Chopped vs. the Chopping Block

Have any of you been watching the new food reality shows? If so, you probably prefer one over the other. They are different animals indeed!

For me, it’s about the food, not the drama. Since my favorite food show, Top Chef is in between seasons, I’ve been watching these two relative newcomers to the arena of food competition shows. Chopped and The Chopping Block.

Only a handful of episodes in to this first season and already I’ve given up on the Chopping Block on account of the show’s focus on creating drama, as opposed to creating good food. Contestants are put in ridiculous boiler pot situations where they have way too few people, to cook for and serve way too many people. This results in failure, frustration, bickering and drama. I guess the NBC folks figured the more drama the better, but as a foodie, not a reality show junkie, the drama is what’s keeping me from enjoying the show.

Plus, is it me, or are half of the characters unlikable? I know there are always a few baddies in the bunch to keep things interesting, whether this is a real reflection of their personalities, or due to carte blanche editing, but in this first season of the Chopping Block, I’ve been having a hard time rooting for anyone. Be nice to eachother, chefs!

On the other hand, Chopped is quickly becoming a favorite new show. A few reasons:

1. The focus is on cooking good food, and creativity. Not drama.

2. Chefs are given 4 ingredients to use as the base of their meal. And one of them is always a little weird. Keeps things interesting!

3. Each week, four new contestants. Three different courses. I like this consistency.

4. Ted Allen is a cutie!

Ted Allen c/o The Food Network

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
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            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Virginia College , Fort Pierce
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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