you've been chopped

I love the Food Network show Chopped! Each episode starts with four competing chefs who each get a basket of "mystery ingredients". They always are seemingly completely unrelated things, like lobster, bananas, and chestnuts. They have 20 minutes to whip up an appetizer using everything to create a cohesive dish. Then the judges chop one person who does the worst.

The process continues with three chefs as they make an entree in 30 minutes, then two chefs compete for the win by making a dessert in 30 minutes. Each time they get more crazy mystery ingredients! The winner receives $10 grand and everyone else gets to hear the dreaded words "You've been chopped!" from Ted Allen of former Queer Eye fame.

I love the judges' (who are also chefs) vernacular. They are always saying things about this flavor being too salty/dull/spicy "for my palate". During the last episode I watched, this guy said he was getting a "full frontal assault" of flavor!

I have also learned that you can always get by with an arugula salad, impress them by slicing your ingredients julienne style, or make something completely normal but class it up by calling it a "compote" or "reduction" or something like that. Oh Food Network, you are educational AND entertaining!

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my name is karen

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