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Tuesday, January 13

Ted Allen's 'Chopped' Premieres Tonight

Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Food Detectives, takes up hosting duties on the network's new cooking competition Chopped, which premieres tonight at 10pm EST.


I coulda chatted with Teddy yesterday, but the interview conference call completely slipped my mind. Dang! Luckily, you can still read my first interview with Ted here. Also, the folks at The Deadbolt remembered the call and chatted with Ted. Here are some highlights:

On how Chopped is different than Top Chef and other cooking competition shows:
[T]here are a lot of bloggers out there with extrasensory perception, evidently, because I should point out the show has never been broadcast yet. I was alluding to this before, there are a shockingly large number of cooking contest shows out there now, and it isn’t even just on cable. Obviously Hell’s Kitchen is on Fox, which is sort of a network, not counting the news part. And there’s a new one coming out, I think it’s in D.C. with Marco Pierre White, who is the great three star Michelin chef who trained Mario Vitelli, who has an ego the size of, you know, Texas. Bad example. I should’ve said something European.

Our show is different from all of those shows. Well, first of all, I think all of those shows have their own character and I think Chopped very definitely has its own vibe. It’s mainly different in that all of our episodes are self contained. So we have four chefs in each episode, one person wins, takes $10,000 and goes home. It’s also different in a sense that it’s strictly a cooking contest, there’s really no reality component to it. So they don’t live together and we don’t take away their phone. They’re just there for one day to cook three courses and leave, if they’re lucky. Some only get to cook one course and then they have to leave.

But I guess I should acknowledge that Magical Elf, who are the people who have made Runway and Top Chef, and several other shows, that they definitely are influential on all kinds of television, because they’re so good at what they do. I don’t know, but I’ll let you guys judge for yourselves. When you watch Chopped, I think you’ll see it’s got its own thing going on.


On the rules of the show:
The rules are pretty simple. You can do whatever you want, but for each course there is a basket of mystery ingredients. That can range anywhere from three to five things and you have to use all of them in your dish. You can use a little bit, you can use a lot. It’s not like on Iron Chef where you have to make one of them the focal point. But I have to say it’s really difficult to cook with when you have to use all five things or all three things. They might not necessarily seem to go together in an obvious way. We’re not going to give you like Soba noodles, salmon, ginger, and soy sauce. It’s never going to be that simple, and then you only have thirty minutes to think of the dish, execute the dish and place the dish. It’s actually really hard.

*********

I will be watching tonight, but I'm not sure if Chopped will have the same kind of addictive quality that Next Food Network Star does. Obviously, without a focus on the chefs' personalities, living situations, arguments, etc. we're not going into the "characters" all that much. Hopefully the drama of the cooking will be enough. We shall seeeeeeeee.

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34 Comments:

At 1/13/2009 4:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Allen: ANNOYING

Food Network: no thanks.

I'll stil lwith Bravo.

 
At 1/13/2009 4:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will give it a shot.

 
At 1/13/2009 6:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Top Chef since it's inception. I've also enjoyed Ted Allen as their guest, then, semi-regular judge the last couple of seasons. Somehow, I can't view him as the 'Tom Colicchio' of Chopped. But will view it anyway.

 
At 1/13/2009 7:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's just a transcription error, but I think Ted's point was that Marco Pierre White (briefly but intensely) trained Mario Batali. See Bill Buford's great book Heat for details of their tumultuous relationship.

 
At 1/13/2009 7:40 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

Jake concluded : " but I'm not sure if Chopped will have the same kind of addictive quality that Next Food Network Star does."

Yeah we were all so glued to the set wondering how they were going to crown McCargo as the winner after it became so apparent they earmarked him to win.

I'll watch just to see how Ted Allen rebounds after his sad rendition of a show host on Food Detectives. After that show I think they double dipped Ted's brain in guacamole. He was so unfunny and uninteresting.

Ted should have stayed with Top Chef. His fulltime move to FN is a CLM.

 
At 1/13/2009 8:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if it's half as good as "Top Chef," then they have a good show on their hands. It seems almost more like a game show than a reality show. And I'll watch it because it seems to focus on the food. It's also just good to have some new content! Food Network replays the same damn things over and over again.

 
At 1/13/2009 10:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the most annoying thing about top chef anymore is that bitch they put in katy joels place......whats her name...padma whoever.
god this woman is SO freaking annoying. the way she talks.......it makes me cringe. anyway can't stand her. i'd take katy back over her ANY day of the week.....

 
At 1/13/2009 10:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

And they give one of the only vegetarian cooks to appear on FN a fair chance by giving them octopus first.

 
At 1/14/2009 2:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

show sucked.
that is all......
ga!!! why is ted allen on tv at all???
who thinks this guy has "it"??
not me.

 
At 1/14/2009 8:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't care for it. I found it quite boring.

 
At 1/14/2009 9:39 AM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

Top Chef: French Knife eched on glass
Chopped: Butcher Knife eched on glass
ICA: One secrect ingredient
Chopped: Multiple secret ingredients
ICA: Alex is a judge
Chopped: Alex is a judge

Chopped was better than the new Ulitimate Recipe Showdown which I watch again and didn't even manage to remember.

Ted Allens voice is annoying.

Comment on the vegan chef. If you are chef you have to make what is given. Just how many vegans are there in the US? Move to Vega (25 light years) You didn't see the pastry chef bitch cause there fondant wasn't the first secret ingredient. Oh yeah, she dissed pork. Off with her head!!! She did look good standing on her head.

I think the one chef lost because of he had two dishes with cilantros added.

Prune soup I say "NOT", and his too much fat duck, personally I need the fat, but that should have been a loser.

The cocoa crepe, out of the box and over the top. She's 21 and creative.

I guess I am adding the show to my watch list, at least for now.

 
At 1/14/2009 9:47 AM , Blogger Attila the Fun said...

My 2 cents:
- I don't see the show lasting very long because taking out the drama/reality show part of Top Chef is kinda like sucking the life out of the show. If it's just a strict cooking competition, there's already Iron Chef, which is done with bigger names/fanfare.

- Isn't it a bit risky putting Chopped up against Top Chef at the same time slot? Blah blah blah, "but they're not the same show!" - it doesn't matter because Top Chef has a much larger following already and people are unlikely to choose this newcomer over the current champion.

 
At 1/14/2009 10:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love TC but can find room on my Tivo for this too.

Agree -- hated the rip-off elements (etched glass was over the top).

However...

I liked that it was more food focused (in an instructional way) than TC and I actually found myself picking up a tip or two.

Sandy (older Southern guy) shared some ideas that were pretty great (plus, he used to cook at one of my fave brunch places in NYC -- Cowgirl Hall of Fame).

I'd totally watch again.

 
At 1/14/2009 10:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attila-Chopped is on Tuesdays and Top Chef is on Wednesdays.

 
At 1/14/2009 11:58 AM , Anonymous Lana said...

Yeah, Chopped has it's own thing goin' - don't see much comparison to Iron Chef - much more of an Ultimate Recipe Showdown meets Top Chef quickfire. And I think it takes the best components of each.

I really don't go for the personal dramas in reality tv, nor am I interested in another "addictive" show! lol - I like the idea of get 'em in there, give 'em a challenge, let 'em cook, get judged, get out & move on.

Yay Ted. Doin' good with this one.

 
At 1/14/2009 12:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was a cool show except for its host. Why does he speak like that? It's so robotic and annoying. I don't get some of you people on here -- all anyone complains about is that the FN has gotten away from the food, and then they give you a show all about food and you say it's missing the "reality TV" aspect of "Top Chef." Come on...

As long as the chefs are up to it, this can be a nice little show.

 
At 1/14/2009 12:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Ted Allen can carry the show, or any show. He's better in a supporting role.

 
At 1/14/2009 2:01 PM , Blogger Karen said...

I liked it a lot. My favorite part of Top Chef or Food Network Star is seeing how chefs think about food, and how they decide how to make a dish. But on the other shows, there are so many contestants in the early episodes, it's hard to get more than a few minutes with each one. I liked that Chopped focused on just a few chefs - although I would have preferred that all 4 chefs cooked all four dishes, and then pick one at the end. But that's a nit-pick.

 
At 1/14/2009 2:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I turned it off and went to bed. Can't wait for Top Chef tonight but will give Chopped another chance. I loved Ted on TC but not on this show. The love wasn't their I'm afraid. It was good to see Aaron though. I missed him from The Melting Pot days. You know. The good ole days.

 
At 1/14/2009 2:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I thought all chefs had personalities. The girls were blah. Where's Casey or Carla? LOL. You can have both............

 
At 1/14/2009 2:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ted allen does not belong on TV.
period.

 
At 1/14/2009 4:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Allen does not have "it". Never has, never will. Destined to be a B lister that's for sure.

Lacks a culinary pedigree. Obtained all his knowledge from reading books.

Should be careful before he pisses of Mario Batali and should note FOX is much more of a real network than FN will ever be. Should also spend less time at the gay bathhouses on scouting missions.

 
At 1/14/2009 11:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty much a yawner. Ted is a pretty good judge, horrible host. One of those shows I will watch if absolutely nothing else is on.

 
At 1/15/2009 5:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I planned not to watch the show, I did and actually liked it. I'm not a fan of Ted and cannot stand the Food Detective show. However, this show is much more enjoyable because Ted has a minimal role in the show, the competitors are just common cooks/chefs compared to the iron chef, and the really big difference is that it is over and has a winner each night. It's nice to not have to wait for weeks to find out the winner. I think this is head and shoulders better than Guys URS. The format of URS is just plain annoying and Guy has too big of a role.

I will watch Chopped again...

J

 
At 1/15/2009 11:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ONLY thing ted should 'carry' is his voice to a speech coach....

whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy is this guy on TV??? maybe he gave bob tuschman a little surprise gift under the desk and that is WHY. it would be the only reason..... and at least he can't talk with a full mouth....

 
At 1/16/2009 9:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON said : " maybe he gave bob tuschman a little surprise gift under the desk and that is WHY"

Ted Allen probably keeps a set of knee pads in his briefcase at all times for this very reason.
Good observation.

Tuschelman might think he can turn Allen into Alton Brown and have a real ;legit host on his hands , but alas, not going to happen.

 
At 1/17/2009 1:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats the thing about FN, Ted, AND Bob

they ALL BLOW......

 
At 1/17/2009 3:24 AM , Blogger Cirse said...

I watched it and I don't really get how it's any different from Food Network Challenge. Four competitors, $10k prize. I'd rather hear that other guy's voice than Ted Allen's, sorry. Plus, FNC has that awesomely snooty cake lady.

 
At 1/21/2009 8:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pehaps Chef Pippa is HELPING all of the above? I cannot understand how she won at all! What in the world is going on here? Based on what did she win 10K?

 
At 2/16/2009 12:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the show is a poor version of Top Chef, regardless of the small details they changed. I also think that Ted makes for a terrible host. HOWEVER, let's try keep homophobic remarks out of these criticisms. They say much more about the people posting them than about the quality of the show in question. Ted Allen is a bad host because he is stiff and robotic, not because he is gay. Thanks.

 
At 4/14/2009 11:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

AS A PROFESSIONAL CHEF MYSELF, I LOVE TO WATCH COOKING SHOWS AND COMPETITION SHOWS. MY ONLY COMMENT ABOUT THIS SHOW IS THE JUDGES REALLY SUCK. THEY ARE ARROGANT POMPASS ASSES, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE WHAT THEM FOOLS. COULD DO WITH SOME OF THOSE TOTALLY WHACK INDREDIENTS, I'M WILLING TO BET NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THE CONTESTANTS, LIGHTEN UP GEOFFREY, SCOTT, ALEX.

 
At 1/06/2010 1:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Chopped" is a joke. Unrealistic to cook the foods they give you in 30 minute. I'd love to see the judges try! I have 35 years in restaurants, and not another minute on this show.

 
At 1/27/2010 12:40 AM , Anonymous P Cannon said...

Most FN shows I watch for the personality behind it. Allen has none at all and way to rigid for FN. It stands out as the one show for me to avoid cause he is painful to watch. Please give it to someone with some life and people skills on the camera. Be nice to watch it and not feel like its a homework assignment.

 
At 1/30/2011 2:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge Geoffrey is the most annoying of all. Who does he think he is? He is rude and obnoxious to the contestants and if they don't kow tow he throws them out for an attitude problem - not their cooking. Get rid of him and then maybe we can watch.

 

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