Chopped is a television show where four chefs compete. Their challenge is to take a mystery box of ingredients and and turn them into into a dishes that are judged on their originality, presentation, and taste with minimal time to plan and executed within a short time frame. The show is divided into three rounds. In each round, the chefs are given a basket containing between three and five ingredients, and the dish each competitor prepares must contain each of those ingredients. The ingredients are often ones which are not commonly prepared together. For example, in “Yucca, Watermelon, Tortillas,” the episode which originally aired on February 10, 2009, the appetizer course boxes contained watermelon, canned sardines, pepper jack cheese, and zucchini.
The competitors are given access to a pantry and refrigerator stocked with a wide variety of other ingredients.
How can we relate the tasks with “mandatory ingredients” to education? What about technology? Are the chefs any better if they have a state of the art kitchen? The results and ways they express what they know about cooking (challenge) are all different given their backgrounds and expertise.