The Chopping Block
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while this reality show -- in which couples compete for prizes designed to help them open their own restaurant -- showcases some of the skills and strategies necessary for running a successful restaurant, it's primarily a promotional vehicle for the show's host, celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. The content is milder overall than that on similar shows like Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen, there is some strong language ("pissed off," "balls"; stronger words are bleeped), as well as frequent arguments and a fair bit of drinking during meal services.
What's the story?
In THE CHOPPING BLOCK, eight couples compete for the chance to win the money and equipment they need to open their own restaurant. Hosted by world-renowned Chef Marco Pierre White, the show divides the eight pairs into two teams of four; together they must create daily menus and provide a complete dinner service to hungry New York City patrons -- including anonymous food critics placed by White to taste and judge the food served in each establishment. The couples on the team with the better dinner service are safe from elimination, while those left "on the chopping block" face being sent home by White.
Is it any good?
Like most food and restaurant-themed competition shows, The Chopping Block features lots of frazzled cooks and servers trying to feed picky patrons, win over food critics, and impress a celebrity judge. What sets this show apart (and not in a good way) is that it focuses so much on White that it's sometimes hard to remember that it's a competition.
Thanks to the master chef's pretentious demeanor, watching him isn't particularly inspirational or educational. While the series does highlight the need to use strategic thinking, teamwork, organization, and leadership in order to run a successful restaurant, it doesn't really emphasize the passion that White and the contestants have about food and/or cooking. And thanks to some heated arguments between the competitors (which are usually peppered with iffy language, though the worst is bleeped), it's hard to really like or root for any of the contestants. Bottom line? In the end, this show fails to serve up any real fun and/or inspiration.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the popularity of food and restaurant-themed TV shows. What's the appeal? Are these shows intended to showcase the realities of cooking and running a restaurant, or is it more about promoting famous chefs? Families can also discuss what it takes to open a restaurant. What are some of the challenges? Is being a good chef enough to have a successful restaurant? Why or why not? If you had a chance to open a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?