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Is Food Network's Chopped a Ripoff of Top Chef?

Is Food Network's Chopped a Ripoff of Top Chef?

If you watch Food Network on a regular basis, you must know — by the bombardment of promotional commercials — about its new culinary competition, Chopped.

The show, which is described as a series that "challenges four up-and-coming chefs to turn a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal. After each course, a contestant gets 'chopped' until the last man or woman left standing claims victory," is hosted by former Top Chef judge, Ted Allen. Although Chopped does not air until Tuesday, Jan. 13 (at 10 p.m.), many feel the show is a complete ripoff of Top Chef.

After watching the promo video, Eat Me Daily declared that "Food Network is totally trying to mimic Top Chef's more professional veneer, especially in the light of the more amateurish low-budget feel of the Next Food Network Star."

Spurred by the Internet's backlash against Chopped, Ted Allen has taken to his blog to defend the series. To find out what he had to say,


Following a long, detailed description of each episode Allen states:

There also is a culinary straightforwardness about this show that I find really satisfying, and particularly appropriate for a company called Food Network. There is no sleep deprivation, no "Big Brother" house full of bunk beds and cameras, no booze-fueled personal drama (as much as we all love the brainwashing and catfights on that certain show I used to judge). There are no team or catering challenges. Best of all, there is no product placement, so you never see passionate lovers of good food being forced to use packaged convenience junk thanks to Kraft/Altria/Exxon's sponsorship.

I'll admit when I first heard about the show, I wondered if it would be too similar to Top Chef. What do you think about the competition's resemblance? Is Chopped a cheap, made-for-the-masses knockoff?

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