The Real Reason Geoffrey Zakarian Uses Chopsticks On The Set Of Chopped

If you like the Food Network, then there's a good chance that you've seen "Chopped," their long-running cooking competition. After all, the franchise launched in the mid-2000s, and there are more than 600 episodes of the original "Chopped" series, according to IMDb, not to mention spin-offs like "Chopped Junior" and "Chopped 420." The basic premise of the show is that four chefs compete in three rounds of cooking using mystery ingredients from a secret basket, with their dishes being critiqued by a trio of judges. One of those deciders is Geoffrey Zakarian, who has appeared on numerous episodes of "Chopped." That means that he's eaten a lot of different meals, and had to judge a lot of different ingredients.

The restaurateur, co-host of "The Kitchen," "Iron Chef" competitor, and fitness fiend clearly knows a thing about cooking and eating. So when "Chopped" fans noticed that Zakarian often eats the dishes he's judging with chopsticks instead of a fork, they had questions. Luckily, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, Zakarian's "The Kitchen" co-host and fellow "Chopped" judge, finally got the answer to the question fans had been dying to know: "Everyone wants to know why you eat with chopsticks," Guarnaschelli told Zakarian on TikTok, and he finally shared his reasoning.

Chopsticks help him be a better judge

Fans of Geoffrey Zakarian might not be too surprised to hear that his utensils of choice serve a practical, rather than whimsical purpose. "Well, I think it's easier to pick the ingredients in the basket one by one, and analyze them ... which is what we do," he answered (via TikTok). Zakarian isn't the only person to hold this opinion. While diners who grew up using forks to eat might find the decision to eat with chopsticks confusing, one Redditor summed up the benefits of eating with chopsticks thusly: "A fork is literally just a 3 pronged stick. A chopstick is akin to two fingers that can manipulate food with much more grace and efficiency."

Zakarian isn't alone. Martha Stewart also used chopsticks when she was a judge on "Chopped," and some fans even theorize that Zakarian learned the trick from Stewart. Others find the behavior annoying, especially when Zakarian uses chopsticks to eat food that was clearly meant to be picked up and eaten at once, like a taco. Still, it seems like the celebrity chef truly values precision when it comes to everything in the kitchen, from cooking to judging, so don't be shocked if he continues to use chopsticks on "Chopped."