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Taste, Presentation and Creativity [Chopped]

2

Posts

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Alex will cry if you don't put anything on the plate. Like, the clock will hit five seconds, and she will just start tearing up for you, because you are a poor, poor bastard and you couldn't even put, like, a scoop of something on a plate.

    and then, of course, she will chop you, and stone cold not give a fuck.

    Tox on
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  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    She'll look you in the eye while she chops you. Not blink.

    I like her more than the other female judges.

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    I hate Alex Guarnaschelli. I can't quite put my finger on it but she always seems to find a way to be a bitch about something. Like there's being harsh on critiquing, and then there's what she does.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • Delta AssaultDelta Assault Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Ya know, I recently got into a rather heated argument with a friend over Chopped. He was recommending the show because he knew I enjoyed watching Iron Chef (and occasionally ICA) and this was a similar sort of competitive cooking show. And yet... one episode he described was a vegetarian chef that was brought in, told to cook up something with... I believe it was pork, some sort of meat, and obviously she failed and got sent off.

    Now, the thing I really like about Iron Chef and ICA is that you've got a competition between the best of the best, for the most part. You're pitting skilled challengers, the creme de la creme, up against the vaunted Iron Chefs. It's two highly talented professionals going head to head, so it's mostly a level playing field, and you're going to end up with great dishes.

    But with something like that... I mean, a vegetarian chef? How the hell is a vegetarian chef going to be able to do anything with meat? That's just patently unfair. A vegetarian chef doesn't believe in using meat, eating meat, it's completely against her entire belief system. To stick her into a competition and try to properly cook some pork chops or whatnot is just a losing proposition from the start, isn't it? Maybe it's a bit of entertainment for the audience, watching this poor vegetarian create some sort of monstrosity with an ingredient she has no experience with, but it certainly isn't a level playing field. It's more of a gimmick, isn't it?

    That's really my only qualm.

    Delta Assault on
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I would only say that if you've ever watched Chopped, and you go to compete on it, and don't expect to use meat, you're fooling yourself.

    Also:
    ...create some sort of monstrosity with an ingredient she has no experience with
    Is part of the point of the show.

    Tox on
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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    But with something like that... I mean, a vegetarian chef? How the hell is a vegetarian chef going to be able to do anything with meat? That's just patently unfair. A vegetarian chef doesn't believe in using meat, eating meat, it's completely against her entire belief system. To stick her into a competition and try to properly cook some pork chops or whatnot is just a losing proposition from the start, isn't it? Maybe it's a bit of entertainment for the audience, watching this poor vegetarian create some sort of monstrosity with an ingredient she has no experience with, but it certainly isn't a level playing field. It's more of a gimmick, isn't it?

    That's really my only qualm.

    No, a vegetarian chef specializes in non-meat dishes and doesn't eat meat themselves. They should know, as chefs, that other people do indeed eat meat. And if they want to enter a competition like this, they should learn a quick thing or two about meat prior to showing up to said competition.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    I mean how many times do people go on Chopped and we hear, "Oh my god I've never even HEARD of this ingredient"? Quite a bit! But y'know what the majority of them do? They fucking go for it. The smart ones sample a taste test if it's possible.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Yeah, if they get an ingredient they've never worked with before, that isn't a meat, they usually taste it, compare it to what they know, and assume it's close enough to work. When done well, it results in some of the best dishes on the show.

    The meats, it depends. A lot of times the fish and fowl they compare to what they've worked with while they're cleaning/dressing the meat, and go from there.

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  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    Fuckin haricot vert.

    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Fuckin haricot vert.

    I had to Google that. Looks like string beans or green beans? Fuck if I know!

    I guess the theme of the show is handling the curve-balls they throw at you. I remember one time for dessert two of the ingredients were oranges and chocolate.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Also, the ice cream machine? Prettty much a guaranteed win.

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Scott Conant by the way is indeed a douche. I like seeing him come around to a good decision, but it's so few and far between. I'm more gratified to hear his opinion on things though compared to Alex. Seriously, that broad can go to hell.

    Aarón Sánchez is the most forgiving dude on the panel and he wins tons of awesome points for it.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    Tox wrote:
    Also, the ice cream machine? Prettty much a guaranteed win.

    It is. Which boggles my mind a bit, but it works.

  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    Scott Conant by the way is indeed a douche. I like seeing him come around to a good decision, but it's so few and far between. I'm more gratified to hear his opinion on things though compared to Alex. Seriously, that broad can go to hell.

    Aarón Sánchez is the most sexiest forgiving dude on the panel and he wins tons of awesome points for it.

    :winky:

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Mim wrote:
    Henroid wrote:
    Scott Conant by the way is indeed a douche. I like seeing him come around to a good decision, but it's so few and far between. I'm more gratified to hear his opinion on things though compared to Alex. Seriously, that broad can go to hell.

    Aarón Sánchez is the most sexiest forgiving dude on the panel and he wins tons of awesome points for it.

    :winky:

    Your avatar really works with this post.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Mim wrote:
    Tox wrote:
    Also, the ice cream machine? Prettty much a guaranteed win.

    It is. Which boggles my mind a bit, but it works.

    It's because once you load that machine, you've just basically lost something like 15-20 minutes. If you use it, and don't load it soon enough, you've lost. It's such a huge gamble, which is why it pays off when you pull it off.

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  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    Fuckin haricot vert.

    I had to Google that. Looks like string beans or green beans? Fuck if I know!

    I guess the theme of the show is handling the curve-balls they throw at you. I remember one time for dessert two of the ingredients were oranges and chocolate.

    Yeah, It's literally french for "green beans." They are longer and thinner than american green beans, and they seem to pop up often on Chopped.

    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    and how often are they put in a salad?

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  • SquirrelmobSquirrelmob Registered User regular
    I like Chopped, it's an interesting show. Though, they do like to harp on the human interest aspects of chefs a lot (but there was that one dude who won the 'Tournament of Champions' who seemed like he'd be awesome to talk to), and a few of the regular judges are just too cold. Like Alex. Everyone I know who has seen it hates her.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    They need to have, like, a Chopped: Wal-Mart edition, where the baskets are shit like:

    73% lean ground beef
    frozen soft pretzels
    store-brand pudding cups
    canned white chicken

    Literally just looked in my pantry/freezer and found those.

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  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    Actually, how do you guys feels about the use of the ingredients when someone hasn't used enough? It seems every time someone uses something but not in a huge amount the judges (mostly Amanda) go "Well, I wished you used more. You should've used more" and they seem to get huffy when the contestant says "But the rules say a little or a lot.."

  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    I, too, love Chopped. It is good "I just want to watch something" television.

    But can I bring up for a moment how god damn stupid Extreme Chef looks/is? It's another cooking competition, but with entirely stupid arbitrary obstacles. Things that have nothing to do with cooking, like using a hot car engine to cook on, or swimming across a lake to get ingredients. Imagine if, in American Idol or The Voice, they made you spin around for 10 minute before a song, or win a basketball game.

    It makes me sigh and I suddenly understand why some chefs/cooking enthusiasts hate Food Network sometimes.

  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    Lux wrote:
    I, too, love Chopped. It is good "I just want to watch something" television.

    But can I bring up for a moment how god damn stupid Extreme Chef looks/is? It's another cooking competition, but with entirely stupid arbitrary obstacles. Things that have nothing to do with cooking, like using a hot car engine to cook on, or swimming across a lake to get ingredients. Imagine if, in American Idol or The Voice, they made you spin around for 10 minute before a song, or win a basketball game.

    It makes me sigh and I suddenly understand why some chefs/cooking enthusiasts hate Food Network sometimes.

    Good point. I was really looking at the promos with a "wtf" look on my face. Who would eat something cooked on a car engine? WHY would you cook on a car engine? I mean, I can't imagine it would do what a stove could.

    I have found myself liking Kitchen Impossible and 24 Hour Restaurant with Scott "I'mmadouche" Conant. Though I felt those chicks who were doing the southern flair cooking shouldn't have lost out to the Greek diner guys.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Tox wrote:
    Mim wrote:
    Tox wrote:
    Also, the ice cream machine? Prettty much a guaranteed win.

    It is. Which boggles my mind a bit, but it works.

    It's because once you load that machine, you've just basically lost something like 15-20 minutes. If you use it, and don't load it soon enough, you've lost. It's such a huge gamble, which is why it pays off when you pull it off.

    Which is the inverse of ICA - they fear the ice cream machine.

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  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    Mim wrote:
    Actually, how do you guys feels about the use of the ingredients when someone hasn't used enough? It seems every time someone uses something but not in a huge amount the judges (mostly Amanda) go "Well, I wished you used more. You should've used more" and they seem to get huffy when the contestant says "But the rules say a little or a lot.."

    I can understand if it's the primary protein that a contestant has somewhat ignored because it's weird or whatever, but I do get a little annoyed when contestants just plain ignore items.

    I remember one of the episodes a few years back when two of the ingredients were whole leaf spinach and string cheese, and TWO of the chefs served garnishes of whole string cheese laid on a leaf of spinach.

  • DHSDHS Chase lizards.. ...bark at donkeys..Registered User regular
    Yeah, I could totally join the chorus of hate for Alex. She's a smug, pretentious ass. Always critiques irrelevant shit like how she would do it or what her feelings on fruit leather are or something. I thought she was just a mean judge, then I saw her cooking show, which seems to be so buried on the schedule that you'd have to seek it out or perhaps summon it with a dark ritual, then I knew. She's completely full of shit, always talking about stupid touchy-feely crap about the food in faux-homey nostalgic way. Also, her restaurant is called Butter. Fuck you.

    Also, Conant, red onions are just fine raw stop complaining about a common ingredient, you puss.

    I hate the judging on this show so much, with the critiquing slapdash mystery piles like they were restaurant ready meal, that it's pretty much the only thing on Food Network I watch. It's brilliantly enraging.

    "Grip 'em up, grip 'em, grip 'em good, said the Gryphon... to the pig."
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    It always amuses me in a sort of horrible way when the contestant manages to make a delicious-looking pastry or something out of cocoa nibs, pickled pigs feet, watermelon jolly ranchers, and the letter Q and the judges, after saying it's tasty, complain that they're just not getting enough pickled pigs feet. Well, no, of course not. Whatever wonky-ass thing you asked them to use in a dessert would be goddamn disgusting if you were getting enough of it.

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  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    I had to wonder how many times as a chef she was required to invent a dessert wholesale in 20 minutes from a basket containing cuttlefish, gooseberries, and Bhudda's Hand, and how she thinks that's relevant to her continued employment in the field. I must have missed where Raymond Blanc said, "Hey, if you can't invent a dessert involving poultry gonads under a half hour, go fuck yourself and quit."

    Fuck you. You are fantastic you magnificent bastard. My abs hurt from laughing.

    The melodrama sometimes really gets to me on this show. Between deaths in the family, questioning carreer choices, and crying before and after every round some contestants just drive me crackers. Every once in a while there's an episode where I just wish they could send every damn one of them home.

    That and poor sportsmanship. Stand up for your own dish man, I don't want to hear you telling the judges how safe or uncreative or bland the other guy's food is; especially since you haven't actually tasted a thing on his plate. You don't win by tearing the other guy down, you win by making something great. It also ends up being one of the things I enjoy most about the show though, because I tend to think the judges handle it really well. They seem to really value and promote professionalism among the contestants, which is something I have a huge amount of respect for in general.

    As for the judges, I'm always happy to see Scott Conant on the panel! He is often not nice about his critiques, but I generally find he has something interesting to say. The worst episodes are situations where you have something like Alex, Chris and a random doing the judging, and everyone is so nice that you don't get any real sense of the dish. The best is when you have a mix; one or two judges pointing out the flaws harshly, and the rest highlighting the really great elements.

    That's why Aaron is so great really. He seems happy to fill either roll, getting in the good or bad stuff the other judges are leaving out. Who knows just how much comes down to editing though.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I can't think of a single judge who doesn't seem to feel insulted when a chef starts ripping into another chef's dish.

    Maybe G-Zak, but the most he's ever done is, during deliberation, been like, "well, he was right..." and the other two are like, "yeah, but he wasn't professional."

    Pretty sure that hurts their score, a bit.

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  • MaximumMaximum Registered User regular
    If I learned anything from watching Chopped it's that you don't serve Scott raw onion in any dish ever. That dude will straight up shoot you in the face for it.

  • SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    Tox wrote:
    They need to have, like, a Chopped: Wal-Mart edition, where the baskets are shit like:

    73% lean ground beef
    frozen soft pretzels
    store-brand pudding cups
    canned white chicken

    Literally just looked in my pantry/freezer and found those.

    My husband has invented, for his own amusement, "$20.00 Chopped". He gets clearance and then goes to Whole Foods Market or one of the local specialty stores, and comes home with 3 items that are exotic or unusual in combination, and presents them to me with a boyish sadistic glee. He learned, though, that he has to be willing to eat all of them after the dried split peas, pineapple and beef heart incident.

  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    Solandra wrote:
    Tox wrote:
    They need to have, like, a Chopped: Wal-Mart edition, where the baskets are shit like:

    73% lean ground beef
    frozen soft pretzels
    store-brand pudding cups
    canned white chicken

    Literally just looked in my pantry/freezer and found those.

    My husband has invented, for his own amusement, "$20.00 Chopped". He gets clearance and then goes to Whole Foods Market or one of the local specialty stores, and comes home with 3 items that are exotic or unusual in combination, and presents them to me with a boyish sadistic glee. He learned, though, that he has to be willing to eat all of them after the dried split peas, pineapple and beef heart incident.

    ...How did that work out?

  • Smaug6Smaug6 Registered User regular
    The judge who hates raw onions drives me nuts on that show. I get it, you don't like the taste or raw onions or they killed your whole family or something. BUT, it shouldn't reflect that incredibly negatively on how you rate a dish. There has to be some impartiality. What if they had a judge on where everything tasted like shit to him except when it had citrus flavor in it. He rages on every dish, but the one that uses citrus gets his vote? Really, have some integrity and at least tone down your personal dislike of one vegetable.

    steam_sig.png
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    I really sympathize with the raw onion thing though. The same thing practically happened to me. I once told someone I don't like raw carrots and then they offered me crudite, so I punched them in the face. It was a totally reasonable reaction.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Scott won't straight shoot you in the face for serving him raw onions.

    ...the first time.

    Drop 'em in your second dish and you're done.

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  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Smaug6 wrote:
    The judge who hates raw onions drives me nuts on that show. I get it, you don't like the taste or raw onions or they killed your whole family or something. BUT, it shouldn't reflect that incredibly negatively on how you rate a dish. There has to be some impartiality. What if they had a judge on where everything tasted like shit to him except when it had citrus flavor in it. He rages on every dish, but the one that uses citrus gets his vote? Really, have some integrity and at least tone down your personal dislike of one vegetable.

    I think it's a good test of a chef's ability to know that he's actually serving someone. The tastes of the judges are well known, so the contestants should have the info they need to make sure the people they serve enjoy their meals.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    I mean, on the one hand, you can't be a very good food critique if you write a dish off automatically because it has raw onions on it.

    On the other hand, know your audience.

    Still, I'm pretty sure he doesn't usually nail anybody very hard for raw onions until it's already come up once. Of course, if it comes up twice in the same round, he'll still harp on the second chef.

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  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    See, I think given the time constraints, Conant can't complain as much because no one has time to make him a separate little dish of cooked onions. What if there is a judge who does like raw onions? I do admit though that putting raw onions in every round would be heinous though. "Why are there raw, red onions in my little cakes?"

    Anyways, if I ever make it to PAX, we're doing a Chopped thing.

    edit: I'm actually kind of playing a personal game of chopped by myself in the kitchen right now. Why am I trying to make a fruit punch sauce? My addiction has gone too far.

    double edit: actually, it came out really good. I'M AMAZING.

    Mim on
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    Definitely a big fan of this show. I just love the editing during the judging portion of the show, it is so delightfully awkward.

    y6GGs3o.gif
  • MimMim There's nothing the matter with my face! I got character.Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I'm watching Chopped: Redemption, and I found Yvonne incredibly sexy by cooking still even though she spilled boiling water on her legs. She managed to save her potatoes!

    so sexy.
    edit: Oh my god, that guy gave his $10,000 to the girl. I almost cried.

    Mim on
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