Some people watch “Chopped” on the Food Network and think, “I could totally do that.” Chef Mogan Anthony of Village Social in Mount Kisco really can.
“The show is the real deal,” says Anthony. “The minutes are real, and the whole thing is very mysterious.” He says the chefs get the opportunity to check out their work stations ahead of time, but that’s all. “You don’t even know who the judges are until they start filming.”
Anthony will appear on “Chopped” at 8 p.m. Sunday June 16 on The Food Network. Although he was unable to reveal some of the juicy details, he shared his memory of the TV competition with us. But to find out what was in his mystery basket, and whether it earned him the top prize of $10,000, you’ll have to watch.
The show is a competition among four professional chefs. There are three rounds — appetizer, entree and dessert — in which they are given a mystery basket of ingredients and required to cook and plate an amazing meal in an allotted time.
If you’ve never seen the show, this might sound similar to some weeknight dinner plans: open the fridge, make something edible with whatever ingredients you have on hand. The “Chopped” twist, of course, lies in the notoriously random ingredients — like frosted Pop-Tarts or preserved duck eggs — and the short time chefs are given to dazzle a panel of renowned culinary experts.
For the average home chef watching, it is an intense hour of awe at the pro’s (sometimes haphazard) ability to put together something appetizing and still be true to their style, all while nervously watching the minute hand tick away. Anthony says, “I like to challenge myself and I’m really happy that I did it. But that’s all I can say.”
Fans of Anthony’s cooking will also be happy to hear that Village Social is expanding. They will open a second location in a few weeks in New Canaan, Connecticut.