Tuesday, January 13
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.