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Alton Brown returns to judges' table with wildest baskets yet on new tournament, 'Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets'

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Mon, May 17th 2021 05:00 pm

Alton taps social following to pick mystery ingredients in new 5-part stunt

√ Tournament premieres Tuesday, June 22, on Food Network and discovery+

Alton Brown, the culinary science mastermind, returns to the “Chopped” judges’ table to confound 16 bright-eyed chefs with the zaniest and brainiest baskets ever, in the new five-part tournament “Chopped: Alton’s Maniacal Baskets,” premiering Tuesday, June 22 (9 p.m. ET/PT), on Food Network.

Hosted by Ted Allen, each one-hour episode of the out-of-this-world competition features Alton harnessing the power of his broad social media following, as he joins forces with his fans to come up with maniacal ingredients that are sure to have the competitors in disbelief as they must utilize them to create unique and delicious dishes over three rounds – appetizer, entrée and dessert.

The judges’ panel, consisting of Alton, Maneet Chauhan and Marcus Samuelsson, selects the winners from the four preliminary heats who will face-off in the grand finale featuring the biggest maniacal twist yet to see which chef goes home with the $50,000 cash prize. 

Fans can also stream the tournament on discovery+ with new episodes available weekly beginning June 22, plus, catch up on every episode of the series to date with all seasons available on discovery+ beginning that same day.

“Alton Brown is truly one of the most passionate and brilliant culinary minds in the world today. With his hilarious and scientific approach to looking at food, Alton has amassed a loyal social following and there is nobody better at stumping the ‘Chopped’ competitors with eccentric mystery ingredients that are sure to bring a smile to viewers’ faces. This is Alton’s world and we are just living in it,” said Courtney White, president of Food Network.

Alton said, “When the ‘Chopped’ producers said they wanted to ask my fans for basket suggestions, I knew we were in for a wild ride. But I wasn’t prepared for this. No one is prepared for this. Honestly, in this case ‘maniacal’ is a soft, fuzzy puppy compared to this stuff. It’s just … wrong.”

The 16 chefs must brace themselves for shocking ingredients in each basket, selected with the help of Alton’s conspiring fans. A Scandinavian delicacy with a challenging texture awaits in an appetizer basket, while sticky beans and a peculiar salad are the basket surprises in the entrée round. For the dessert basket, the chefs have their work cut out for them to make great dishes from the wild ingredients presented. The tournament heats up in another episode as the competitors brace themselves for a unique style of apple pie in the entrée round that has everyone asking “Why?” And the competitors are faced with an unusual pudding consisting of pork in the dessert basket to see which chef is worthy to join the winners of the other preliminary heats. In the finale, Alton has a big announcement that is sure to get the chefs fired up for their appetizer basket. Then, the final three challengers open their entrée baskets to discover one of the items is staring back at them. Finally, a weird wedding cake is part of the dessert round puzzle that the chefs must solve to determine who is crowned the grand champion.

Fans can meet the competing chefs, learn more about Alton and get insight into his maniacal basket ingredients at FoodNetwork.com/Chopped. Follow along with the competition on social media using #Chopped.

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