We have secured another interview with a judge from Food Network’s hit show, “Chopped.” Amanda Freitag, who is a frequent judge on the show, is one of the judges for the current round of “Chopped Champions,” which began last Tuesday. The show, which pits winners of the regular show from the past few seasons, continues tonight and the five-week event concludes September 28 with a finale of the previous four winners. Anyway, here is our chat with Amanda Freitag:
Premium Hollywood: So what did you notice about the level of skill from the chefs in the “Chopped Champions” round as opposed to just the show “Chopped?”
Amanda Freitag: I noticed that the food was much more complex and the flavors were at a higher level.
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Alex Guarnaschelli has become ubiquitous on Food Network lately, first on “Chopped” as a frequent judge, and now on her own show, “Alex’s Day Off,” which airs Sunday mornings at 9:30 am ET/PT. The premise of her new show is showing how a working mom, restauranteur and TV personality can juggle all of that and still cook great meals at home.
But our questions focused on Alex regarding her role as a judge on “Chopped.” A few months ago, we published a post asking the producers of the show why the judges have to be so angry and tough on the contestants, and it spawned a lot of comments from viewers who also felt the judges were too harsh. So we had the opportunity to ask Alex about the show–and in particular if the harsh criticism is real or fabricated by producers……
Premium Hollywood: I think I speak for anyone who has watched “Chopped”….are you guys told by the producers to be as harsh as you are to the contestants, or is that how you want to come across?
Alex Guarnaschelli: The producers don’t tell us how to act. We talk a lot, we deliberate, we argue, we struggle with what some contestants make, we wish everyone could be a winner, we sympathize with how the contestants feel, we sweat along with them, because we know how hard it is to compete under such pressure. Sometimes, I may have spoken 10 minutes with someone about their dish and had it edited down to a facial expression due to time. That can be hard to watch! I also think we use a lot of “chef speak”. We speak to each other as we would in the kitchen.
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