Manit Chauhan talks the ins and outs of Food Network’s new show “Chopped: Desperately Looking for a Sous Chef”

The successful cooking competition series Chopped takes the competition to a new level by searching for someone to join a judging company.

Chopped: Desperately Looking for a Chef’s Assistant will bring chefs face to face to see who becomes the next chef for Manette Chauhan, Scott Conant or Chris Santos in a five-part tournament. Hosted by Ted Allen, the tournament is all too familiar at first as chefs compete in a “chopped” style competition with obscure basket ingredients. However, in addition to judging their culinary skills, judges also assess competitors’ attitudes, leadership, and ability to multitask on the job.

“[Chopped] It all boils down to the end of the day, our decision always comes down to the plate, the food. It’s not the person, it’s not the story, and that’s something we’ve done over the years,” Chauhan said. “This time, as we are looking at someone joining our work family, the most important thing for us was to talk to these chefs to find out how they behave in the kitchen, what their attitude is and how they communicate with us and our organization. He took this ‘chopped’ to the next level. Not only does the food have to be amazing at the required time with all the challenging ingredients, but also how they are presented in front of us and how they behave in the kitchen.”

At the end of the competition, the winner will be crowned the Grand Champion and receive a job offer from Chauhan, Conant or Santos to join their restaurants as Assistant Chef. At this point, the judges have to sell why joining their team is the best option for the winner.

“It’s interesting because that’s what the interview process is all about. It’s not just about the candidate selling themselves, but also the interviewers selling ourselves,” Chauhan said. Along the way we are the best company and the best people for them to join.”

For Chauhan, she is looking for someone who is looking for a position they can do and someone who can feel more like a partner than an employee. Most importantly, any chef on her team should be passionate about the type of cuisine she serves in her restaurants.

Judge Manette Chauhan, as seen in Chopped Clip, Season 52Image courtesy of the Food Network

“The cuisine is different, and a lot of people may not have worked in Indian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, or Indian street,” Chauhan said. “For me, what was important was to get someone who is passionate about the kitchen, wants to know more about the kitchen, but also has an open mind and the right attitude.”

Throughout the competition, the chefs are tested from culinary techniques to creative thinking at any given moment. Chauhan believes that the Chopped Championship is the perfect competition for these chefs to endure.

“This is what happens in the kitchen on a daily basis. They are timed when things are not showing up, it is an ongoing challenge to figure out how to make the most of any available resources, especially in today’s era where staffing is an ongoing problem, and the supply chain is an ongoing problem,” Chauhan said. Creativity must be in a chef’s assistant to come up with solutions when problems arise before them, which is why “Chopped” is the perfect competition to test the trade, so to speak.

All three judges agree that this new show is incredibly intimate and has a human angle that you don’t always find in the original “Chopped.” Chauhan hopes that those who follow “Minded: Desperately Looking for a Master Chef” will see that this is what it’s actually like to work in the food industry.

“One of the biggest things I wish they would stay away from is the fact that when they turn on TV and watch a cut song, it’s so much more than just a show,” Chauhan said. “This is a glimpse into how people in the industry actually live and act, and there is something really exciting to be part of the industry, the constant movement and no two days are the same, the challenges you have and the feeling of belonging to a family when we overcome those challenges. This is the real life they see in The movie “Chopped”.

“Chopped: A Desperately Sous Chef” premieres at 9 p.m. ET on May 31 on the Food Network. to identify Competing chefs and a peek at some of the mysterious basket ingredients in FoodNetwork.com/Chopped.

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