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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?

Source, Source

aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Imitation is the biggest form of flattery. I doubt this cp=opy cat show will live up to Top Chef, just my .02
lady_jade lady_jade 8 years
Hmm well the food network lost me a long time ago, but I'll give this show a chance, because I adore Ted Allen.
htking htking 8 years
While it does seem eerily similar, it seems like they have tried to differentiate it a bit. That being said, however, I feel like the past couple years of Food Network has just been them trying to find success by basing new shows off others that seemingly work well. Their new show coming up with the 2nd place winner of this past season's food network star seems like a food based version of "Dirty Jobs" from the commercials. It's almost as if they're too scared to try to come up with innovative ideas themselves....
sparklemeetspop sparklemeetspop 8 years
Ted Allen got his start on Queer Eye way before Top Chef. So I don't think he owes them all that much. But I don't think he's been on Top Chef recently, so maybe he's bitter about some contract negotiations? After his explanation, it doesn't sound like a direct ripoff, but the appearance of the knife in the logo doesn't help things, as knives play a large part in Top Chef. Maybe they could have called it blended, and a losing judge's picture went along with his/her failed dish in a blender, and then dumped in a trough or something. :)
yummyboo2 yummyboo2 8 years
I had to come out of lurking for this one. First, Chopped does look like a feeble attempt at Top chef; but I will give it to Food Network, they do know their audience and who they want to attract as their audience. Second, I'm appalled and disappointed in Ted's comments. He's, of course, entitled to state anything he wants, but I think it was over the top and a bit like biting the hand that fed you. Let's be real, Top Chef is what made Ted Allen relevant so that he could NOW host two Food Network shows. I don't think Food Network (anybody for that matter) was beating down his door after 'Queer Eye'. I guess I'm of the school of thought that "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Finally, these type of "challenge" shows are the reason I've stopped watching "Food Network in Primetime". Just about every show Monday-Sunday after 7 pm ET/6 pm CT, with the exception of Good Eats, is a a challenge show; but like I said w/my first point, Food Network knows its audience and knows who they want to attract in these time slots. Rant over and I resume back to lurking.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
Sure, but there is plenty of room for shows like this! And I love what Ted Allen says about Top Chef and product placement...put it in your glad press and seal packages and use your swanson chicken broth. Ewww also get rid of Rocco DiSpirito challenges completely!
mom2ross mom2ross 8 years
I'll watch just because it's one challenge at a time. There is no 13 weeks until a winner, no elimination "drama", no week after week of competition. It's just three chefs, each getting the same odd ingedients - and a winner is chosen. Done, finished, over. I think this idea is great. It's like "Top Chef" for people with ADD. :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
my mom actually mentioned this show to me a few weeks ago and said that it was like top chef but i was watching the commercials for it and i don't really get that sense. granted it doesn't really look that exciting to me since it kind of looks like guy's challenge show - but i guess the FN needs to do something to get in on the reality stuff.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Dang... sorry for the double post.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Although it will be hard to tell until the show really airs, I say yes. I saw the previews for Chopped the other day on Food Network and the first thing that popped into my head was Top Chef. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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