If you are a fan of the Food Network, chances are you’ve seen Chopped.
This is how the show works: Four chefs face off against each other. Each of the competitors is given a basket with four ingredients that have to be used in the dish that chef creates. The hook? The four ingredients don’t really go well together. The chef has to find a way to make it work.
Imagine this (and this is from an actual episode): Having to make a dish that incorporates lump crab meat, dried shiitake mushrooms, pink grapefruit and bran cereal.
Now, well-known Edmonton personal chef and caterer Andrew Parker is bringing the Chopped idea to the city. Using the kitchens at Ronald McDonald House, Parker is recruiting three chefs to face off in a Chopped-style competition. Fans can go to the Parker's Facebook page to vote for the ingredients they want to see in the boxes when the chefs square off on Oct. 17.
There will be two courses, a main and a dessert.
And the panel of judges will include me (Avenue’s Steven Sandor) and a child from RMH.
It’s not the first time Parker has brought a food-television concept to the House. He’s also done an Iron Chef showdown, where he squared off against Richard Toll in a culinary battle based on the famed Japanese cooking show. The secret ingredient? Basil.
And the food won’t be consumed only by foodies. The Chopped event will be part of RMH’s Home For Dinner, where kids receiving treatment and their families can retire after a long day — usually spent at the hospital — with a warm meal cooked by volunteers.
“The goal is to get Home For Dinner going 365 days a year,” says Parker.
So, it’s time to get voting. Remember, I have to taste this stuff. Please, please, please, no raisins — anything but raisins!