October 1, 2023

I love Chopped. It’s my shit.

I love it all. I love the little backstories they give at the beginning for each contestant. I love the unveiling of the mystery ingredients, as the contestants are in shock of the type of shit they have to cook with. I love when the judges are tasting the contestants food with their judging asses. I love when the contestants are explaining why they thought it was a good idea at the time to do some stupid shit. I love Ted’s petty ass.

I love it all.

And with every episode I like, I try to pick one or two contestants I root for, sort of like a sports team or some shit. HOWEVER, when they unveil that a person of African decent is cooking, my mentality goes into full “I’M ROOTING FOR EVERYBODY BLACK” mode. It don’t even matter. American African, Jamaican African, African African. I’m rooting for your black ass. End of discussion. Honestly, if they unveiled in the intro that the black person had a pending murder trial with that person being videoed stabbing an innocent mf to death, I would ignore it like we ignored OJ in 95.

You know what? Fuck it. If OJ competed on Chopped, I’m rooting for OJ.

Anyway, when a black person shows up on Chopped, I hope for the best, but I expect the worst. And I’m usually right. Like, for one, Chopped needs to a better job finding black chefs. I know the Chef industry doesn’t comprise of as many women, black folks and especially black women as it should, but gawd damn, can we get at least one token negro every other episode?

And also, is it just me, or when one of the judges is tasting the food, you yell at the TV, shouting, “You know that shit tastes good! Y’all are mf lying!” Like, what the hell am I doing? How would I know how it tastes? It could taste like dog shit left in July Mississippi sun for 8 hours for all I know. But I don’t give a shit. My blackness just goes into overdrive when a black contestant is whipping up that work in the Chopped kitchen.

Like, I don’t have proof, but I think these judges are lying, with the exception of Aarón Sánchez, Alex Guarnaschelli (that’s the homie), and Marcus Samuelsson. Now, those judges know wusup. The rest of them are sometiming and I feel like their seasoning game is subpar.

And yes, I’m criticizing world renowned chefs on their seasoning game, when I can barely boil water. I don’t care. Because when they chop one of my people, I’m riding for my people. And I’m cussing the whole TV screen in the process. I’m cussing out my Samsung TV, Ted’s petty ass, the judges, the cameraman. Every gawd damn body, because everybody lying.

Even if they are telling the truth, THEY ARE LYING.

But just as painful as it is to watch a black chef lose on Chopped, it’s so satisfying when they do win. It’s like we won. And don’t let them have a good story. Like, you know, their grandma died when they were young and they are doing it for her because she taught him or her how to cook, or they are cooking to prove to the world that black chefs belong at the top of the industry. If you attach a black person winning Chopped and they have a good story, you can get you a good cry in. And good cries are refreshing. They reset your brain and make you feel like you can accomplish goals.

Essentially, Black Chef Joy equates to a Good Black Cry.

Leslie McLemore writes about a lot of different shit for Black With No Chaser. He is also the Takeaway Kang and is the father of two beautiful girls, one of which gets on every nerve he has. The other one is sweet. So, you know, balance. 

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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