Inspiring a New Generation of Chefs: Ted Allen on the Talent at Play on Chopped Teen Tournament

Chopped host Ted Allen gives a sneak peek into the new season of Chopped Teen Tournament.
Show: Chopped
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Photo by: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

David Lang, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

There's something unique about watching kids cook, witnessing their raw talent and passion for food. Once their spark is lit, there's no putting it out, and it's a joy to see. That's exactly what fans can expect from Season 2 of Chopped Teen Tournament, premiering Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 10|9c. The kids taking on the five-part competition are extremely talented and "inspiring," as Chopped host Ted Allen pointed out in a recent interview with FN Dish.

"The latest tournament is the best we've done yet, thanks to the kids," said Ted of the budding chefs, calling them "the real stars of Chopped."

This season he says the teens "stepped it up," bringing their best to the competition, but of course only one can win the $25,000 prize money, which makes the competition really tough for them. "We have 16 kids in a tournament, and to send 15 of them packing and give the prize to one — it's not easy," he said. And the chopping is more difficult for the judges than ever.

The emotions run high, as Ted explained: "When you are a teenager, you feel your feelings so intensely, and you can't imagine what life is going to be like in a week let alone when you're 22." But these kids take competing seriously, giving it their all on national television no less, and they show a maturity beyond their actual age. In recent years, more and more kids have started to look at cooking in a serious way.

"The number of kids who love to cook, and want to cook professionally ... has surged," Ted said about the fact that more and more young people are discovering cooking, learning from the adults in their lives, cookbooks, magazines or food TV. Chopped itself has done a lot to inspire young kids everywhere to consider cooking as a career, not merely a daily necessity. And Chopped Teen Tournament is the perfect platform for these kids to prove they're the new generation of chefs — and inspire the next generation.

Tune in Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 10|9c to watch the premiere of Chopped Teen Tournament.

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