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Maverick

Chopped 2021: You Could Have Sexed That Up a Little Bit

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 Starting a new thread for the new year.   Thanks for the thread title, Conant!

 Didn't care for the guest judges either.  Michelle Bernstein, while an accomplished chef, really does not have the camera personality to be on TV.   Methinks there's a reason you so rarely see her on Food Network or any other cooking show.  I know the judges are rotating and GZ will be one of them--which is odd because they're subbing some rando contestant into the judges round.  I don't know why he wasn't included with the other judges. 

 The tuna crackers may have been the most vile processed food they've had on this show.  And that's saying something with all the wacko sodas and ice creams they've had. 

Edited by Maverick
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I’ve rediscovered this show since Covid hit and I was desperate to find distractions/entertainment, and I still think it’s a pretty damn good show.

Since I’m watching it all recorded by my DVR I’m not sure when each episode actually aired originally, but last night I watched the one that birthed this thread title.  It looked as though it was probably filmed during Covid: the judges and chefs were farther away from each other than usual.  I was sort of hoping that they would show them all wearing masks and then taking them off to do the filming., so we could get a further sense of Covid precautions. 

What I didn’t understand was why the lighting was so stomach churning.  Everyone had this ghastly jaundiced tinge to their complexions and looked as though their skin was made of leather covered with a thick spread of pancake makeup.

I really enjoyed Eddie Jackson as a judge and hope he becomes a regular.  Not only was he easy on the eyes, but he was charming, articulate and had interesting comments.  That was my biggest beef with Martha S.  She had nothing of interest to say.

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The silver lining to this whole grudge thing is getting to see Marcus cook! So glad he'll be in the finale. But Chopped has to be rooting for a judge since giving the money to a charity is a nice tax deduction.

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I was actually tense waiting for the final reveal.  I love Marcus and can't stand Tiffani and I was afraid they'd give it to her just to give her more credibility as a new judge.  

Did Chris finally marry his girlfriend?  He was wearing a wedding ring.  If they ever said anything on the show about him getting married, I missed it.

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I don't share the Tiffani hate and was hoping she'd pull it off.  Marcus will give the other chefs a run for the money in the finale.  Chris is the one who surprised me; neither of his dishes were what I'd call judge-worthy since we all expect more from the judges.  

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I like Tiffani and always have. I liked all four chefs who competed. They went out in the order I'd have predicted, and I wish Marcus (just keep talking, Marcus. I love your voice) the best of luck going forward. 

I think I watched Christian Petroni's Food Network Star season and don't remember having positive or negative feelings about him. Then I saw him in a few things and was "eh," but I've really come to like him and am glad he's been showing up on FN more often. He's an affable, self-deprecating guy who seems to hold his own in cooking and judging and has a good time while he's at it.   

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14 hours ago, mlp said:

I was actually tense waiting for the final reveal.  I love Marcus and can't stand Tiffani and I was afraid they'd give it to her just to give her more credibility as a new judge.  

Did Chris finally marry his girlfriend?  He was wearing a wedding ring.  If they ever said anything on the show about him getting married, I missed it.

So was I! 

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Love Marcus, and yes Eddie is easy on the eyes.  Tiffiani seems to have good instincts of how to manage foods that are not common.

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37 minutes ago, catrice2 said:

Love Marcus, and yes Eddie is easy on the eyes.  Tiffiani seems to have good instincts of how to manage foods that are not common.

She did seem to. 

 

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What Amanda made (after a fashion) was a blini, not a Bellini, which is what the onscreen graphic said.  I initially thought she was going to grind it up and serve it as a drink!

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On 1/13/2021 at 1:12 AM, mlp said:

I was actually tense waiting for the final reveal.  I love Marcus and can't stand Tiffani and I was afraid they'd give it to her just to give her more credibility as a new judge.  

Did Chris finally marry his girlfriend?  He was wearing a wedding ring.  If they ever said anything on the show about him getting married, I missed it.

Yes, they did get married and now have a son and a daughter. 

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I thought the challenger match last night was so much better than the first match.  It seemed like the judges were really struggling to find faults where on the round one challenger match it seemed like there were nothing but faults.  I really wish one or two of the chefs from last night were in round one.  I hated to see any of them loose and think they could have all won in the earlier round.  Of course it could have been easier baskets I don't know.

I know a lot of people don't like GZ and I can understand but I find him humorous.  I liked having him last night I thought it was a good balance to the judging table.  I do hope for the finale though they do blind tasting or something to make it fair - doubt they will though.  

One thing that constantly bugs me in these "preliminary" rounds is how they always say they're playing for $100K or just lost $100K or whatever when no no you're not.  You're playing for a chance to play for $100K.  These winners get zilch. 

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I also thought last night was a big improvement over last week.  I thought the right two chefs went to the final round and I was happy for the young man although I was actually rooting for Tristen.  I liked him during his first appearance.  

I do wish they'd all stop yelling about the 100K.  We heard you the first time.

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1 hour ago, mlp said:

I do wish they'd all stop yelling about the 100K.  We heard you the first time.

I find the "over production" whereby the judges constantly interrupt the contestants while they are cooking ridiculous as well as the outbursts you reference.  

I get the sense that the producers are trying to inject "new life" into what was always my favorite competitive cooking show; however, to my sensibilities, they should abide by the old adage:  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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2 hours ago, mlp said:

I do wish they'd all stop yelling about the 100K.  We heard you the first time.

Not only the first time, the first 50 times!

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4 hours ago, Rammchick said:

Not only the first time, the first 50 times!

Make it a drinking game. Every time someone says $100k, take a drink. You will be on your butt by the end.

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7 hours ago, nitrofishblue said:

Make it a drinking game. Every time someone says $100k, take a drink. You will be on your butt by the end.

Probably sooner than the end!

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16 hours ago, pdlinda said:

I find the "over production" whereby the judges constantly interrupt the contestants while they are cooking ridiculous as well as the outbursts you reference. 

Totally agree.  I've said this before but....................... Those chefs are under a lot of pressure not to mention severe time constraints.  Talking to them interferes with their concentration and rhythm and having a judge walk into their space and ask questions is inconsiderate and IMO borders on mean.  Leave them alone.  

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I didn't like Stephen during his first go 'round and didn't like him any better this time so I was happy to see him leave.  I was also happy that Scott got chopped.  A little humility will do his ego good.  OTOH I like both Maneet and Marc.  In fact, Marc is one of my favorites so I was delighted that he finally won - and deservedly so.  

If the previews are any indication, next week's finale is going to be exciting.

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You could have knocked me over with a feather when Stephen graciously left the kitchen after being Chopped.  Has he been reading on here, do you think? 😉

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I thought for sure they were setting up a Maneet win to balance out the finale of men and women. Alex must have been doing her supermarket shenanigans to not take part.

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I'm happy for Marc (though I would have been happy for Maneet too). I don't understand why we needed Steve and don't think he deserved to be there.  With all the years Chopped has been on how could they not field enough judges for two rounds?   I wonder if the same judges that have been judging are going to judge the finale?  I would hope not and hope they find some way to make it fair but as it stands I'd say it's Marc or Marcus' to loose (I like them both so I'm fine with that but I would really like to think the judging could be unbiased but.....).

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24 minutes ago, I Want My MBTV said:

I'm happy for Marc (though I would have been happy for Maneet too). I don't understand why we needed Steve and don't think he deserved to be there.  With all the years Chopped has been on how could they not field enough judges for two rounds?   I wonder if the same judges that have been judging are going to judge the finale?  I would hope not and hope they find some way to make it fair but as it stands I'd say it's Marc or Marcus' to loose (I like them both so I'm fine with that but I would really like to think the judging could be unbiased but.....).

I call Marcus for the win. I think the guy would have to have a total meltdown to lose. I also like him a lot, but I would be thrilled to see Marc win. 

Edited by libgirl2
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26 minutes ago, I Want My MBTV said:

I wonder if the same judges that have been judging are going to judge the finale?  I would hope not and hope they find some way to make it fair but as it stands I'd say it's Marc or Marcus' to loose (I like them both so I'm fine with that but I would really like to think the judging could be unbiased but.....).

I thought Christian Petroni acquitted himself very well in the judging department.  Does he have a classically-trained background?  I thought he was a 'pizza guy" (not that there's anything wrong with that).  His comments regarding the dishes prepared by the judges and stephen shed a lot of light (in my mind) on the subtle and complex highlights of what they prepared and since I have no experience tasting many of the components in the baskets, his comments (and the woman judge whom I've never heard of) added to my enjoyment of the show.  Geoffrey Z, on the other hand, between his schtick using chopsticks, his loud-mouthed comments (both at the table and invading the cook's space as they were working) and his generic,  inane comments about the food, left me cold.  He could be replaced without the show losing any of its integrity IMO.

On another note, I must have missed one of the contest's shows because in the previews I recognize all the winners getting ready for the final round EXCEPT the woman who, I'm guessing, won the first round??  I don't recognize her at all.

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He could be replaced without the show losing any of its integrity IMO.

It'd gain at least one more steady viewer. Me. Between he and Conant, the chopsticks and the tear-jerker stories, and just Ted in general, I took Chopped out of rotation.

And put down the gd chopsticks, GZ!

Edited by buttersister · Reason: He's so annoying.

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11 hours ago, pdlinda said:

I thought Christian Petroni acquitted himself very well in the judging department.  Does he have a classically-trained background?  I thought he was a 'pizza guy" (not that there's anything wrong with that).  His comments regarding the dishes prepared by the judges and stephen shed a lot of light (in my mind) on the subtle and complex highlights of what they prepared and since I have no experience tasting many of the components in the baskets, his comments (and the woman judge whom I've never heard of) added to my enjoyment of the show.  Geoffrey Z, on the other hand, between his schtick using chopsticks, his loud-mouthed comments (both at the table and invading the cook's space as they were working) and his generic,  inane comments about the food, left me cold.  He could be replaced without the show losing any of its integrity IMO.

 

I can't remember much about Christian from his Food Network Star season, which means I didn't especially like or dislike him. But since the pandemic began and he's been popping up on different shows, he's been steadily growing in my esteem, both because of his personality and cooking cred. I now really enjoy seeing him judge, cook, comment, whatever. I'd be fine never seeing GZ again, and having more new faces like Christian's. More of him, Eddie Jackson, and others I'd remember if my coffee had kicked in.  

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1 hour ago, Darian said:

I can't remember much about Christian from his Food Network Star season, which means I didn't especially like or dislike him. But since the pandemic began and he's been popping up on different shows, he's been steadily growing in my esteem, both because of his personality and cooking cred. I now really enjoy seeing him judge, cook, comment, whatever. I'd be fine never seeing GZ again, and having more new faces like Christian's. More of him, Eddie Jackson, and others I'd remember if my coffee had kicked in.  

Time for a few new faces on Chopped? 

12 hours ago, pdlinda said:

On another note, I must have missed one of the contest's shows because in the previews I recognize all the winners getting ready for the final round EXCEPT the woman who, I'm guessing, won the first round??  I don't recognize her at all.

Yes, she won the first round. I remember not being super impressed with any of the chefs that round. 

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10 minutes ago, libgirl2 said:

What did I miss? I fell asleep and woke up to no dessert round? 

Different format for the Grand Championship.  All entrees and the first baskets were the same for the judges and the challengers.  

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Ugh, I despise having Christian as a judge. His Jersey-shore, goodfellas, over-enunciation of italian phrases is even more annoying than Giada's. Plus, he just wouldn't stop shouting during the competition. The overly dramatic commentary as the clock is winding down is really starting to "grind my gears".

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11 minutes ago, libgirl2 said:

What did I miss? I fell asleep and woke up to no dessert round? 

The three rounds were: 1) the two challengers cooked against each other; 2) the two judges cooked against each other using the same basket ingredients as in Round 1; and then 3) the challenger winner and judge winner cooked against each other for the championship.

No dessert round, thankfully. The dessert round is the worst thing about Chopped, imo.

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2 minutes ago, Ashforth said:

The three rounds were: 1) the two challengers cooked against each other; 2) the two judges cooked against each other using the same basket ingredients as in Round 1; and then 3) the challenger winner and judge winner cooked against each other for the championship.

No dessert round, thankfully. The dessert round is the worst thing about Chopped, imo.

Thanks. I will have to catch it on demand. 

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I wondered why they didn't follow the usual Chopped format for the last part of the tournament.  Maybe they were concerned that the judges might eliminate both challengers and the last round would be two judges which could cause viewers to scream "fixed" even if it wasn't.  In any event, it worked out OK.  I was delighted to see Marc Murphy be the last judge standing because he has so often been eliminated on other shows and he's a long time favorite of mine.  I like Marcus a lot too but he has many wins under his belt already so I didn't feel bad for him.  

I would have been OK with either finalist winning although for different reasons.  In the end, I was happy for Demetrio (?).  He seemed like a good guy and the recognition and money meant a lot to him.  

I don't dislike Christian but I wish he'd turn it down.  He comes across as unprofessional even when his comments are valid.

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I had mixed feelings about Demetrio.  He clearly believed he'd been cheated in earlier Chopped appearances, but his love for his kids really came through.  I would have loved for Marc to have won.  He really finds joy in cooking.  As for Christian, I'm ok with him.  Did anybody else think FN was using this challenge to audition a couple of potential new judges?

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7 minutes ago, schnauzergirl said:

I had mixed feelings about Demetrio.  He clearly believed he'd been cheated in earlier Chopped appearances, but his love for his kids really came through.  I would have loved for Marc to have won.  He really finds joy in cooking.  As for Christian, I'm ok with him.  Did anybody else think FN was using this challenge to audition a couple of potential new judges?

I would have been happy with either winning though I might have given Marc the edge. He never seems to win!

Yes, new judges. Christian would be fine, he just needs to take it down a notch. 

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I'm happy that Demetrio won if that means he never appears on my screen again. I don't like the conceited braggarts who think they're better than everyone else. My biggest complaint with all these Chopped tournaments is the producers encourage this trash talking. Most of the Chopped judges are competitive as heck but they don't brag about their skills. Amanda doesn't throw her James Beard awards in anyone's face. I like humble chefs with quiet confidence. People that want to win but don't automatically expect to.

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Here are some things I didn't need to see, Demetrio bitching about his previous wins (that never happened) and Christian raving like a lunatic because the competition was so excruciatingly fierce and he was so taken watching the gladiator and the lions and LOL! 

To be fair, Demetrio's food did seem better. $100K taco, Mark? No.

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9 hours ago, Grizzly said:

I'm happy that Demetrio won if that means he never appears on my screen again. I don't like the conceited braggarts who think they're better than everyone else. My biggest complaint with all these Chopped tournaments is the producers encourage this trash talking. Most of the Chopped judges are competitive as heck but they don't brag about their skills. Amanda doesn't throw her James Beard awards in anyone's face. I like humble chefs with quiet confidence. People that want to win but don't automatically expect to.

My favorite contestant of all time is Chef Chris Holland. He didn't brag, he wasn't a jerk, he went in and cooked. 

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A couple of thoughts now that this was over.  MHO, entirely.  They should have had only one judge competing if the prize was going to go to a set charity.  Usually with these things, the judges are trying to win for their own favorite charity.  But if the prize would be awarded to the same charity no matter which judge wins, then it's kind of pointless for two judges to compete.  Plus, it takes away a spot from another cheftestant.  Someone else above brought up a good point -- what if it ended up being two judges going head to head at the end?  How do we know it was judged fairly, or did they tinker to prevent that from happening?  The set up from the Bobby Flay competition would've been better -- four cheftestants whittled down to one who goes against the winning judge (that could've been a round all by itself).

 

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That was a sad episode last night. The chefs were given beautiful pieces of beef and they murdered the cuts. The winner fixed really sorry dishes. Sure hope they upgrade the contestants.

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1 hour ago, nitrofishblue said:

That was a sad episode last night. The chefs were given beautiful pieces of beef and they murdered the cuts. The winner fixed really sorry dishes. Sure hope they upgrade the contestants.

Seriously. Half the dishes had basket ingredients that were overcooked, undercooked or unchanged.

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5 hours ago, xaxat said:

Seriously. Half the dishes had basket ingredients that were overcooked, undercooked or unchanged.

It was like they were picking the lease awful chef during the 3 rounds and I'm not sure that, even under these circumstances, they got it right!  Maybe the well of new contestants is running dry after so many years, or maybe the hyped-up new production values of the show where the judges are shouting and interrupting the chefs while they are cooking is impacting the overall performance of the contestants.  Every time I hear the interruptions, I cringe!

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Just a thought, what with Covid and so many restaurants closing, maybe the chefs are going into different directions and the pool is shrinking. Sad but maybe true....

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