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Chopped is one of the Food Network’s most popular shows, a series that highlights a basket of often-bizarre “mystery ingredients,” and challenges a group of talented chefs to create three unique courses from the contents. Chopped is one of the network’s most long-running shows, a series that has proven to be immensely popular with fans of all ages.

The show’s format includes a panel of judges who review the finished dishes laid out before them. Recently, some fans on Reddit discussed how the judges often seem to pass as much judgment on the contestants themselves as on the actual food. 

Geofrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant attend at event for the Food Network
Chefs Geofrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant attend an event | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYCWFF

When did ‘Chopped’ premiere on the Food Network?

Ever since 2009, when Chopped debuted on the Food Network, fans have been enjoying watching contestants struggle to cook with mystery ingredients, racing against the clock to defeat other trained chefs and impress the judge’s panel.

The show, hosted for many years by Ted Allen, has spawned many spinoffs, including Chopped Sweets, Chopped: Ultimate Champions, and Chopped Star Power

While one of the biggest draws for viewers is watching chefs utilize the basket of mystery ingredients (often things such as liver, beef tongue, chocolate wafers, and broccoli rabe), many enjoy watching the interactions of the judges as well.

Over the years, many of the Food Network’s top talents have made an appearance on the judge’s panel, including Ree Drummond, Geoffrey Zakarian, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay.

Other stars have lent their talents as judges, too, performers like Neil Patrick Harris and Jessie James Decker. It is to the judges to determine who gets “chopped” and sent home, and who goes on to cooking show domination

‘Chopped’ has spawned many successful winners

At the end of every episode of Chopped, a new winner is named. Over the years, there have been literally hundreds of Chopped champions, and while many of them have gone on to carve out successful careers behind the scenes, never seeking out further acclaim, there are a few who have really become standouts in the restaurant industry.

Gavin Jobe is one of the biggest success stories to emerge from Chopped, according to Pop Sugar. In the years since his domination in Chopped, Jobe has become one of the hottest chefs in New Orleans, opening several successful restaurants.

Tanya Cauthen is another Chopped winner who made it big after impressing the judges, according to FSR. A world-renowned butcher and restaurateur, Cauthen is also a champion for gender equality, and gives lectures around the country, inspiring women and girls to get involved in butchery and sustainable farming practices. 

Fans love when chefs with big egos get eliminated


‘Chopped’: A Turmeric Controversy Has Left Fans Disappointed and Annoyed

While many Chopped viewers gravitate to the contestants on the show and sympathize with their struggles, many fans don’t like when chefs think too much of their own press.

In a recent Reddit discussion, fans talked about how judges seem to side with them, and seem to relish “chopping” contestants with big egos. “Nothing is better than a chef with a huge ego being the first to get chopped,” the original poster wrote. “There was a special where they say that arrogance doesn’t get you far in the Chopped kitchen,” another fan stated. 

“In my family we think the trend is, if you talk big, you’re gone. But every now and then an a**hole wins,” one fan wrote. One Reddit user posted a detailed theory, writing

“you wonder if the jackasses ever earn themselves deliberately biased punitive judging, or if it’s just that if they happen to earn the loss legitimately but also happened to be an asshole along the way, the judges release the kraken when dismissing them.”