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?

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 following the brand-new episode on Tuesday, April 30 at 10pm/9c.

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Comments (57)

  1. Cortnie says:

    i love chopped to me some of the ingredents seem easy and i love to cook and i am onley at the age of 10

  2. Cortnie says:

    it is so NOT cool it onley shows like 3 pictures

  3. mike says:

    I kinda wish they would re-phrase the statment "and those are the reason we had to chop you" to something that sounds a little nicer like " and for those reasons we chose to chop you." this isn't a good vs bad kinda program and everyone is basically nice. just my thoughts.

  4. W.X.G. says:

    My husband and I have been addicted this show a lot. However, some of the decision made by Chopped judges are very confusing. I would like to know the reasoning behind some of their final decisions. I don't agree with the final decision they rendered as to who won in that episode "Wurst Case Scenario" aired on Aug 1, 2013, if I remember the name correctly. Chef Des should have won that episode. As Chef Geoffrey Zakarian commented, although Chef Des was very good, they still decided to chop him. That was the most ridiculous and unreasonable comment I have ever heard! This decision shall be looked into. If it was a mistake due to discrimination or prejudice, it shall be at least reversed and Chef Des shall be apologized to!

    • jessica capizzo says:

      you are ridiculous! "shall be looked into" by who? they are the judges and its stipulated in the agreement they sign that the decision of the judges is final. its a tv show get over it

  5. W.X.G. says:

    Please keep that in mind, we are all different because of our background and culture. Winning or not has nothing to do with our motives in the completion. It shall have something to do with who is the best! I want to believe that is the key guideline in any fair competition. Some people just don't want to ask for charity or hand-out even though they desperately need it. I refuse to accept the trend that giving the needy what they need is more important than awarding the hardworking and achievement. The world is being fed and pushed forward by the hardworking, ideas, and inventions.

  6. Really that is a so cooperative topic. I was very cooperative get this details and numbers. actually i am very convince get this item…

  7. M. Honer says:

    Seeing a chef cut themselves on "chopped" is not very appetizing and I have to switch off the program.
    Can't the producers edit the program or disqualify a chef who can't use a knifr safely? Good grief.

  8. Rae says:

    Chopped is the best show ever and I'm at the age of 11. I can cook stuff that students in cooking school are just now learning.

  9. PAH says:

    There seems to be too much drama attached to Chopped lately. Dead parents, being shot by robber, girls having wives, guys with guy partners, not business partners either, and the ultimate drama last night, gender change is more than I need to know on a cooking show. The guy? Last night just couldn't get enough of telling us his situation. Kinda turned my stomach and I was glad he was chopped so I could finish watching the show. I was about to chop the show. I have always enjoyed watching Chopped but I don't feel like personal drama in the contestants' lives needs to take up time on a cooking show. Food network is getting to be a soap opera.

  10. Gabriel says:

    Neat to know the pots and pans available, but a very useful one (especially under the time constraints!) is Not There!

    Why is there not a WOK?? I'd think that would certainly be available.

    They are used to stir-fry, steam food, for soup, even deep frying as well as other things. I use one all the time myself, as a cook at home. Generally they are used in making food quickly, that would be a no-brainer to have, right?

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