The One Thing Chefs Can Bring With Them On Chopped

Any kind of competition can be nerve-racking, especially when it's being filmed for national television. But what makes it so much more brutal for the chef contestants on Food Network's Chopped? Anyone who has ever tried cooking with someone else's pots and pans knows it's like running with someone else's shoes on. Insider's piece on surprising Chopped facts details a number of tidbits that normal viewers may have never thought of, but one piece of true insider information that may surprise you is that the contestants are only allowed to bring one thing with them.

As Insider reveals, Chopped contestants can bring their own knives with them — as many as seven knives, to be exact. According to Huffpost, the kitchen knife is most instrumental tool for a chef. It is crucial to, literally, shaping whatever your kitchen creation will be, hence it being such a personal matter. The feel, size, shape, and type of steel used to make the knife are all important factors in what is essentially an extension of a chef's body. So when going up against mystery ingredients in a kitchen war situation, Chopped's chefs were, at least, able to brandish a familiar blade.

The inner workings of the Chopped kitchen

In an interview with The AV Club, Chopped finalist Josh Lewis delved into just what the experience was like competing on a show like Chopped. Though the only personal equipment you're allowed to bring along is your knives, the show is looking for much more than that as far as the personal angle. Josh Lewis describes having applied to participate on the shows years before he ever got on. In fact, he had to send in a lot more than your typical CV. The show requests everything from a background story to photographs, as producers are constantly trying to find an angle for every chef that will really hit home with audiences. In Lewis's case, it was his anxiety problems.

Having anxiety issues probably isn't the easiest thing to deal with in the Chopped kitchen. You're racing against the clock, competing against fellow chefs with unknown ingredients before a panel of judges, which is exactly what made Josh Lewis so interested in participating in the first place. Though he wasn't able to win it, Lewis was certainly able to overcome those issues that plagued him in the past before being chopped in the final. Chopped with his own knives.