I know I’m not the only one who’s watched the show Chopped and thought it would be such a fun game to compete in. Intense and stressful, but FUN!
When my family was coming for a visit after Christmas, I knew it was the perfect time to create our own version of the game to play at home. We had an absolute blast!
We had 16 people, so we had to change the format a little to fit our crowd. We ended up with eight teams, each team with one adult and one kid.
The TV show has four chefs competing in three rounds, with a chef being eliminated after each round. Instead of this, we had four rounds (appetizers, salads, main course, and dessert) with two teams competing in each round.
Everyone who wasn’t competing in a round scored the competitors on taste, creativity, and presentation. Instead of eliminating a team each round, we just tallied up the scores at the end and determined the winning team based on overall points.
Before the competition began, Tim made his famous margaritas. Here he is with my sisters-in-law, Amy and Jolynne.
This was a fun way to start off the competition!
I took so many pictures, and can’t help but share them as they tell the story better than I can. This is probably the most images I’ve shared in a post, but it’s fun to see how everything happened and let the pictures tell the story!
Round 1: Appetizers
I created the “mystery box” ingredients for each round. I didn’t get as crazy as they do on the show because I figured it would be challenging enough for everyone to create a recipe on the fly, especially with the kids involved.
Mystery Box Ingredients: Appetizer Round
The teams had five minutes to brainstorm ideas before the timer started. Here are my sister-in-law Jolynne and niece Carson brainstorming their appetizer. We allowed Internet use during the brainstorming session only.
I was on the appetizer round, too. I worked with my niece Mallory to create a sundried tomato, goat cheese, and basil filled puff pastry with a kumquat balsamic drizzle. It wasn’t the most creative, but it was super delicious!
Jolynne and Carson created two versions of their appetizer–savory and sweet.
The sweet version had apples, kumquats, and cinnamon and was amazing. The savory version incorporated salsa with the sundried tomatoes and was also lovely.
I didn’t get pictures of any of the appetizer round dishes. Tim was on picture duty for my round so I blame him! 😉
Round 2: Salads
Tim and our nephew Garret battled my sister-in-law Amy and nephew Griffin in the salad round. There were a variety of aprons to choose from and it was pretty funny that Tim picked this feminine one with heart pockets!
Mystery Box Ingredients: Salad Round
green leaf lettuce
The salad round was probably the hardest round to score mega points. How can salad compete with desserts?
Amy and Griffin made a salad with bacon-wrapped dates, which certainly helped! They had a really unique presentation of their salad. I don’t have a final picture, but here’s an in-progress photo.
Here’s a look at Tim and Garret’s salad as they were plating it. The big piece of shaved parm on top? Ummm…unique?
Tim made a delicious homemade dressing for their salad, which impressed me since I’m pretty sure was his first homemade dressing ever. It was a delicious vinaigrette with orange zest.
Round 3: The Main Course
The main course was by far the hardest to execute, so I put my dad and brother on the job. My dad is amazing at coming up with recipes on the fly and my brother is great under pressure. My dad was paired with my niece Leah and Gavin was with Luke.
Mystery Box Ingredients: Main Course Round
The pressure was on! My dad and brother Gavin both did a great job of including their young teammates.
My little Lukey was the youngest competitor, but he was so into it!
We used paper plates because 4 rounds with 16 plates needed in each round=too many dishes!
Papa (my dad) and Leah created an Asian-flavored chicken with rice in a tortilla and added the pear as a garnish.
Hey wait, is this a blog photo from 2010? I’m almost forgot what unstaged food taken in the dark looked like. 😉
And here’s Gavin and Luke’s dish, a baked chicken and bacon taco with pear salsa and rice and asparagus on the side.
Overall the competition took a long time, but watching it was fun! Here’s my feisty mom watching the action.
And here she is again tasting everything with my niece Kailynn.
Round 4: Dessert
For the dessert round my brother Rob was paired up with Meghan and my mom was supposed to be paired up with my niece Kailynn. By this point my mom was really tired, though, so Carson stepped in and did a second round with Kailynn.
Mystery Box Ingredients: Dessert Round
sweet canned dark cherries
chocolate bunny grahams
semi-sweet chocolate baking bar
Kailynn was super impressive in this round. She made crepes from scratch with no recipe!
They created a cherry filling along with a chocolate topping with a chocolate bite on the side. They processed the bunny grahams and used them like a powered sugar topping for the chocolate bite.
Rob and Meghan made Cherry Garcia Double Chocolate Brownies.
Look at that intensity!
Meghan always wants to bake, so she was thrilled to be in the baking round.
Both desserts were so fabulous! A perfect way to end the evening.
Rob and Meghan’s presentation wasn’t the best, but this dessert was SO GOOD.
Kailynn and Carson rocked the presentation with their crepes. Despite the poor lighting and paper plate, can’t you see how great this was? Kailynn is 16 and Carson is 12!
The crepes ended up being the big winners. This board shows how the final scoring ended up.
Carson wrote the part about being featured on Happy Healthy Mama. 😉 At the time I wasn’t even sure if I was going to post about this, but it was too fun not to share!
If you get the chance, I highly recommend doing a Chopped competition at home. Our family had so much fun!