Many people all over the United States love the mouthwatering and intense show "Chopped”. “Chopped” is a cooking show that features four chefs from across the nation who must work with odd ingredients in order to make an appetizing dish for their judges. Once the judges tried the dishes, they would then decide on who would be executed from the next round, or in their terms, chopped. Each episode has three sessions each - going from appetizers and dinner all the way to desert.
Foods and Nutrition Teacher Shannon Foster had stumbled across the show and played it for her students frequently over the years, however this year she wanted to do something different. She wanted to do more than play an episode of the hit television show. She wanted to have a "Chopped" themed lab for her students. This way, not only would they be getting more experience in cooking, but they can also be creative and do their own dishes.
Each of the five kitchens had a representative randomly draw from a basket and pick one of the many folded pieces of paper. This piece of paper told the members what ingredients they needed to use in their dish. From there, the members of each kitchen would gather together and would research what dish they would like to make for their upcoming lab. Once they all settled on a dish that not only looked appetizing and included all of their ingredients, they copied the recipe over to a google document and shared it with Foster. This way, she would know what ingredients she would need to bring the next day, aside from anything extra her students wanted to do.
The next day, the students immediately went to work on their dishes. Due to the students having to go to class, the kitchens only had the class period in order to fix and plate their dishes. If the kitchens were not ready by the time the bell rang, they were chopped from the judging stage.
Kitchen one made kit-kat chocolate chip cookies with a white chocolate glaze. The second kitchen kept to a campfire themed dish and made a pig in a blanket with a cookie topped with melted chocolate, a strawberry, and a marshmallow. They also plated their dish with a bit of hot sauce to give the dish a bit more spark. Kitchen three made a strawberry shortcake with a hash-brown casserole. Kitchen four decided to fix a cinnamon-toast crunch truffle with chocolate on the inside, white chocolate on the outside. The last kitchen, kitchen 5, decided to make a brownie and cookie cupcake topped with melted chocolate bark and marshmallows.
As the time rapidly ticked away, the kitchen heated up along with the pressure to get all of the dishes finished. Once the time struck 11:05, the students had to place their dishes on the judging table and back away. The only kitchen that did not make it to the judging round was kitchen 5, because they did not finish their cupcakes on time. Then judges Colleen Steele, Tyler Guffey, and Montana Dishman came into the kitchen. The three teachers taste tested each of the four dishes out in front of them and also took into note the looks of each plate. They discussed their thoughts on each plate, but could only decide on one.
It was a very close match between kitchen 2 and kitchen 3, but the three judges decided that kitchen 3 was the best not only in taste, but also in looks. The kitchen celebrated their victory while eating their own creation, and helped the other kitchens clean their areas when Foster called their next period teacher to let them know of their presence.
“It was a huge success,” said Foster, “I was extremely proud of them.”
Not only was Foster very proud of her students, but her students were really happy about her decision in letting them have a “Chopped” themed cooking lab.
“I have to admit it was quite the experience. Not only did we learn more knowledge about how to cook, but we also got to be creative with the dishes we wanted to make. It was a really fun lab and I sort of hope we do another one at some point!” said Juanita Elam, one of the students in Foster’s Foods and Nutrition class.
Students not only enjoyed the competition between the kitchens, but they will be ready to master dishes on their own in the future.
(not pictured - kitchen 1) Shayda Wallen, Patricia Everheart, and Hannah Smith
(kitchen 2): Eric McCartt, Elsa Dishman, Courtney Fisher, Hermalinda Hernandez Ixcoy
(kitchen 3): Kayla VanBruggen, Makayla Hurt, Desseray Corter, Mary Tucker, Faith Kammer
(kitchen 5): Kiara West, Lindsay McClellan, Dallas Koger, Juanita Elam, Whitney Lester
Kitchen 5 completing an assignment in the foods lab
Dallas Koger melting chocolate bark
Whitney Lester helping her kitchen clean up
Eric McCartt and Elsa Dishman working on their kitchen's dish
Courtney Fisher adding marshmallows for her kitchen's dish
Shayda Wallen, Patricia Everhart, Hannah Smith
Teachers Colleen Steele, Tyler Guffey, and Montana Dishman judged the student's dishes\
Kitchen 1 made kit-kat chocolate chip cookies
Kitchen 2 made a pig in a blanket with a cookie with melted chocolate
Kitchen 3 made a strawberry shortcake with a hashbrown casserole
Kitchen 4 made a cinnamon toast crunch truffle
( not pictured: Kitchen 5 made a cookie/brownie cupcake with melted chocolate bark drizzled on top)
Each dish was judged based on taste and presentation