Why Maneet Chauhan Loves Being A Chopped Judge

Celebrity chef and queen of bling Maneet Chauhan became a judge on "Chopped" in 2010 (via Cosmopolitan). She started her culinary career at 18-years-old as an intern at hotels in India and her hard work, dedication, and knowledge of Indian cuisine led her to best nearly 40 male chefs in the running for the executive chef position at Vermillion in Chicago in 2003. Her competitive badassery doesn't stop there, as she also made history on "Iron Chef" as the first Indian woman to battle it out in Kitchen Stadium in 2010 against Chef Morimoto (via Food Network).

Even though she lost the battle, Chauhan told Cosmopolitan, "I guess they saw something they liked [on that episode] and they invited me to compete on 'The Next Iron Chef' [in 2010]. From there, they invited me to be a guest judge on 'Chopped' and then a permanent judge on 'Chopped.'" From her fun behind-the-scenes footage on social media, like this Beyoncé "drop it" challenge she posted recently on Instagram, it's clear that she still has fun as a judge, but Food Network dug a little deeper to find out what Chauhan specifically enjoys about the role.

She loves when people tell her about the show's positive impact on them

"Chopped" has been on Food Network since 2009 and has filmed over 45 seasons, easily developing a cult following of food and drama-obsessed fans (via Insider). Since the series is so popular, it's no surprise that fans approach Maneet Chauhan while she's going about her daily life, like one time at Starbucks when she was ordering coffee, and ask her about the show. Instead of brushing them off like you might expect from a celebrity chef of her caliber, she engages in conversation with them. "It's amazing to see how people are being affected, that they go and try ingredients, they try the cooking techniques based on seeing [the show]," Chauhan told Food Network.

In addition to helping others try new things in the kitchen, Chauhan explained to Parade that the competition has added items to her own ingredient repertoire that she may not have been exposed to otherwise. There's also the added bonus of hanging out with the fellow judges and crew. She told Parade that while she has the option to spend her lunch break in peace in her green room, she chooses to spend time with the cast and production team. We like to imagine that she pitches ideas for her hilarious memes and videos on her Instagram page during these lunches.