And that is, do you instruct the judges to be so bitter and critical, or did you just choose judges that you thought would fit that bill? The show, in its second season, is becoming more unwatchable by the episode, and not because the tempo of the show creates pressure that occasionally causes a contestant to slice off a fingertip or serve raw poultry and fish bones. It’s because of those judges–the likes of Alex Guarnaschelli, Aaron Sanchez, Amanda Freitag, and Geoffrey Zakarian–who sit on their high horse and just rip these poor chefs to shreds.
If you haven’t seen the show, let me give you a brief synopsis. Host Ted Allen (who is the show’s lone bright spot) introduces four chefs, who are usually restaurant owners, head chefs, or seasoned sous chefs, who will go head-to-head in a competition of three rounds. Each round, they are given a basket of mystery ingredients–ingredients that usually do not go together, maybe like duck breast, avocado, maple syrup and passion fruit. They have to create an appetizer, main course and dessert–but after each round, one contestant is “chopped,” or eliminated, until the dessert round pits the two remaining chefs, who square off for a $10,000 prize.