Preparation for "Chopped" Challenge

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by chefboyarelee, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. chefboyarelee

    chefboyarelee

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Chef
    Hello Chefs, I have a reasonable idea of how I want to approach and "train" for this event but I would love to hear from some of you regarding how you would go about "training" for an event such as this.

    The basic format I believe will be open pantry and 1 main mystery item to be highlighted in an app, entree, and possibly dessert. Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated.
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    205
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    I think you need to consider the various concepts. You describe more of a Beat Bobby or Hells Kitchen format. Chopped format may be challenging in a different way since there are more mandatory ingredients.

    Whichever you focus on, it seems to me that the aspects to really master is time pressure and completely unforgiving evaluation. Make sure that your trials feature both. It may be especially difficult to find the unforgiving judges.

    Good luck on your training and any competition you do!
     
  3. sgmchef

    sgmchef

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    38
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    After watching a bunch of "Chopped" I noticed a few common things that seem to routinely adversely impact the competing Chefs.

    1. Not starting with the component that takes the longest. Like undercooked pasta, potatoes, or rice. Bye-bye
    2. Leaving things too large to cook with limited time. Searing and oven roasting that 8 oz Moose filet is delicious but not if you don't have time! Try 2-4oz tournedos. Same for veggies, thinner/smaller pieces cook faster. This is too raw/undercooked. Bye-bye
    3. Seasoning awareness costs a lot of contestants. Too salty, under seasoned, no acid, or too much acid, etc. Bye-bye
    4. Wasting limited time making ten times what you need. Don't make a quart if you are only going to drizzle or smear a sauce. Ask yourself, Do I really need to peel and trim another vegetable for what I need for this dish?
    5. Not actually featuring the mandatory ingredient has also hurt some. Bye-bye
    6. One chef to another, try to memorize some basic dessert recipes like Sugar cookies, Genoise, Mousse. So you can focus on how to make dried smoked shrimp into a dessert! (Good luck!)
    I think these things are mostly mental gymnastics. All competitors can grill, chop, etc. so I would probably focus on the longest list of ingredients I can find, and think what could I do to feature that ingredient. You may or may not get ANY of those items but maybe the mystery ingredient has similar texture, cooking properties or flavor to something I did think about.

    Hopefully someone can give you a better answer.

    Good Luck!
     
    dectra, redbeerd cantu and drirene like this.
  4. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    32
    Exp:
    St. Philip's College Culinary Arts (AAS, Cum Laude), International Kitchens
    Perfect answer.

    I am trained and experienced in desserts and pastries, but I couldn't make you ANYTHING right now if you held out a stack of cash. My disinterest in learning has put me in a position of not being able to compete on this type of contest. I don't like the time and precision required of excellent deserts, so my dreams of winning a TV contest have been dashed...by myself.
     
  5. sgmchef

    sgmchef

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    38
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Hey chefboyarelee,

    I got the impression you practicing for a local contest not the TV show? Was I wrong?
     
  6. capecodchef

    capecodchef

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    34
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Two words....Microwaved Cake.


    Good luck!