How to Host Your Own Chopped Competition

-Christine Chung

“4 chefs, 3 courses, only 1 chance to win…

If you’re a fan of Food Network’s Chopped, you’ll know that it’s not just another cooking show – it’s a lifestyle. There is nothing that gets you more pumped than watching four contestants make incredible meals out of a few random ingredients in a ridiculously small amount of time. After watching countless episodes, you might start to think – if I were on Chopped, I could totally win.  


Are you one of those people that critique each contestant’s dishes and cooking methods (even though you’re not a five star chef)? Do you think you have what it takes to take on whatever challenges get thrown at you in the Chopped kitchen? Now is your chance.

Grab a group of your closest Chopped-enthusiast friends, and throw the most epic cooking competition party ever.


The Prep

Other than the 4 people competing, you should get at least 3 people to act as the judges. The judges can go shopping for ingredients for each round (appetizer, main course, and dessert) so the contestants will have no idea what will be in the baskets beforehand. If you want to save some money and raise the stakes, you could raid your fridges. You can invite some more of your friends to act as an audience or you could just keep it a small event with just the contestants and judges.

(Source: Christine Chung)

Also, make sure you have some pantry items like on the show. Most things will already be in your kitchen. Some examples of the pantry items are olive oil, condiments, spices, flour, eggs, etc. You could always ask the other contestants and judges to bring some pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils if you don’t think you have enough for everyone. As a group, you can decide on if there will be a theme, budgets, specific rules and time limits.

(Source: Christine Chung)

Raise the stakes a bit by offering some sort of grand prize – winner gets $100, a gift card to their favorite bar/restaurant, free drinks for a month, etc. If you want this to be as official as possible, you can have someone act as Ted Allen (although let’s be real, no one can be as great as Ted).

The Showdown

(Source: Christine Chung)

The setup of your arena will depend on the layout of your kitchen and dining room area, but make sure that each contestant has enough room to cook and prep their dishes. Line up the baskets on one table for all the contestants, set a timer, and watch your friends compete for the chance to call themselves a Chopped Champion.  

(Source: Christine Chung)

Judges – feel free to let your foodie pretentiousness and inner-Alex Guaranaschelli come out because that’s what will make this more fun. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends that using an ingredient as a garnish is just lazy and uncreative (because it ALWAYS is). But also don’t pull a Simon Cowell and go too far, this is just a fun competition with your friends
not American Idol.

(Source: Christine Chung)


Put all of those hours that you spent on the couch marathoning Chopped to the test. No matter how you and your friends decide to host this competition, it will be full of action-packed moments and a unique variety of food – that’s the beauty of Chopped.

(Source: Christine Chung)

Are you ready to face the chopping block?

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