That Time I hosted a “Chopped” Party
“YOU HAVE BEEN CHOPPED!”
One of my favorite shows on the food network has always been Chopped. Competitive cooking shows are more common these days than a violent protester at a Trump rally – but there has always been something special about chopped to me. Maybe it’s Ted Allen’s sincerity and sadness when he needs to deliver the news that someone’s dish is been on the chopping block. Or the raw, visceral competitiveness of these established and sometimes dilettante chefs. Or the depth of critiques that the judges offer each contetant, which show they really care about the content of the dish. But let’s face it…..we all just want to know what’s in the mystery basket. Every time the chefs du jour peer anxiously into those baskets and pulled out one strange ingredient after another, I imagined how I would handle that situation and what I’d be able to produce in such a short time.
Well, my curiosity eventually got the best of me and I decided to host a “Chopped” inspired party in my home a while back. Truth be told, this was a hybrid of Iron Chef and Chopped in that we decided to create a potluck meal, to be created on the spot, in my kitchen, with one shining ingredient: GINGER! 5 couples participated and each interpreted this ingredient in fascinating ways. We even procured 2 judges who critiqued our dish, rated them and proclaimed a winner. We did all of this in just a few short hours and with only 2 major injuries! Not too shabby.
This was an incredibly fun, creative and bonding experience for a bunch of close friends. Check out the blow by blow of the night below! (click each image to get a bigger/closer look!)
Have you ever hosted a cool or different kind of dinner party? I’d love to hear your ideas!
INTRODUCING OUR TEAMS OF COMPETITORS
Amy and Ben were formidable and admirable competitors rocking the ginger themed meal with flair. Amy even was able to cook with one arm!
Abby and Orr (but especially Abby) brought a fierceness to the process with a clear cooking dexterity in her over/under arm maneuver and juggling multiple dishes at the same time! Well done Team #2
The advantage that Amanda and Eric brought to the competition was previous experience in an iron chef competition. They brought their A game and Eric was a trooper even after getting burned by the steamer they brought. Ouch!
Ariel and Brian pulled off what no other team did…..a dessert! And what a yummy dessert it was. To compound their fabulousness, baby Josie, who wasn’t even yet born at the time of the party competed, vicariously, through Ariel as well. Kudos to team 4!
And finally that brings us to Team #5, US! The gracious hosts of the evening. Pay no attention to that serious, hard working face Barry has in the pic, make no mistake that Jenny did all the work! Maybe that’s why we came in 2nd to last! wah wah wah! Jenny also bravely competed with an injury after an altercation with a mandolin earlier that afternoon.
PRESENTING…..THE AMAZING FOOD! Ginger style! (not to be confused with the song gangnam style)
AND NOW WE PRESENT….DUH DUH DUH….THE JUDGES!
DRUM ROLL PLEASE………AND THE WINNERS ARE…..
FINALLY…..THE TOAST TO ALL OUR HARD WORK AND PRECURSOR TO THE INCREDIBLE FEAST!
I’d be remiss without a picture collage dedicated to our wounded food refugees. No good chopped party ends without some burns and blood right? Amy’s injury occurred way before the party but putting it in for good measure.
This was a fantastic night and we’re going for round two soon. Let me know what you think in the comments section. Would you ever throw a Chopped-inspired dinner party? Sound off below!