“Four chefs, three courses, and only one chance to win.”
That is the tag line for the popular Food Network show, "Chopped." Our family had a lot of fun sitting around and watching the show, commenting on the competition and thinking of how we would do it if we were on the show. Then it occurred to me that we could hold our own Chopped Championship at home.
You will need at least one person, preferably two to do the shopping for exotic ingredients. You want the basket ingredients to be unusual, and perhaps even one or two be exotic, but you don't want them all to be too tricky or it gets discouraging to the home cooks.
|Quentin's winning Appetizer using Puff Pastry Cups, Meatloaf Mix, Parmesan Cheese and Rainbow Chard.|
You can do this in the more traditional to the show manner and have the basket ingredients a mystery to be discovered right before they are to make their dishes, but I wanted the competition to be enjoyable, so I chose to let my contestants know what the basket ingredients were going to be ahead of time. They were even allowed to look up recipes using the ingredients so they could get an idea of how to cook with them. They were not allowed to actually copy a recipe, however. This, obviously, was done as an honor system.
In addition to the four "basket ingredients," you will need to have a wide variety of ingredients in your pantry and fridge for your contestants to use. Traditionally, there is a round for the contestants to make an appetizer, one for the entree and one for the dessert.
|James' winning entree using chicken breasts, Angel hair pasta nests, Japanese eggplant and Sweet Potato leaves.|
Despite the fact that we have a large kitchen, we decided that it would be easier if the four contestants each went consecutively.