Ripoff Watch: So That’s Where Ted Allen Went


Sometimes I feel bad that such a large majority of our food TV coverage involves snarkily making fun of said food TV, but seriously — what’s wrong with the food network? For a group of people completely obsessed with all thing edible, we can barely find a decent show to watch there. We are down with Top Chef, No Reservations, the Hippy Gourmet, and of course Jacquy P, but I don’t have a single favorite show on the Food Network, which seems to be an endless stream of Rachael Ray and Giada spinoffs that are no different than the shows that came before them.

Which is why I appreciate that the Food Network is at least trying to draw our attention by ripping off Top Chef, the most engrossing food show on television.  But their latest Top Chef imitation is such an obvious clone that it almost looks like a joke. In Chopped, four chefs face off to create an elaborate three-course meal, racing against the clock, facing the wrath of judges such as Rocco DiSpirito, a bald guy who’s not Tom Colcichio, and a Gail Simmons clone, and one-by-one hearing host and former Top Chef-er Ted Allen drop the dramatic news: “you’ve been chopped.” Good try, Food Network, but unless you have Padma Lakshmi gagging on a sweet mouthful, I’m sticking with Bravo.

Check out the hilarious preview for Top Chef 6 Chopped over at the excellent blog Eat Me Daily. And for the real deal, tune into ES tonight at 10pm for the original Top Chef live blogging. Check after the jump for a preview of tonight’s episode.

Photo: Food Network

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  • Maidelitala January 7, 2009  

    you’ll probably all hate me for this, but I like T.A. better than Padma

  • Jonah January 7, 2009  

    This is not exactly a Top Chef rip-off. If any show on FN is a Top Chef rip, it’s Next Food Network Star which is about as close of a clone possible. This if anything is a rip of Iron Chef…a weekly rotation of well known and up-and-coming chefs compete against each other in themed challenges. No adults sleeping in bunk beds, no catering missions (thank jebus) and, no booze induced spats between contestants. Sadly there won’t be the teacher from Only The Strong there to be The Chairman.

  • gansie January 7, 2009  

    dude, the chair on the american version of iron chef is HOTT

  • TVFF January 7, 2009  

    Is it bad that my favorite Food Network show is the random Molto Mario episode that they put on in the late weekday morning, probably by mistake?

  • Eick January 7, 2009  

    I totally agree there are no good shows on Food Network right now. I watched The Next Iron Chef a while back, and that was aight. The first season of Next Food Network star was decent, but not good enough to make me watch the next season.

    Other than Throwdown and the occasional episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, there’s almost nothing worth watching there these days.

  • gansie January 8, 2009  

    i love molto mario. great call.

  • Very Very Good Girl January 8, 2009  

    I do like Throw Down & Grill it with Bobby Flay, but can’t watch it weekly. Has anyone watched Jamie at Home? Maybe it’s the oddly tiny kitchen, ridiculous garden or rigging old tools into a spit, but I really enjoy that show.

    In other news we now have BRAVO!! I’ve been checking periodically & threatening TWC, and all of a sudden the christian network gone and BRAVO in it’s place. I look forward to being part of the live blogging once I catch up as much as possible. Yah!

  • Scott January 8, 2009  

    Good Eats is a great show on Food. Ditto Ace of Cakes.

  • Michael January 8, 2009  

    I’m partial to Dinner: Impossible. I havent checked out food network for a few months now, but last I did there were not very many shows worthy of following.

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