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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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
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            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
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