The Chopped Judges Recount Their Funniest Moments from the Set

Many things happen behind the scenes on Chopped, including some of the most hilarious among the judges. We asked the panel of nine to share their favorite laugh-out-loud moments.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Lang ©© 2013,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2013,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©© 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: David Lang ©2013,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Realizing the Format Works — Alex Guarnaschelli

"If they made a blooper reel from this show, it would be two days long," says Alex about all the funny moments over the years. One memory that sticks out is from an early episode: "Scott, Geoffrey and I were just sitting together for the first time. We didn't really know each other. We're just looking at these people, and one guy brought his dish up, and we ate it, and maybe it wasn't so great, and … the contestant [looked] at us and said, 'I'd chop me.' And I just thought, 'There's something to this.'"

Feeling Like One of the Guys — Chris Santos

"We've become really good friends," says Chris of the relationships he's made with all the judges on the show. At first he only knew Aarón Sánchez personally, but over time, he explains, he's gotten so close with all the guys that when the cameras aren't rolling they all have fun ribbing each other. "I would say that Scott Conant in general has a very articulate way of, like, busting my chops," he explains. "If I work with Scott, I know we're going to be laughing all day."

When Aarón Pokes Fun — Geoffrey Zakarian

"I think there's a lot of basically cracking up all the time," says Geoffrey of the countless funny moments that have happened over the many episodes of the show he's shot. But there are times in particular that he enjoys: "The funniest things come when Aarón Sánchez does his impersonations of all of us, because he's really good at it." 

The Best Is Yet to Come — Marc Murphy

When asked what sticks out in his mind about all the great times he's had on the show, Marc says it's the camaraderie the judges have built among themselves and with Ted. "It feels like a little bit of a fraternity sometimes," he points out. "We just hang out. We always have a good time … . I think … they just keep coming, and we're just having more and more fun as we go along."

Silliness Behind the Scenes — Maneet Chauhan

For Maneet it's the interactions she has behind the scenes with the crew that make her laugh all the time, in particular when the hair guy, Gregory, tries to imitate her Indian accent. "I think the funniest is especially … when he starts to copy my V's and my W's," she says. "It cracks me up every time, and then I turn to him like, 'Listen, your accent is not as sexy as mine, so just shut up.' … Everybody has such a quirky sense of humor. I mean most of the time I just spend the entire day laughing," she says.

When Geoffrey Says Opinionated Things— Scott Conant

"[There are] always comments that happen behind the scenes," says Scott of the funniest moments he's experienced. "I always think the funniest ones probably come from Geoffrey, because he's so, you know, particular, and some of the comments that he makes, just even about himself, are just off the wall," he explains of his fanatical fellow judge.

Getting Giddy and Giggly on Set — Amanda Freitag

"We get so giddy we just can't stop laughing," says Amanda of the funny moments she always has behind the scenes, especially after a long day. At that point anything can trigger the giggles, she adds. But some of her most-memorable moments have been during tapings of the Halloween episodes, "because the chefs are kooky, the food is kooky," she explains. "It's just that, sort of a fear of eating their food and the fear of their scary characters," she says.

The Three Amigos — Marcus Samuelsson

"The funniest moments are always behind the scenes," explains Marcus. "Aarón and Scott crack me up," he says of whenever he's paired with those two judges. And it's not just when they're judging together on set. It extends to when he shoots episodes of After Hours, which has the judges cooking with the mystery basket ingredients that the chefs were required to use in that day's episode. "It's a long day, but we have a lot of fun," he adds.

Always, Especially When Chris Messed Up — Aarón Sánchez

"I think they're just all funny moments when we're cooking together," says Aarón. But there's one in particular that stands out for him. He recounts an After Hours episode when Chris was making a cake batter and mistook one ingredient for another: "We're looking next to him, and he's, like, completely laser-focused, and he didn't realize that he put in cornstarch instead of [powdered sugar], and that was just some funny, funny stuff."

Watch the Episode: Chopped After Hours

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