Chopped Wildcard Episodes I Need To See
Chopped is probably the best cooking show on television and the episodes with a special modifier are some of my favorites. I call these wildcard episodes, and have assembled a list of 10 pretty goddamn good ideas for new ones.
- •Chopped: Senior ShowdownThey’ve had kid chefs and teen chefs and chefs that are the age you’d expect a chef to be, but they’ve never had a senior tournament. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had an old person cook me a meal in less than 4 hours, so watching some of them whip up dishes in half an hour or less would be quite the thrill. There’s always a chance one of these elderly people would say something racist when presented with a foreign mystery ingredient, but that's up to the judges to deal with.
- •Chopped: SpeedThis wildcard doesn’t have anything to do with speed in the distance-travelled-over-time sense, it has to do with Speed, the 1994 film where the bus has to stay above a certain speed or it blows up. In this episode, all of the instruments the chefs use would have to be cranked way the hell up at all times. The oven is always on broil, all of the burners are locked to high, anything you get out of the fridge is nearly frozen. Also, Keanu Reeves is a special guest host.
- •Chopped: Little Kid JudgesI would pay big money to see a phenomenal chef cook their heart out on an objectively impressive meal and have three little kids in bowties chop them because they don’t like carrots and there were carrots in the dish.
- •Chopped: Fancy as Fuck EditionThe pilot episode of Chopped was insane according to the show’s co-creator and current host, Ted Allen. "It was set in a mansion, the host was a butler, the butler held a Chihuahua, and when a chef was chopped the losing dish was fed to the Chihuahua." http://www.grubstreet.com/2012/05/ted-allen-in-my-kitchen-interview-book-tour-dates.html Bring back the butler, Chihuahua and the rule that the Chihuahua gets to eat the chopped dish and make the ingredients fancy because that dog deserves it.
- •Chopped: Apartment Kitchen EditionI want to see these top notch chefs work in a crummy, apartment-sized kitchen. What could they cook when only two of their burners work? The maintenance man could appear randomly in the episode to get all of them firing again. The ovens would take 45 minutes to heat up so you wouldn’t be able to use them in the 20-minute appetizer round. If any of the contestants burned anything, it would be a five minute penalty while they tried to get the over-sensitive smoke alarm to shut the hell up.
- •Chopped: Microwave MadnessThe Chopped kitchen has every tool and machine you can imagine. The chefs have access to blenders, food processors, a vacuum sealer, a flamethrower and all kinds of other things that I’ve never even heard of. When I dreamed up this genius idea, I imagined a rock and roll band like you would see in a movie with way-too-many speakers behind them. This would be the cooking equivalent of that; every chef would have roughly a dozen microwaves behind them while they prepare their delicious meals.
- •Chopped: Ice SkatesFollow me here. Anyone who watches Chopped knows that one of the most exciting things that can happen is a chef choosing to make an ice cream. It’s a bold move because you never know if it’s going to be the right texture when it comes out, if it turns out at all. The judges usually say something like, “I think they’re making ice cream!” or “That’s a bold move, I don’t know if it will be the right texture!” Imagine all that intensity, plus the chef is ICE SKATING to the ice cream machine. Dope.
- •Chopped: Comically Big/Small Knives (name is a work in progress)Think of those goofy big scissors mayors use to open bridges. Now, think of making all of the knives and forks and pans in the Chopped kitchen that big and goofy. Think of some fancy judge tasting soup out of a giant bowl with a giant spoon and saying it’s too salty. Think of those things.
- •Chopped: VeganSome wildcards are meant to fuck shit up (Chopped Ice Skates), and some of them are meant to really challenge talented contestants. This is the latter. Giving chefs a totally vegan pantry and mystery baskets would make for dynamite television. (Note to the Chopped executives that are definitely reading this: make sure you stock the pantry with plenty of nutritional yeast to go around for this one. Or don’t and just let all Hell break loose, I’m cool with it either way.)
- •Chopped: No ClockEvery round on Chopped ends with Ted counting down the time as the chefs put the final touches on their plate. In this wildcard, there is still a time limit on the rounds, but the contestants do not have access to a clock. Some would get caught entirely off guard when time expires and would have to put completely empty plates in front of the judges. Others might think they’re running out of time and rush to put everything on their plate, only to end up with several extra minutes.