Chopped: Dog Food, Raw Chicken, and Tears [video]
Last night's Chopped was a monumental disaster, providing some of the most revolting and horrifying food we've ever seen. From a "vegetarian" "trio" that looked like so many lumps of dog food, to the raw chicken served to the judges, to the mangled and sad desserts — we just couldn't look away.
It's disheartening, particularly after last week's episode which we called "the best yet." The quality of the show is so completely dependent on the caliber of the contestants, and this week's episode truly calls into question Food Network's casting capabilities. Enter into the ring: Chris Coleman, a former professional boxer and private chef; Cindi Avila, a vegetarian catering manager; Robert Burmeister, a chef from Staten Island, and Lucas Manteca, an Argentinian surfer and chef.
Throughout, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Aaron Sanchez, and Chris Santos try desperately to be nice, focusing on the positives instead of the negatives. To the lumps of the tri-colored vegetarian dog food, Guarnaschelli sugars it, "The dish, presentation-wise, just wasn't an invitation to eat."
You could just sense the judges' disappointment and terror, especially when weathering potential food poisoning after one of the contestants serves them totally raw chicken. And then come the disastrous desserts. After the winner is announced, tears flow, because it turns out that the winner stayed in the US to compete on Chopped while his daughter was busy being born, in Ireland.