How Do Chefs Get on Chopped? Here’s How to Apply

Whether you’ve watched a few episodes of Chopped or you’re all caught up on every episode, you might have wondered how contestants get on the show. These chefs may not always be perfect, but they really know how to at least look like they know what they’re doing.

You like cooking. You think it would be fun to try getting on the show, too. Could you do it?

Here’s everything you need to know before applying to be a contestant on Chopped — and how to get your name in if you think you qualify for a chance to appear on the show.

How is Chopped different from other competitive reality shows?

If Chopped is your favorite competition show, it might be because it’s nothing like the others you’ve likely tried to sit through before.

This show doesn’t put people on teams or throw in unrealistic twists for dramatic effect. Contestants have one goal: to get food on a plate and win $10,000. But the show still needs to hold audiences’ interest. While it relies heavily on its judges for this, it’s largely up to the contestants themselves to keep things interesting by what they supposedly do best: cooking.

Therefore, possibly one of the most important things you need to be able to do before you even apply to be on Chopped is think on your feet when presented with a basket of ingredients.

Improvisation while rummaging through your fridge at home is one thing. But on Chopped, the clock starts when the ingredients come out. Contestants have to be able to create a winning dish with what’s put in front of them.

Could you come up with something on the spot like that? Then you might be the perfect person to appear on the show — if you meet a few other important qualifications, that is.

Do you have to be a professional chef to be on Chopped?

In most cases, producers will only accept applications from chefs who have professional cooking experience. The official application asks for a resume, and requires you to fill in information about your culinary background.

There is one exception, however. In addition to its regular episodes, Chopped also has specials such as Chopped: Grill Masters. You don’t have to be a professional to apply for an appearance on these episodes, as long as you have the skills required to compete.

To increase your chances of getting chosen, however, you need to have an interesting backstory. This is still reality TV, after all. The more unique your background, the higher your chances of earning a spot in the Chopped kitchen.

How to get on Chopped

Chopped on Food Network

Chopped on Food Network | Food Network

Anyone who meets the above qualification can apply to be a contestant on the show. However, the form provided takes some time to fill out — and you should take some additional time to really think through your answers.

The Professional Chef Application is almost exactly the same process you might go through to apply for a job — which is kind of what it is, if you end up winning the grand prize.

The online form will ask for your personal information as well as some background about your culinary experience and why you think you’re the right person to appear on an episode of the show.

Potential contestants are also asked to disclose things like food allergies and aversions, and speak to the things that inspired a career working with food. Remember, you’re applying to to be on a reality show. Interesting (and honest) answers can make all the difference.