The Last Thing You Should Do On Chopped, According To Contestant Michael Vignola

There are a lot of things in this world we could prepare for: a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion, an asteroid hurtling thousands of miles an hour towards the earth. Next to those less likely options, practicing for our opportunity to compete on "Chopped" doesn't seem so implausible. While it's true that most of us won't get the chance to put our culinary creativity to the test on TV, it never hurts to be ready for the opportunity just in case. And, if you're one of the lucky slated to compete in front of host Ted Allen, you've come to the right place for insider information.

Michael Vignola, a contestant who competed on the 11th episode of the 5th season, shared some important details about the last thing you need to do when competing. Whether you're waiting for your chance to prove your culinary expertise, or you just want to be able to judge the competition a little better from your home, keep reading to learn about the key final step for any "Chopped" chef.

Chopped contestants should master the art of presentation

There are some basic things you could do to prepare, like mastering your techniques or practicing combining strange ingredients together, even working on time management for when you're in the arena. But, there are some lesser-considered steps to account for, too. And according to Vignola, the importance of the actual food presentation can't be overstated. According to Delish, the "Chopped" contestant told Tasting Table that one must "spend time thinking about how your dish looks" and noted that "if it doesn't look like something you'd send out in a restaurant, you shouldn't be sending it out to the judges."

When it comes to cooking, you'd think the flavor of the food is the most important. And maybe that's true to some extent. But, if it doesn't look good, who would want to eat it in the first place? Vignola suggested contestants reserve at least two minutes at the end of each challenge to plate your dish.