# Chopped - Food Network

Mentor
Whoever designed this show should be chopped.

I watched the premiere the other night and visually it was dreadful. The contestants are all identically dressed in dark charcoal grey chef jackets, which matches the dark charcoal grey backdrop of the kitchen set. The result is a dark, grey, depressing image where the chefs are only distinguishable as bobing heads.

The show itself was hardly better. In one hour, the chefs are challenged and then "chopped" with the winner announced in what seems way too short of a time.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed. I will give it one more chance, but the monotone, drab, and depressing tone has got to go.

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The food channel doesn't make any sense to me prior to the invention of smell-o-vision. Once they get that going, THEN I will bother watching it. Not a moment before.

LowlyPion
Homework Helper

The food channel doesn't make any sense to me prior to the invention of smell-o-vision. Once they get that going, THEN I will bother watching it. Not a moment before.
They all lie about the taste. To get a job there I think they give you a tasting spoon with swill in it and have you tell them how good it tastes. If you manage not to gnarl up your face and go ewwww, you have a chance.

As to Chopped ... it's not even Donald Trump come to the kitchen. I saw the trailer and couldn't bring myself to even remind myself it was coming on. Who can care about finding the best sous-chef? Give me some insights into boeuf bourguignonne or chicken vindaloo.

They really should think about getting back to basics with actual cooking and stop plagiarizing every show they think has ever been popular and trying to brand stars to push their products.

Nesiox
^ Correct! I hate it when they try and make stars push their products. From Evo's description of the show it seems pretty boring. I'll try and check it out to see for myself though and give a proper rating and recommendation.

misgfool
Whoever designed this show should be chopped.

I watched the premiere the other night and visually it was dreadful. I will give it one more chance, but the monotone, drab, and depressing tone has got to go.
Well, they got you watching the show and you already promised to watch it again. I wouldn't chop the designer quite yet.

Math Is Hard
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The show itself was hardly better. In one hour, the chefs are challenged and then "chopped" with the winner announced in what seems way too short of a time.
Chopped? Ooh, is there a guillotine? Now that would make it exciting.

The show itself was hardly better. In one hour, the chefs are challenged and then "chopped"
So, the contestants, are the ingredients?

So, the contestants, are the ingredients?
Soylent Green is people!

turbo
Gold Member
The Food Channel is entertainment. It is no more about food than a NASCAR show is about racing. If you want to learn about racing, you throw your self into it, and you progress through feeder programs (or not) until you hit the big stage. NASCAR is all about filtering and refinement, so that no-talent drivers don't get a chance to mess up the races.

With cooking, no-talent "stars" are a shoe-in. All they have to do is tell you how great something tastes with so little preparation, and they are golden. Guess what? Those hacks couldn't handle real-life food preparation. Some of them (like Bobby Flay) might have some interesting chops that would play well at a grilling-session here, but I guarantee you that my spicy marinaded grilled shrimp would disappear before anything that I've seen him make on TV. Count on him to make a tasty soup, baked beans, etc, so a busy family would have easy warm-up meals for the week??? Please! The guy is a show-pony who is apparently clueless to concerns about the cost of food-stuffs, the efficiencies involved in storing and using them, and the practicalities involved in cooking, refrigerating, and re-using them. In short, he is NOT a cook. [/rant] Sorry, I hate these posers.

Mentor
Well, they got you watching the show and you already promised to watch it again. I wouldn't chop the designer quite yet.
It's one of those shows that are so bad, you watch it in disbelief. And yes, I have watched videos of root canals, although they were more entertaining than this show. :tongue2:

turbo
Gold Member
For some reason, my wife LOVES to buy cook-books, even though she rarely follows the recipes. She bought a recent "Taste of Home" magazine on appetizers, and made the horrendous (after the fact) Crispy Caribbean Veggie Wraps. Just the "Veggie" in the title should have tipped her off that the recipe was a loser. However, we had packages of wonton wrappers, and we had fresh cilantro, lots of roasted turkey, cans of black beans, jars of dill-pickled jalapenos, fresh onion, garlic, etc. We ignored the recipe for the filling and made our own Mexican-style filling, and make those roll-ups weekly, now.

Essentially, she paid the $5.99 for the inspirational idea that we should make our own fillings, wrap them in wonton wrappers and bake them. I guess if publishers have to put out new cooking magazines every single month filled with "must-have" recipes, they are going to settle to some level below even mediocre so that they have enough recipes to fill the book. Some of the magazines are really shameless, in that they list commercially-available canned soups and other prepared foods as "ingredients". I swear, if people had access to fresh meats and vegetables, but no pre-packaged foods, half the population would die of starvation. LowlyPion Homework Helper The guy is a show-pony who is apparently clueless to concerns about the cost of food-stuffs, the efficiencies involved in storing and using them, and the practicalities involved in cooking, refrigerating, and re-using them. That can be said of a lot of them. Things like their indiscriminate use of parchment paper, their lack of consideration for how to reduce waste or the less glamorous boiling of the carcasses from chicken's or turkeys for stock or uses for past prime veggies. Or nutrition ... don't even get me started on the cholesterol queen Paula Dean. Just look at her family. That's not healthy America. Or practical tips on what you can freeze and not, so as to take advantage of sale items. It's all about the entertainment, and while Emeril added entertainment with his preparations, at least it was more in the spirit of Julia Child and he made an effort to do recipes. It seems that so many of the recipes and presentations now are simply about excess and invariably include unavailable or overpriced items like vanilla beans or saffron, or specific cheeses. turbo Gold Member That can be said of a lot of them. Things like their indiscriminate use of parchment paper, their lack of consideration for how to reduce waste or the less glamorous boiling of the carcasses from chicken's or turkeys for stock or uses for past prime veggies. That's really sad, too. So many people could learn these basics and improve their diets. I never toss any chicken/turkey bones without cutting them with shears and boiling the heck out of them, along with all the pan-drippings, skin, odd bits, etc, and all the juices in which the vegetables were steamed/boiled for the meal. Lots of the flavors in poultry are fat-soluble, so it is essential that you include all the fatty parts of the bird and boil/simmer everything for at least a couple of hours to get as much flavor as possible into the liquid. I refrigerate the stock afterward, skim off excess fat, and reheat it a bit before straining it through a colander to pick out the bones. It's not a lot of work, and it makes stock that is a perfect starter for a future soup or casserole. When I see a "cook" open a carton of vegetable broth or a can of soup stock on TV, it makes me want to choke them. Luckily, we live out in the boonies, now, so no more Food Channel exposures to make me nuts. Mentor That's really sad, too. So many people could learn these basics and improve their diets. I never toss any chicken/turkey bones without cutting them with shears and boiling the heck out of them, along with all the pan-drippings, skin, odd bits, etc, and all the juices in which the vegetables were steamed/boiled for the meal. Lots of the flavors in poultry are fat-soluble, so it is essential that you include all the fatty parts of the bird and boil/simmer everything for at least a couple of hours to get as much flavor as possible into the liquid. I refrigerate the stock afterward, skim off excess fat, and reheat it a bit before straining it through a colander to pick out the bones. It's not a lot of work, and it makes stock that is a perfect starter for a future soup or casserole. It's not perky and glamorous to chop up a turkey carcass, heck, the meat they use on the cooking shows now are all boneless and skinless. When I see a "cook" open a carton of vegetable broth or a can of soup stock on TV, it makes me want to choke them. Luckily, we live out in the boonies, now, so no more Food Channel exposures to make me nuts. The cartons of broth have been the latest thing they've been pushing over the last year. I can't believe that people can no longer dissolve a bouillion cube. It costs$3.00 for a 32 oz carton of chicken broth, that's 4 cups. It costs $3.00 for bouillion cubes that make 30 cups of broth. What's the difference? Water. LowlyPion Homework Helper It's not perky and glamorous to chop up a turkey carcass, heck, the meat they use on the cooking shows now are all boneless and skinless. The cartons of broth have been the latest thing they've been pushing over the last year. I can't believe that people can no longer dissolve a bouillion cube. It costs$3.00 for a 32 oz carton of chicken broth, that's 4 cups. It costs \$3.00 for bouillion cubes that make 30 cups of broth. What's the difference? Water.
I must say that I could get used to cooking with a sous-chef or three and a clean-up staff. All the ingredients weighed out in prep dishes, everything prepared for me to wave my hands across the ingredients and punctuate it with a few Bam's and Bonzai's and then sit down to take all the credit with a wait staff to serve.

In short I think I may be made of the same stuff as the Food Network stars.

turbo
Gold Member
I would like to have my own cooking show. I'd call it "Cooking 101", if the name has not already been taken, and every single show would feature basic cooking skills that the "stars" are too snooty to stoop to. Things like food selection, prep, and waste reduction would all be key. As you pointed out, Evo, people are using boneless/skinless cuts of poultry, just for the convenience factor. It costs a lot more to buy processed chicken than it does to buy whole chickens, and you give up the bones, skin, fat, innards, etc, that make a good soup stock.

Poor habits are making a generation of poor cooks, and much of it is market-driven. If you hid my sister-in-law's can opener, she and her husband would go hungry (aside from junk-food in bags that they could tear open with their teeth).

Mentor
I must say that I could get used to cooking with a sous-chef or three and a clean-up staff. All the ingredients weighed out in prep dishes, everything prepared for me to wave my hands across the ingredients and punctuate it with a few Bam's and Bonzai's and then sit down to take all the credit with a wait staff to serve.

In short I think I may be made of the same stuff as the Food Network stars.
I could be a better Food Network Star than you. I could definitely get paid for pretending to cook and spewing incorrect information about food to a gullible, uninformed populace.

Sandra Lee with her "Semi-Homemade" show where she uses nothing but pre-made canned, boxed, or frozen food products has got to be as low as you can go. Here is one of her brilliant recipes.

Italian-Style Macaroni and Cheese

serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 package (7 1⁄4-ounce) macaroni and cheese mix
2 tablespoons butter

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
• Make macaroni and cheese according to package directions.
• Transfer to a medium-size baking dish or casserole dish.
• Melt butter in a medium bowl on low (25% power) in the microwave.
• Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top of macaroni and cheese.
• Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned on top.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/italian-style-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html

Buwahaha <snort> I wonder how many sleepless nights she spent coming up with that recipe? :rofl:

turbo
Gold Member
Buwahaha <snort> I wonder how many sleepless nights she spent coming up with that recipe? :rofl:
I would be ashamed to show my face....

I know far too many people whose "favorite recipes" involve tearing open a bag of Lipton onion soup mix or opening a can of Campbell's mushroom soup. I have a cousin just a few years younger than me whose new house has a kitchen to die for - and her cooking "skills" are non-existent. It skipped a generation, but her 30-year-old daughter is always asking me for recipes, so there is some hope for the future. Her husband manages a restaurant, and they both like cooking. When I invite them for a cookout, I sometimes arrange to have them show up early, so they can help with food-prep. It's easier than writing down recipes, especially since they're usually in my head, and I don't measure anything. My home-made simmer-all-day pizza sauce is a staple at their house.

LowlyPion
Homework Helper
I could be a better Food Network Star than you. I could definitely get paid for pretending to cook and spewing incorrect information about food to a gullible, uninformed populace.

Sandra Lee with her "Semi-Homemade" show where she uses nothing ...
Whoa. That's setting the bar pretty high. Sandra Lee? The American male wet dream cooking show. Blond, tight sweaters, air head without a lick of sense or taste. Carbon footprint unaware gluttonous consumer prepared to suffocate a meal with place settings too cute by magnitudes and Sara Lee ziploc ingredients ladled and slathered without regard for nutrition or taste?

At least Paula's point of departure to clog arteries and induce cholesterol seizure starts with heavy cream and butter and builds her toxic fatty offerings accordingly. Sandra just reaches right for the Cool Whip to poison her guests with synthetic compounds.

Must be hilariously entertaining judging the comments.

Mentor
Aaarggghhh! Food Network Iron Chef Cat Cora "I made almond milk" (she boiled almonds in milk). That's NOT almond milk. She's clueless.

Almond milk was used in medieval cooking as a subsitutue for real milk due to the lack of refrigeration, milk was not a commonly available item. So you would soak almonds in water and you'd get a weird tasting milky liquid. It had zero milk in it.

Almond milk was used extensively in period; all existing cookbooks call for it, and it must have been found in literally every Medieval kitchen. It's the prime ingredient in many, many recipes, and the modern cook recreating Medieval food will have to learn its production in order to prepare the most common of dishes. Fortunately, it's easily made. I prefer the recipe of Terence Scully, as printed in Le Viandier de Taillevent, p. 315:

1 cup ground almonds
2 cups boiling water
Combine almonds and water.

Combine almonds and water. Steep for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sieve the mixture to remove coarse grains OR (preferably) blend mixture in electric blender until grains are absorbed. Yield - 2 cups almond milk.

http://www.godecookery.com/goderec/grec31.htm

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Mentor
Chopped is on tonight at 9PM CST. Watch it and tell me if it's as gray as it looks to me.

Nabeshin
You guys who actually cook are ragging on the food network pretty hard here, so I'm curious: What do you think of Alton Brown?

LowlyPion
Homework Helper
I missed it.

So how was it?

turbo
Gold Member
You guys who actually cook are ragging on the food network pretty hard here, so I'm curious: What do you think of Alton Brown?
Alton actually gives out useful information most of the time, and he talks about the science/physics behind cooking, including the advantages of brining meats ahead of time, the physical processes that come into play when searing, roasting, and "relaxing" meat, the processes that come into play when creating dishes that rely on carmelization of natural starches, etc, etc. Most of his shows are informative, and many touch on some basics of food-prep/cooking that the "stars" wouldn't or couldn't address.

Do NOT listen to him when he tells you how you should pay some gypsy hack to sharpen all your knives. If you can't come up with the tools and skills to do this yourself without resorting to using belt-grinders, you are not a cook. Brown is not a bad guy, but he is not the end-all cook, either.