Discarded Chopped Theme Episodes
From the cutting room floor of Food Network Studios.
As a producer of Chopped, we’ve pitched and produced several themed episodes; Holiday themed, cooks with unique jobs, thematic challenges. The following were episodes that we filmed but never aired.
The premise: We collected the top Benihana chefs to wow us with their performative cuisine.
Why the episode was chopped: All the chefs scored very high on presentation, but low on actual taste and originality. For some reason, there was an onion volcano in every round.
Get to the Choppa-ed
The premise: Chefs are expected to complete all three rounds whilst being chased around set by the monster from the 1987 film, Predator. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Ted Allen as the guest host.
Why the episode was chopped: We had an idea that Arnold would let contestants know they were chopped by screaming “HASTA LA VISTA, BABY!” He kept messing up the line; “I’ll be back” made no sense for the final cut.
The premise: Every great show has to have a musical episode. We gathered the cast of a local theater production of Sweeney Todd.
Why the episode was chopped: Every round included pie with gruesome “secret” ingredients. There was an entire police investigation.
The premise: We recruited chefs/fitness enthusiasts, hoping for a grueling and competitive show.
Why the episode was chopped: It started out fine, each chef competing not only against each other but against their own PR. However, it devolved when chefs began performing kettle bell swings with cast iron pans and ab roll outs with a rolling pin. They then threw away the basket ingredients in search of something paleo.
The Good, the Bad, and the Chopped
The premise: We recruited Spaghetti Western cosplayers (yes, they’re out there) to compete in character. We thought it’d be fun if they would constantly announce that “this kitchen ain’t big enough for the both of us.” We also thought it would be a cute twist if every round had pasta as a secret ingredient.
Why the episode was chopped: As Ted Allen counted down on the clock, the contestants thought he was counting down to a shootout. Alex Guarnaschelli de-escalated the situation by letting everyone know “she didn’t want no trouble in her place.”
Chopped on Ice
The premise: Normal Chopped, but the kitchen was set up on a skating rink.
Why the episode was chopped: Cooking and skating turned out to be incompatible. However, the judges gave points for technical difficulty to one resourceful chef who eschewed the mortar and pestle and made a pesto by laying the ingredients on the ice and performing a camel spin on them.
Chopping with the Stars
The premise: We had celebrities partner up with some of our own Food Network stars. Ina Garten & McKayla Maroney; Guy Fieri & Gary Johnson; Giada de Laurentiis & all of Pentatonix; and Bobby Flay & Tinky-Winky.
Why the episode was chopped: We expected Ina and McKayla to be the clear winners since they’re both cutthroat AF, but McKayla reprised her “not-impressed” scowl when she placed 2nd to Bobby and Tinky-Winky’s perfectly spiced custards. And who wants to watch another show where Bobby wins? Food Network audiences are over it.
Chop ’til you Drop
The premise: A battle of stamina. A marathon of rounds to see which Chef is the last one standing. We had planned 30 rounds of basket ingredients.
Why the episode was chopped: After round 17, the judges were like “I’m full” and fell into food-comas.