It is history in the making in the Chopped kitchen, as sixteen professional chefs made up of Chopped judges and former champions take their spots at the stoves in the five-episode stunt Chopped: Grudge Match, premiering Tuesday, January 5th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Hosted by Ted Allen, each episode features some of the most brilliant stars in the game tasked with making unforgettable meals from a basket of mystery ingredients with a limited amount of time over three rounds – appetizer, entrée, and dessert – to prove they have what it takes to earn the largest cash prize awarded on Chopped – $100,000! But this tournament will be like no other, as it includes the cream of the crop going head-to-head as they are judged by a rotating panel at the Chopped judges’ table, including Michelle Bernstein, Nilou Motamed, Christian Petroni, and Geoffrey Zakarian to determine which competitors move on to the grand finale to take on one last trio of mystery baskets for bragging rights and score the biggest prize in Chopped history.
“The plan is simple – defeat the giants of Chopped and win the biggest prize in the competition’s history, but this tournament is anything but simple,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network. “With chefs with top-level skills returning to battle it out, including our very own judges playing for Discovery’s Turn Up! Fight Hunger, a partnership with No Kid Hungry, settling grudges and showing viewers what it takes to prevail in the Chopped kitchen.”
Through five episodes of grudge matches the competitors must showcase their culinary chops utilizing the mystery basket ingredients, including four defeated culinary heavyweights from the “Beat the Judge” series returning with a score to settle. One ambitious champion runs into two major problems toward the end of the first round, while something stinky in the entrée basket has the competitors nervous. Then, after both remaining champs cook their hearts out with the dessert basket, the judges have a gut-wrenching decision to make. In another episode, four Chopped deities – Tiffani Faison, Amanda Freitag, Marcus Samuelsson and Chris Santos – open the appetizer basket and find a strange fish dish and some tiny exotic fruits. A pizza topped with something wild is the star ingredient in the entrée basket, and a vegetable disguised as a meat is a treat in the dessert round. Other episodes include four Chopped champions who were previously defeated by the judges returning to the kitchen hungrier than ever to take down everyone in their paths; and see sparks fly when Chopped legends Maneet Chauhan, Scott Conant and Marc Murphy face off for a chance to represent the judges in the finale. But joining them is a contender who has earned the right to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best. The winners from each heat meet in this historic Grudge Match finale, featuring judges vs. champions! With two separate knockout rounds to determine which genius judge and brilliant champ make it to the $100,000 title fight, the stakes have never been higher. Who will score the biggest prize in Chopped history, and who will be chopped?
Fans can get to know the competing chefs and get a behind-the-scenes look at the competition at FoodNetwork.com/Chopped. Follow along with the competition and tell us who you’re rooting for on social media using #Chopped.