Continuing on the nostalgic journey is lifelong cook Chris Santos, owner of Beauty and Essex and The Stanton Social (via Food Network). Next in line is Maneet Chauhan, restaurant and hotel expert extraordinaire. Did you know Chauhan has a grudge against pineapple? “I personally hate to work with pineapple, the reason being that that was the one ingredient that played a critical role in me (and all my predecessors) being eliminated on my season of The Next Iron Chef” (via Food Network).
Back to the bottom row, we can see restaurateur Scott Conant who also hosts 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and has competed on Iron Chef (you might be seeing a theme here, as multiple Chopped judges have appeared on Iron Chef). Add Marc Murphy, chef and owner of Landmarc, trained in both Paris and New York, and vice president of the Greater New York City Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association. And last but certainly not least, Amanda Freitag, Iron Chef contestant, Bobby Flay battler, and chef under the famed Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Passard.
With credentials like this from the judges, it’s no wonder why the competition is so heated on Chopped.