Everyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Food Network’s Chopped! I never miss a show. The show fascinates me, but not just because these amazing chefs are cooking such appetizing meals out of the most unusual ingredients, but also because the character of the chef tends to shine when under pressure. Since I read people and help them be successful for a living, the social aspects of a show like this draws me in hook, line and sinker.
During an episode of Chopped, four chefs are challenged with cooking a meal out from an unknown basket of extremely diverse ingredients within a very adventurous timeframe. After each course (appetizer, entrée and dessert), one is eliminated. In some dishes the elements just don’t come together into a cohesive dish. In others, a basket ingredient might have been forgotten. But in my opinion, the most common reason is that a chef is eliminated is that their ego got in the way of their success. Their true character comes out when put under that kind of stress. In my observations, the overtly cocky ones never win. Does the network do this by design? Who knows, but I have to say it might be a genius way for them to find their next, most appealing stars!
Let’s take two of my very favorite up and coming chef personalities, Madison Cowan and Michele Ragussis. What do they have in common? They both are creative, fabulous chefs. They both are up and coming stars. And they both won Chopped. What sets them apart from the rest of the chefs out there aspiring to become part of the family of chef stars? The answer is simple – humble charisma. They are confident in their abilities yet they don’t come off as arrogant. They are easy going and put a viewer at ease. They have the keen ability to make a viewer want to hang out with them and be buds! This is a gift that no normal interview pulls out of a candidate.
Since his first episode of Chopped, Madison Cowan has gone on to become the first ever Chopped Grand Champion. He was a victor on Iron Chef America and he now stars on BBC America’s No Kitchen Required. Shortly after Michele kicked some Chopped butt, she was casted on Food Network’s Food Network Star! It seems as if Chopped has found a way to interview their next food personality without even knowing it. I am huge fans of these two and follow their success and it all started from Chopped. Chopped has become the stepping stone for chefs to take their career to the next level. What a great concept!
Chopped airs on Food Network TV on Tuesdays 10p.m./9c.
Following Michele Ragussis:
- Twitter @mragussis
- Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/michele.ragussis.9.
- Michele is currently a contestant on Food Network Star Sundays 9:00 p.m./8c.
Following Madison Cowan:
- Twitter @Madisons_Ave
- Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/MadisonCowan.
- Madison is currently a chef on BBC America’s No Kitchen Required. The first season wrapped up May 29th, 2012.