Cooking Competition Party: Chopped Style

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Last updated on March 21st, 2023 at 05:09 am

Cooking shows are a great source of inspiration and entertainment for a cooking competition party. One of the most popular shows amongst them is “Chopped”.

Are you thinking about having your own cooking competition party at home with your friends or family? If not, it’s time to get creative and bring the excitement to your kitchen.

We’ll explore the concept of chopped style competition and all the information you need to host a successful event.

What is a Chopped Style Cooking Competition Party?

The competition is based on the popular TV show “Chopped.” It’s a fun way to use food that you already have in your kitchen. Participants are given a basket of four ingredients chosen by the host. 

Participants are tasked with creating a dish using all of the ingredients in the basket.  Additionally, they will also have the option to use “pantry items.” The basket ingredients must be identifiable in the final dish, and the competition is timed.

Who Should Do a Chopped Style Cooking Competition Party?

  • A cooking competition party is great for a group of kids and parents.  Similarly, it would be fun for the following groups:
  • Schools, cooking schools, churches, boy/girl scouts
  • Corporate team building
  • Bachelor or Bachelorette Parties

Supplies Needed for the Competition

    • Basket: A basket with a lid is ideal, but any type of container that can be concealed until it’s time to begin the competition will do. Therefore, the basket should be large enough to fit all four ingredients comfortably.
    • Plates: A variety of plate sizes or colors, bowls, soufflé cups.
    • Cooking utensils: spatulas, cooking spoons, rubber spatulas.
    • Mixing bowls, cutting boards, knives, tasting utensils.
    • Pots, pans, baking sheets, cookie sheets.

Types of Secret Ingredients for the Basket

When choosing ingredients for the basket, consider the following factors:

    • The type of meal focus: breakfast, appetizer, dessert, main dish.
    • The theme of the meal: Is there a theme for your party or gathering?
    • What’s on hand in your refrigerator and pantry? For example, is there a half bag of spinach that will need to be used? Likewise, is there an opened bag of mini marshmallows in the pantry?
    • Food allergies: Make sure to consider if any of your guests have food allergies.
    • A tricky ingredient: All of the basket items don’t have to go together in a typical dish.  This will allow for creativity and thought. For example, throwing in a can of beans in a dessert basket.

Pantry Rule of Thumb

Before beginning the competition, assign a designated person to distribute the pantry items.  Have small cups or saucers in the area to divvy up the items. This will help avoid anyone putting too much of an item into their dish.  Furthermore, the designated person will also reduce monitor to reduce waste and contamination of any item.

Types of Pantry Items in a chopped style cooking competition party.

The pantry items are just as important as the basket ingredients. They provide additional ingredients that the contestants can use to add flavor and texture to their dishes.

    • Spices and seasonings: If the secret basket leans toward a savory dish, a variety of spices and seasonings is a great idea.
    • Sugar, honey, syrup: If the secret basket ingredients are more toward the dessert area, these can be handy
    • Flour, corn starch, vegetable oil
    • Cold items: eggs, butter, mayo
    • The pantry items really depend on what would compliment the basket items.

In addition, Make a list of the supplies and groceries you will need and cross them off as you collect them. This will ensure that you don’t forget any important items. You can also adjust the list based on your group’s needs and preferences.

Selecting the Basket Ingredients for Cooking Competition Party

When selecting your basket ingredients, think about the theme of your competition and the type of meal you want to focus on.

For example, if you’re having a breakfast competition, you may want to include ingredients such as eggs, bacon, cheese, and bread. On the contrary, for a dessert competition, you may want to include ingredients such as chocolate, fruit, cake, and cream.

Be creative with your basket ingredients, and consider adding a tricky ingredient to add an extra level of challenge.

Cooking Equipment for the Cooking Competition Party

When it comes to the cooking equipment, you want to make sure that you have the basic supplies such as plates, bowls, and cookware. A variety of plate sizes and colors can add an extra level of fun to the competition, and soufflé cups can be used for individual portions.

Make sure to have a variety of cooking utensils.  This may include spatulas, cooking spoons, and rubber spatulas, as well as cutting boards, knives, and tasting utensils.

Safety Rules for the Competition

Safety is the most important part of the competition.  Guidelines in relation to knife usage, stove and hot surfaces, and sanitation should be given to all participants prior to the competition. 

Protective equipment, for example, aprons, oven mitts, cutting gloves, should be made available.  In addition, a handwashing station with soap and towels should also be available. 

Participants: Less is More

When it comes to a cooking competition party, keep the guest list small for the cooking participants.  An over crowded cooking station is not fun to work in and can be dangerous.  The size of the guest list depends on the number of cooking stations and the size of the room.

When the Competition Begins

Give each contestant a basket of ingredients and the pantry items, and set the timer.

They will have a certain amount of time to create a dish using all of the basket ingredients and pantry items. Once the time is up, the dishes will be presented to the judges.  Judges will taste each dish and determine a winner based on taste, creativity, and presentation.

Cooking Competition Party Tip

Have some appetizers prepared for guests to eat after the competition.  The finished product from the teams is often not enough to satiate the guests.  However, after judging, final dishes can be displayed for sampling and bragging rights.

The key to a successful cooking competition is to have fun and enjoy the excitement of cooking with others.

Note:  This blog article is in no way connected to the Food Network or its show Chopped or Chopped Junior.  This article is for fans of the show that would like to recreate their own competition.  Ultimately, having fun in the comfort of their own kitchen.  This also can be a budget friendly way to have a party or competition.

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