Chopped is a cooking competition show on the Food Network hosted by Ted Allen, beginning on January 13, 2009. It pits four chefs aganist each other to make a delicious three-course meal using mystery ingredients against the clock for a chance to win $10,000.
Each episode pits four chefs against each other in a race against the time and each other for a chance to win $10,000. The challenge consists of three rounds: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Each round comes with its own basket of three to five mystery ingredients, and the competitors are required to use those every one of those ingredients in some way. For anything else the chefs need, a stocked pantry and fridge are available to them. Each round is precisely timed: twenty minutes for the Appetizer round (originally thirty), and thirty minutes for the Entrée and Dessert rounds (there are sometimes exceptions for longer cooking items). When time is up, the chefs will present four dishes each to a trio of judges at "The Chopping Block". The dishes will be judged on presentation, taste, and creative use of the basket items, as well as integration and transformation. The chefs will wait in a room while the judges debate on whose dish was the least successful dish. When the chefs are called back, one dish sits on the Chopping Block, covered by a lid. Ted will uncover the dish, revealing the fourth dish of the chef the judges felt was worst. When a chef sees their dish, they are "Chopped", and eliminated from the rest of the competition. As a result, there are only two contestants by the Dessert round. When the judges make their decision on who will win the competition, they review the dessert as well as each chef's overall meal. One more chef is chopped, and the remaining chefs wins the prize.
The omission of a basket ingredient, or failure to get an ingredient on all four plates will be judged very heavily by the judges, although it does not count as an automatic disqualification. The judges will permit advancing to the guilty chef if they present something extraordinary, or someone made worse mistakes. Few chefs will progress to the next round after leaving off an ingredients, and very rarely will they win.
The series began on January 13, 2009, and as of July 2013, there are 167 episodes over 16 seasons.