competition show has risen to the forefront over the past few years. Chopped is a series that features all the necessary elements to make a successful series — talented contestants, celebrity chef judges, bizarre ingredients, and a charming host.

The original series has become so beloved that it has spawned a number of spinoffs and specials. As much as viewers love Chopped, however, it has caused controversy amongst viewers from time to time — and a recent finale episode has created quite a stir with fans on Reddit. 

What is ‘Chopped’ about?

In 2009, Chopped debuted on the Food Network. The cooking competition show features a simple format — four chefs, many of whom are highly trained restaurant owners, compete in a three-round contest, creating dishes made entirely from a basket of “mystery” ingredients.

Many of the ingredients are bizarre, and not something that most people are familiar with. As the contestants create an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, they must impress the panel of celebrity judges not just with how their dish tastes, but how it looks and how well it incorporates the mystery ingredients as well.

Chopped ultimately spawned a lengthy list of spinoffs and specials, including Chopped Ultimate Champions, Chopped All-Stars, Chopped After Hours, Chopped Star Power, and Chopped: Impossible. Fans have continued to tune in for each successive season, and have helped to make Chopped one of the biggest shows not only on the Food Network but on television in general. 

‘Chopped’ has caused some controversy with fans

As with any cooking program, many fans who watch Chopped have a lot to say about various aspects of the show. While the original series has remained consistently successful, some of the spinoff shows have not been so well-received by fans. In particular, Chopped Junior, where young chefs compete for a chance to win the grand prize, tends to not be a fan favorite. 

Some fans have complained that Chopped Junior is hard to sit through and that it is difficult to watch the young contestants get eliminated. Viewers have strong feelings about the contestants in the original Chopped as well, and over the years, some fans have had a lot to say about the way contestants are treated in certain episodes — and the ongoing issue of favoritism. 

What did fans have to say about a recent ‘Chopped’ finale?

Ginger turmeric chickpeas
Ginger turmeric chickpeas | Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post via Getty Images; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post via Getty Images

‘Chopped’: Maneet Chauhan Needs Her Own Cooking Show ASAP

In a recent Reddit thread, fans discussed the finale episode of Chopped Comfort Foods. The original poster wrote “saw the ‘finale’ and was disgusted with the obvious set up. The ‘winner’s’ sad story was featured throughout, but when his first dish was dinged for about 90% more tumeric than needed, he was obviously the person to be chopped. But he was not chopped, and it became obvious that he was ‘destined’ to win. I’ve seen other Chopped episodes when someone seemed to be groomed to win, but this was so much more obvious.”

Fans chimed in, with one writing that “yeah, this was one of the worst Chopped episodes”

Some pointed out that the obvious Covid-19 protocols made the episodes awkward. “I thought it was so weird that everything was clearly different due to Covid but they never once mentioned it?” one person wrote. “Like only 3 judges for 5 rounds of competition, teds long hair and beard, it being outdoors, people talking to their loved ones via video call, etc. Why avoid mentioning that it’s because of Covid? It’s not like it’s a secret lol.”

Others referred to the shots of people wearing masks and PPE as clear proof that COVID-19 precautions were being taken — but still, the pandemic was like the elephant in the room.