The Real Reason Maneet Chauhan Keeps Coming Back To Chopped

Despite the show being on TV basically 24/7, "Chopped" is great at keeping things exciting, particularly by mixing up the judges panel. The rotating cast has included celebrity guests, Food Network personalities, and a series of regulars like Maneet Chauhan, who joined "Chopped" in 2010. Since becoming a resident judge, Chauhan has written a cookbook, opened up her own restaurants, and even won Season 2 of Guy Fieri's Tournament of Champions

Yet, despite her success outside of "Chopped," Chauhan isn't planning to leave the show anytime soon, as she confirmed in an interview with ET Canada. In her words, the experience is simply "good for the soul" for anyone who loves food as much as she does. However, it's not just the food that keeps Chauhan coming back. She has been on the show for so long that she now describes her fellow judges and the production staff as her second family. A typical day filming, she says, is "like meeting over Thanksgiving, and everybody is pulling each other's leg ... You just leave the set feeling so happy."

Maneet Chauhan treats every episode as a learning experience

Though she is on the judges side of the competition (except, of course, during the episodes of "Chopped: All Stars," in which the judges compete against each other), Maneet Chauhan wholeheartedly treats the show as an opportunity to learn. She told Cosmopolitan that growing up surrounded by the rich cuisine of India allowed her to constantly try new foods and experiment with ingredients. She brought that same approach to the "Chopped" kitchen, and it's what makes working on the show such an exciting experience for her.

Chauhan also told ET that the most rewarding part of the show is when the culinary producers introduce mystery basket ingredients that she's never heard of: "What really inspires me is seeing the chefs. I'm blown away by their creativity," Chauhan shared. Between watching contestants transform ingredients, acting as a food critic, and cultivating strong relationships, Chauhan gets as much out of "Chopped" as she puts in — and that, combined with the joy of being on set, is ultimately what she says makes her excited to film episode after episode.