The Chopped Kitchen's Most-Serious Mishaps and Misdeeds

In the scramble to finish on time, contestants can make some serious errors that jeopardize their results. Running with knives, making dangerous decisions, serving raw food and more — see all of Chopped's worst kitchen mishaps. 
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Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Susan Magnano ©Magnanimous Pictures

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: David Lang

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Dangerous Decision

Ted Allen warns the chefs that the blood of eel is toxic unless it’s fully cooked, but Chef John Cregar intentionally ignores this advice, claiming that he doesn’t like to play it safe. In an attempt to serve the judges something they’ve never had before, he gives them raw, inedible eel

Momentary Lapse

For Chef Ernest Servantes, a chef from humble beginnings, winning Chopped Grill Masters would be a life-changing event. As the pressure builds, Ernest’s mind goes blank and he forgets what he’s doing in the middle of the dessert round. The judges watch in shock as he just stands there, but Ernest luckily regains his composure quick enough to present a winning dessert.

Salty Swap

Chef Luis is so confident in his pastry abilities that he decides to bake an upside-down cake — a risky and ambitious move. He bakes his cake in time, but when the judges taste it they react with silence and stunned expressions before delivering the bad news: He used salt in place of sugar. 

Station Contamination

In this Halloween-themed episode, the unusual ingredients aren’t the only thing to be afraid of. Chef Marja Samsom unwittingly serves the judges burritos that have been contaminated with raw chicken, as she forgot to flip her cutting board to the clean side. 

If It's Not Broke ...

In a rush to get her ice cream out of the machine before time is up, Chef Virginia Willis accidentally drops a spoon into the ice-cream machine while it’s still churning, potentially breaking a $7,000 appliance. “If I was in a restaurant kitchen, I can pretty much guarantee I’d be fired,” she admits.

Running with Knives

After running with a knife, Brandon Frohne cuts his finger so badly that he loses five minutes of the entree round bandaging his wound and working around his injury. Despite his best efforts to finish his dish, Brandon turns out a final product that's too incomplete to carry him into the next round.

Blood, Sweat and Tears

In the final seconds of the dessert round, after a pressure-filled scramble to the finish, Chef Derrick Prince finally gets his dessert together. While plating, however, he discovers he cut his finger. “There’s no way anything could be contaminated ... this had to have just happened,” he argues, but the show’s producer find enough blood around the kitchen to deem the dish unsafe for consumption.

Lost and Found

Truffles are possibly one of the most-luxurious and -expensive ingredients, so Chef Jonathan Kavourakis describes this mystery basket addition as a “gift.” When he’s preparing his ingredients, however, his truffle rolls off his station and across the room, out of site. The judges wonder if he'll find it in time.

Fiery Fiasco

The stress of Chopped is enough to make the contestants do crazy things, such as Chef Gemma Gray running to the sink with a flaming pan in her hands. Ignoring Ted’s yells of “you can’t run through the kitchen with that,” Gemma rushes to put out the oil fire, badly burning her hands in the process.

Perilous Poultry

Grieving after the loss of her sister, Chef Ondre’a Duverney is off her game and forgets to switch her cutting board after using it to cut raw chicken. When she mistakenly puts the cooked meat back on the unsanitized surface, the judges refuse to eat it for fear of getting salmonella. Though the judges are sympathetic to Ondre’a’s situation, her contaminated dish is enough to get her cut. 

Rebel Chocolatier

World-renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres puts chocolate in everything, including his pasta and his pockets. After deciding that the Chopped kitchen’s cocoa powder isn’t up to his standards, Jacques pulls his own cocoa nibs out of his pocket to complete his fettuccine dish — a serious violation of the rules.

Meat-Grinder Madness

When Chef Mirna Attar’s meat grinder stops working, she helps herself to Chef Giuseppe Fanelli’s station without asking, a fact that Giuseppe couldn’t ignore, especially when it caused him to forget one of the basket ingredients in his own dish. “I was overwhelmed. Mirna was on my station and I dropped the ball,” he explains.

Ice-Cream Catastrophe

“I got time; I’m not worried,” says Chef Michell Sanchez when he sees that both he and his competitor, Chef Seis Kamimura, are using the ice-cream maker in the dessert round. But when Seis forgets to turn the machine on until halfway through the round, Mitchel is forced to resort to a Plan B, which fails to impress the judges.

Exposed to the Elements

In Chopped Grill Masters, the surprise ingredients aren’t the chefs’ only challenge: They have to deal with violent sandstorms and blazing sun at their outdoor grill stations, and they must keep their food from blowing away in the desert winds.

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