Chopped All-Stars: must-see TV

In July of 2009, I posted something on Premium Hollywood, berating the producers and judges of “Chopped” on Food Network for the latter being too harsh. That was then, only a few months after the show premiered on the network, and this is now, 205 comments to the post later from passionate fans of the show, one of the most popular on the network. Quite honestly, the judges have become much more lenient and complimentary, even as the contestants have had to work with even crazier ingredients.

Often, as you can see in those comments of my original post, viewers have suggested that the judges try and compete and see how well they could fare. And now those people and all of us who watch “Chopped” have something to look forward to–“Chopped All-Stars,” which premieres Sunday, March 6. The four rounds will draw contestants from Food Network personalities, former contestants of other shows such as “Next Food Network Star, renowned celebrity chefs, and of course, some of the “Chopped” judges. The winners of each round will then go head to head in the finale, with the winner taking home $50K for the charity of their choice.

Are you kidding me? This is sheer genius, and the one round I can’t wait to see is the one that includes three regular “Chopped” judges–Aaron Sanchez, Amanda Freitag and Geoffrey Zakarian. Here is the schedule we received from Food Network:

Part 1 (premieres Sunday, March 6th at 9pm) – Brad Sorenson, Debbie Lee, Lisa Garza, Michael Proietti

Part 2 (premieres Sunday, March 13th at 9pm) – Anne Burrell, Claire Robinson, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine

Part 3 (premieres Sunday, March 20th at 9pm) – Anita Lo, Beau MacMillan, Jacques Torres, Nate Appleman

Part 4 (premieres Sunday, March 27th at 9pm) – Aaron Sanchez, Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian, Maneet Chauhan

Part 5 (premieres Sunday, April 3rd at 9pm) – Final showdown featuring one winner from each round

They also sent me a screener of Part 1 featuring former contestants of “The Next Food Network Star” and it was positively awesome, despite some nasty ingredients. So be sure to check out the show and most of all, let’s see if the judges make those same scowling looks to Geoffrey Zakarian that he gives to contestants regularly.


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