Chopped: Food Network Star Edition

by in Shows, July 22nd, 2012

chopped food network star edition
Before tuning into the much-anticipated finale of Food Network Star tonight at 9/8c to find out which contestant — Ivan, Michele, Martie or Justin — will finally have their culinary dreams realized, watch a special episode of Chopped airing at 8/7c. Watch as past FN Star winners Jeff Mauro, Melissa d’Arabian, Aarti Sequeira and Amy Finley face the dreaded chopping block, judged by this year’s Star mentors Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown. With unusual ingredients, you can certainly expect the unexpected from this showdown.

While Aarti has competed on Chopped once before, this will be Melissa’s and Jeff’s first time each on the show. “Food Network Star was still pretty fresh in my mind and I was anxious about doing another food competition,” Jeff says of being a contestant on Chopped. Jeff and Melissa both agree their first experience on the show was extremely stressful. “No matter who you’re up against in the Chopped kitchen, chances are you’re most likely battling yourself,” Jeff says. “We had a ton of fun and laughs during the process, though!” Aarti says that being on Chopped once before helped shape her mentality going into the show the second time around: “The last time I competed on Chopped, frankly I was so terrified of the whole thing that I couldn’t focus! This time, I decided to leave my ego at the door.”

Each of the stars will compete to win $10,000 for a charity of his or her choice. Jeff chose Opportunity Knocks, a local charity based in his neighborhood in Chicago. Aarti will compete on behalf of Central City Community Outreach, a charity whose mission is to influence and empower the lives of children, adults and families from Central City East (Skid Row) in Los Angeles. Melissa, who is competing for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says her organization is particularly close to her, as she lost her mother to suicide at a young age. “For me, it’s all about awareness,” she says. “I want people to know that there’s a resource out there for them.”

Tune in for a Star-packed Sunday starting at 8/7c with Chopped: Food Network Star Edition and the season eight Food Network Star finale back-to-back.

Tell us: Which former Food Network Star are you rooting for on Chopped?

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Comments (68)

  1. Reality Check says:

    Ann won but she never had a show beyond her pilot (which was terrible). Why she would be considered an all-star is ridiculous.

    • Keith says:

      Ted said she turned down the series because of a family situation. They had to get four people from somewhere. Guy is to much of a celeb to do chopped plus it woudl be embarrasing when he was sent out the door. Maybe this lady is one of the few remaining past winners that would agree to be on the show. FN is canceling all the real cooking shows left and right.

    • Keith says:

      the show was featuring prior winners of next food network star. Not necessarily all-stars

  2. ProTipoftheDay says:

    Why does this article go out of its way to avoid mentioning Amy more than necessary? Seriously, delete the second sentence of it, and you'd swear this was an article about THREE former winners competing. I'm assuming it's due to some sort of behind-the-scenes drama, or FN is still just upset that she quit her show so quickly. (But if so, why have her back at all?)

  3. Reuben says:

    Rooting for Jeff!

  4. Keith says:

    sandwich king = hit tv show???? really? when is it on the air?

    where is the " big daddy's house" host? wasn't he a previous NFNS winner?

  5. unknown says:

    What is wrong with Giada? When she first started out she was so likeable. Now she comes off as very uppity and biatchy. I miss the old Giada……

    • ciableu says:

      I agree, this is why I was commenting…. I think Giada had it in for Melissa from the beginning for no good reason…I used to watch Giada sometime…notice I didn't say I liked Giada, just watched….but she was so biatchy and nasty on Chopped I will not watch her anymore…she was awful on Chopped. and Melissa, don't pay any attention to her.

      • Arlene says:

        So I wasn't the only one who saw that from Giada.. She did have attitude towards Melissa. If her looks could kill everyone would be D—-. She cooks with a ton of salt and lemon. I tried her dressing once and chocked on it… I will never buy any of her products…She said she almost broke a tooth. sure…. If you watch Giada she is always biting down on something very hard… there's the real liar…

    • onecowboyup says:

      Giada is FAKE…phony……I USED to be a fan…..melissa got ripped off

    • Guest says:

      Giada STINKS as a cook and a judge. She is definietly NOT a chef! Careful Giada, don't taste or eat anything, you might gain an ounce. Wonder how you ever got a job on Food Network, but I don't have to wonder to much. You have gotten too big for your britches…..and your tops!

  6. rmf1963 says:

    What a disaster of a show. Could be the worst ever. The 4 "stars" came up with some of the worst dishes I have ever seen. They (and Food Network Star) should truly be embarrassed. Another example of a good thing going beyond what they should. Back to basics people.

  7. M Taylor says:

    I'm not watching Chopped again. They are racist. When a white gentleman and a white woman is up against any minority, look who wins! Tonight's show, the man was gone first, then 2 women…who was left? Whatever nationality she was…not white!

    • dessertgirl says:

      Both Amy and Aarti went to culinary school. Melissa can't even hold a knife properly and her table manners are atrocious. Her kids will suffer as Melissa tries to make up for her mother's suicide.

  8. Gram says:

    re: Chopped
    I think Giada had Melissa in her sites from the beginning of the show. Melissa may be a threat to her. Giada has a huge ego problem, as well as a confidence problem. Her attitude is a shame, because some of her recipes are good. I just can't watch her show.

    • ciableu says:


    • onecowboyup says:

      I agree……..Giada…….what a B**ch :-(

    • Shannon says:

      I think that she showed the true Giada, not the faker than fake smiles she obviously plasters on for her show.

    • Keith says:

      Agree, i noticed those daggers in her eyes! Not very endearing.

    • Sue says:

      I picked up on this as well and it's not the first time I have felt Giada has slighted Melissa.

    • dessertgirl says:

      Oh, come on! Melissa wants to copy Giada, Ina, Martha and every other chef. Melissa is the master of collecting recipes from other chefs and not giving credit to ideas she presents as her own. How many years of Gourmet magazine do you have Meiissa? I bet you didn't think the rest of us had the one from 2005 where you made you dishes in a mason jar. Melissa can't hold a candle to the ease of Ina, Giada or any of the others. Why do you always see her kids with pacifiers in their mouths? Because mommy is too busy chasing stardom to take care of them and LISTEN to them.

      • Reuben says:

        I have to agree. Nothing original. Saw her 1st episode of her new season and her recipe for tortillas was pathetic. Who wants to take the time to hand roll with a rolling pin 20 flour tortillas? Her recipe was not athentic and why not buy one of the tortilla presses that I see Mexican ladies using all the time in Mexican restaurants to save time?????? Melissa does not have the culinary skills and she never mentions Texas. She says she grew up in New Mexico now. So which is it Melissa. Very big on Texas when in the competition and now it's like she's too good to say she ever had anything to do with Texas.

  9. Chuck says:

    What a terrible decision on the part of all judges. I know bones in fish and seeds in sauce are bad, but raw chicken is the worst. Arti should have never made it to the final. Then she just poured cereal out of the box, added a sauce, baked it in paper containers???? which let it dry out, and poured a horrible looking green pea sauce over the top. It was dry and falling out of the bottom of the box and she won???? This Chopped was the worst show I have ever seen — a true dissappointment.

  10. Michele says:

    I am disappointed to see that all the other stars charities were listed in this article with a link. Not only did the chef strive to win they worked toward awareness of carcinoid cancer. Normally when there is an all star show you can find out more information about their charities by going to I feel like the Lois Merrill foundation was dismissed as not important. As a victim of carcinoid cancer I am greatly dismayed.

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