Chopped is a cooking television game show that premiered on January 13, 2009. The format of the show pits four chefs against each other for a chance to win $10,000. There are three rounds - appetizer, entree, and dessert. The chefs receive a basket containing four mystery ingredients that they must use to create a dish. One contestant is eliminated at the end of each round until the last one standing wins.
There is never a dull moment in Chopped with so many unusual ingredient combinations. The show has an overall rating of 7.5 on IMDb, with some episodes faring much better than others. Below are the 10 highest rated episodes of Chopped, according to IMDb.
10 "Chopped All-Stars: Judges" (Episode 171)
At the bottom of this list is the third episode of a five-part charity tournament. Chopped judges Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag, and Scott Conant competed in an appetizer, entree, and dessert round.
Conant won this heat and advanced to the finale with an appetizer that incorporated diver scallops, harissa, pink grapefruit, and speck; an entree dish made with capon, ramps, canned pizza sauce, and burrata; and a dessert made with ruby port, olive oil gelato, dried apricots, and French toast sticks. This episode is has a 9.1 rating on IMDB and featured Geoffrey Zakarian, Marcus Samuelsson, and Aaron Sanchez as judges.
9 "All-Stars Tournament B: Part 1" (Episode 291)
Rated a 9.1 on IMDB, this is the first of five episodes in an All-Stars Tournament series. Returning Chopped champions Brian Malarkey, Madison Cowan, Eric Greenspan, and Art Smith competed in an appetizer, entree, and dessert round, while Amanda Freitag, Maneet Chauhan, and Scott Conant served as judges.
For the appetizer round, the mystery ingredients were smoked pork tails, cilantro, natto, and clams; for the entree round, they were shrimp skin, hamachi, pomelo, and green garlic; and for the dessert round, the contestants had to create a dish with maple smoked cheddar cheese, almond flour, mayonnaise, and dates. Art Smith won this episode and advanced to the finale.
8 "Judges' Face-Off" (Episode 289)
This episode is another one where Chopped judges competed for charity. Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Aaron Sanchez faced off over three rounds of cooking, with Sanchez claiming victory after beating Guarnaschelli in the dessert round.
Chris Santos, Maneet Chauhan, and Geoffrey Zakarian judged their colleagues' creations, which incorporated tuna noodle casserole, Tex-Mex condiments, barbeque potato chips, and collard greens for the appetizer round; tomato soup, pulled-pork sandwich, dirty rice, and peanuts for the entree round; and cheddar biscuits, apple slices, carrot cake, and mango chutney for the dessert round. This episode has a 9.1 rating on IMDB.
7 "Tendon Intentions" (Episode 296)
Rated a 9.1 on IMDB, this episode featured an appetizer basket filled with beef tendon balls, purslane, Jerusalem artichokes, and chocolate peanut butter cups; an entree basket containing trash fish (specifically porgy or bream, which live in shallow, temperate marine waters), olive tapenade, fresh vermicelli noodles, and blood oranges; and a dessert basket containing egg custard tarts, coffee-infused tequila, caramelized onions, and pretzels.
The winner of the competition, food truck owner Robyn Almodovar of Miami, Florida, has also competed in shows like Cutthroat Kitchen and Hell's Kitchen. Geoffrey Zakarian, Amanda Freitag, and Marc Murphy served as judges for this episode.
6 "Strawberries, Turkey And Gummi Bears" (Episode 13)
Rated a 9.2 on IMDB, this first season episode featured an appetizer basket containing salmon radicchio, ginger, and strawberries; an entree basket filled with turkey breast, baby turnips, pearl onions, and coconut flakes; and a dessert basket filled with blackberries, kiwi, wonton wrappers, and gummy bears.
Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, and Aaron Sanchez served as judges. Michael Carrino, chef and owner of Restaurant Passione in Montclair, New Jersey, won the $10,000 prize. As with many of Chopped's earliest episodes, it has a straightforward title that lists some of the mystery ingredients and also varied the number of ingredients for each round.
5 "Crunch Time" (Episode 51)
Madison Cowan, a chef, and caterer at Avenue Inc. in New York emerged victorious after three rounds of competition. He created an appetizer with watermelon, sweet potatoes, knockwurst, and almond butter; an entree with skate, English cucumbers, prunes, and shredded wheat crackers; and a dessert with oranges, red miso paste, cottage cheese, and kettle-cooked potato chips.
Cowan would go on to appear on various Food Network shows such as Iron Chef America and Beat Bobby Flay as a contestant and judge. This episode is rated 9.2 on IMDB, and Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, and Marc Murphy served as judges.
4 "Chopped All-Stars: Food Network Vs. Cooking Channel" (Episode 169)
The first of five rounds, Food Network and Cooking Channel personalities went head-to-head for charity in this episode, rated a 9.2 on IMDB. Jeff Mauro and Sunny Andersen competed for Food Network, while Nadia G. and Gabrielle Corcos competed for Cooking Channel. Geoffrey Zakarian, Maneet Chauhan, and Chris Santos served as judges. The prize for winning a Chopped tournament is $50,000.
Jeff Mauro won this round after creating an appetizer with banana bread, veggie terrine, galangal, and mango juice; an entree with a rack of venison, potato pierogies, okra, and seafood pepper pot soup; and a dessert with Okinawan sweet potatoes, coconut flakes, calvados, and marshmallows.
3 "Chopped Family Thanksgiving" (Episode 266)
This episode has a 9.2 rating on IMDB and pitted some of the Chopped judges against each other in a holiday-themed competition. Maneet Chauhan, Marc Murphy, Chris Santos, and Alex Guarnaschelli competed on behalf of the charity No Kid Hungry, while Aaron Sanchez, Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Scott Conant served as judges. The mystery ingredients for the appetizer round were smoked turkey legs, hominy, cornbread, and gummy turkey feet.
The entree round featured brined turkey breast, savoy cabbage, corn casserole, and boniato sweet potatoes. The dessert round had the contestants cook with pumpkin pie flavored vodka, cranberry pie, turkey fat, and mashed potatoes. Alex Guarnaschelli bested her colleagues to win $10,000 for the charity.
2 "It's A Sibling Thing" (Season 494)
In this recent episode, rated a 9.2 on IMDB, pairs of siblings competed in Chopped's traditional three-course format. Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag, and Geoffrey Zakarian presided over the competition as judges. For the appetizer round, the contestants received a basket of jumbo shrimp, mustard greens, whipped cream, and ramen pizza. For the entree round, the basket contained goat chops, chayote squash, labneh, and cookies and cream popcorn.
The dessert round basket contained a Japanese cheesecake, rambutan, strawberry and banana juice, and fruit rings cereal. Arielle and Alfie Wayner edged out Sara and Sammy Bonic in the dessert round to win the $10,000 prize.
1 "Octopus, Duck And Animal Crackers" (Episode 1)
Finally, the very first episode of Chopped also happens to be the highest-rated on IMDB, with 9.3 stars. Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, and Aaron Sanchez served as judges for this inaugural episode. The ingredients for the appetizer round were baby octopus, bok choy, oyster sauce, and smoked paprika.
For the entree round, the contestants received a basket containing duck breast, green onions, ginger, and honey. Finally, the contestants had to incorporate prunes, animal crackers, and cream cheese into their creations for the dessert round. Sandy Davis, a catering chef at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, took home the $10,000 prize.