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Learn English meaning of Chopped

Date: Mar 23 2018

Themes: Celebrity, Food, Pop Culture

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


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You have butter, Rice Krispies, steak, and seaweed. What are you going to make for dinner? Can you make something that is tasty and presentable with these ingredients? This is the question chefs on the TV show Chopped must answer. On this show, chefs compete to make the best food with the strangest ingredients. They have thirty minutes to create this high art.

After the chefs come up with their dish, they must share it with the judges. These celebrity chefs critique this food. They talk about what they liked and what they didn’t. Then, they choose the worst dish and say goodbye to the chef who created it. This chef has been chopped!

Marni is telling Romeo about Chopped. Will she be ready for her own Chopped challenge? Find out in today’s English lesson.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  Have you ever seen the show Chopped?

Romeo:  Chopped?

Marni:  Yeah. They get professional chefs to compete against each other… there’s four of them, initially.

Romeo:  OK.

Marni:  And they’ll give you a mystery basket. There’s four ingredients in there, and you have to use each ingredient in some way. And of course, they’re crazy things. So, it might be, like, fish heads, and Rice Krispies, and yeah… So, you’ve got to… you’ve got to think of… in thirty minutes… what you’re going to make, make it, make it look presentable

Romeo:  Right.

Marni:  … and then it has to taste good. And they have three celebrity chefs as judges, and they critique them, and then the worst dish gets chopped.

Romeo:  Wow! Sounds like my childhood.

Marni:  Oh, no!

Romeo:  Only there were no judges.

Marni:  Well, that’s good. There you go.

Romeo:  It’s kind of called catch can.

Marni:  OK…

Romeo:  It’s when you go in the refrigerator, and you just pull out whatever you have…

Marni:  Right.

Romeo:  … and you make a smorgasbord of whatever you come up with.

Marni:  Well, now it’s high art, and people that do that can make $10,000.

Romeo:  OK, so would you want to go to a restaurant that has fish heads and peanut butter, though?

Marni:  Well, I mean, I got to tell you, they make it look pretty good.

Romeo:  Well, I haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while. Would you care to come over and see what you can make with what I have?

Marni:  Let’s see what we come up with.

Romeo:  I’ll critique you. How about that?

Marni:  All right! I’m up for it.


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Marni asks Romeo if he has seen the TV show Chopped. He doesn’t know about it, so Marni gives him all the details. She explains that four chefs compete. They each receive a basket of mystery food, and they must use this to make a great dish. The dish needs to be delicious and beautiful. Their food will be critiqued by celebrity chefs.

Romeo says that this reminds him of being a kid. His family used to create meals by opening the refrigerator and using any food they found. They created a smorgasbord of creative foods for dinner. Marni tells him that this type of skill is now high art, but Romeo isn’t sure he would want to go to a restaurant that serves weird food. Instead, he challenges Marni to come to his house to make dinner.

Would you like to compete on Chopped? What is the strangest food you ever made?


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