Photo Tour: Behind the Scenes of the Chopped Kitchen

by in Shows, April 26th, 2013

Food Network's Chopped KitchenWhen it comes to cooking on Chopped, much is made of each round’s mystery baskets, filled with four unusual and often disparate ingredients that chefs are required to incorporate into their dishes. While these oddball picks are, of course, what add deliciously addictive intrigue and drama to the show, it takes more than just a spread of peanut brittle, Marsala wine, durian and wonton wrappers to outcook the chopping block. If the competitors want to survive three rounds of intense culinary battle, they must utilize next-level appliances and advanced tools, in addition to a myriad of common and eccentric products alike, to transform the basket ingredients and create a winning plate.

To make sure competitors can do that as efficiently as possible within the short amount of time they have to cook, the culinary team that works Chopped has outfitted each chef’s prep station with ready-to-go equipment and stocked the pantry and refrigerator with almost every ingredient imaginable. FN Dish was curious about those supplies and wanted to know what kinds of ingredients are awaiting the chefs in the multiple nooks and crannies of Chopped Kitchen, so we turned to the culinary producer of the show to answer questions and provide an insider’s look at the set. Find out what she had to say below, then get an exclusive look at the kitchen, peek inside the refrigerator and see what’s on pantry shelves by browsing behind-the-scenes photos.

About how many ingredients are stocked in the pantry and refrigerator?
About 70 in fridge and about 200 in pantry

Food Network's Chopped Kitchen

What pans, tools and equipment come standard on each chef’s workstation?
Under the station: 4 saute pans, 1 stock pot, 3 saucepans, 1 sautoir pan, 3 mixing bowls, a cutting board and paper towels

Top of station: Cutting boards, wine key, Y peeler, meat thermometer, utensil bin, plating spoon and tasting spoon, 2 side towels, pepper grinder, kosher salt, ground pepper, extra virgin olive oil and canola oil

What kinds of oils, vinegars, flours, nuts and chocolates are in the pantry?
Oils: Sesame, roasted peanut, peanut, grapeseed, extra virgin olive oil and canola
Vinegars: Mirin, white wine, red wine, balsamic, sherry, Champagne, cider and rice
Nuts: Almonds and pine nuts
Flours: All-purpose, gluten-free all-purpose, rice and almond
Chocolate: Milk, dark, white, cocoa powder and cocoa nibs

Do the pantry ingredients change depending on the basket ingredients?
No

What are some of the most-used ingredients?
Bacon, bacon, bacon!

What are some of the least-used ingredients?
Molecular products

What’s in the “molecular section” of the pantry?
Sodium alginate, calcium chloride, agar agar, isomalt, xanthum gum and tapioca maltodextrin

Food Network's Chopped KitchenWhat are the most-modernist appliances available on set?
Anti-griddle, Cryovac, immersion circulator and smoking gun

Do the competitors bring their own knives to use, or are knives supplied?
We ask them to bring their own — most chefs want to. Only seven are allowed.

Where’s the most-remote place you’ve gone to source an ingredient? What was the ingredient?
Wandering the streets of Jackson Heights, N.Y., searching for goat brains.

Is anything set up for the chefs before the rounds begin? It looks like there are already pots heating on the stove and water boiling.
Ovens and blast chiller is on; water is boiling.

Tune in to round 4 of Chopped All-Stars on Sunday, April 28 at 9pm/8c, and don’t miss Chopped After Hours on FoodNetwork.com/Chopped following the brand-new episode on Tuesday, April 30 at 10pm/9c.

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Comments (57)

  1. Guest says:

    I love trying to spy the camera guys.

    I wish the lady East Indian (?) chef would stop saying, "I wish….."

    My absolute favorite show!

  2. Michele Deo says:

    Ok, I know for legal reasons you can't show any of the brand names in any of the show unless they are the host's line, so I'm asking if you can provide to me the brand name of the pots and pans used in the Chopped and Good Eats kitchens. They are the sauce', fry pans and pots that are brushed silver on the outside and shiny silver inside. I'm trying to get my kitchen stocked with the right equipment so that as Iearn to cook better that I gift myself with the right equipment. I'm 52 trying to reach through watching the shows how to cook healthier and better. My mother never taught me to cook, she was quick to cook out of the box.

  3. metalmonday10 says:

    Does anyone have a link to a complete list of the items in the pantry? My friends and I want to have a Chopped competition, and I want to know exactly what things are in the kitchen.

  4. I love the show so I enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes shots and narrative!

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