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Friday, April 19, 2013

I Love You, Chopped

When I fall in love with a TV show, I give it all I’ve got. I re-watch episodes ad nauseum, learn the characters’ life stories so I can better understand their actions/decisions, and vehemently defend it to anyone who says things like, “Eh that show’s okay,” or worse, “I’ve never seen it.”
I’ve demonstrated this affection with several shows in the past, including Gilmore Girls, Real Housewives of Orange County, and What Not to Wear, and I have just realized that my latest obsession (which isn’t really all that new) has passed the point of innocent adoration and catapulted into full-on crazy-girl fixation.
I have a passion for Chopped.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I didn’t realize the unreasonable extent to which I was actually dedicated to this show. Like, I would do things to and for Ted Allen that I would never consider doing for any boyfriend I’ve ever had. An addiction is defined as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming,” and I’ll be damned if I’m not almost at that point.
I wish I was a straight guy so you could give me the queer eye
For starters, if I’m flipping through channels and see that it’s on, I physically cannot turn it off. I am sucked in like a bachelor in the champagne room at a strip club, and there’s nothing anyone can do to bring me back. Once, my mom asked to watch some other show, and after lifting the remote with shaky hands and visibly twitching at the thought of missing the Dessert Round, I finally just threw the remote at her and left the room.

On top of that, Chopped has taught me some valuable lessons which I have incorporated into my everyday life. I was recently slicing open individually-wrapped chicken breasts that were allegedly “E-Z Open” but were most definitely NOT, and the knife turned on me and gashed my thumb. I hate blood and blades, so typically this would be a recipe for overdramatic disaster, but instead I thought “The clock is ticking, Chef Skylar, keep going!” and wrapped a paper towel around it and kept on keeping on like it was nothing. Mind you, I was not being timed or in any type of competitive situation whatsoever, but this is what the show has done to my gut reactions.

I have also become a douchebag at restaurants. No, not toservers; those people are saints who put up with way more shit than anyone should ever have to, and for that I’m always sure to tip at least 25%. I keep my jerkiness on the DL, but it’s there in the form of me reading the menu description and then being extremely nitpicky about how well that explanation is portrayed on my plate. “Roasted Pumpkin and Spinach Risotto: Oven roasted pumpkin with baby spinach, garlic, tossed through Arborio rice and served with freshly shaved parmesan”?? Interesting, because the garlic was sautéed too long and has become bitter and I’m totally losing the flavor of the pumpkin. The huge chunks of parmesan are hardly “shaved” and you could have really used a citric element to provide a bit more acidity. I’M NOT SORRY I’M JUST SAYIN.
Finally, it is my dream to reenact Chopped in my own kitchen with my friends, except the rules would be altered slightly to accommodate for massive drinking before the competition commenced. Basically, we take shots of tequila, and then our makeshift Ted (probably my friend’s boyfriend) yells out, “Today’s mystery ingredients include: Fritos, someone’s leftover taco salad from Qdoba, a half-eaten chocolate rabbit from Easter, and Blue Powerade. You have 20 minutes. Time starts now!” Naturally, I would reduce the chocolate and the Powerade into a sauce while throwing the salad into the food processor to grind it up and make patties out of it that I would crust with the Fritos and fry. I would drizzle the fried vegetable patty with the chocolate sauce and call it a Fried Mexican Vegetable Cake with Blue Mole.
I would win the Appetizer Round only because my friends would be shitfaced lying on the floor eating Fritos and crying.

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  1. The best chopped episodes are when everyone screws up so badly they can't figure out who to get rid of

  2. God, I love this show too, or anything on the Food Network at that. For all those years of watching nothing but the Food Network, I still can't cook anything. Good read.

  3. I am convinced that there were five Food Network producers sitting in a room, high as balls, munching on a combo of god knows what, and POOF the idea was born. Thanks for reading guys!


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