Ever since Chef Donny told us he taped an episode of College Chopped 2 years ago, I've asked him 2 questions- 1) Did you win?, and 2) Did you try to make risotto?
Now, you might be wondering, why would you ask if he won, because obviously he isn't allowed to say. Exactly, my friends. It's the old foot in the door technique- ask something you know he can't answer so he's more likely to answer the follow up. So when he tells you he's not allowed to say if he won, you follow up with "did you try to make risotto", because if that answer is "yes" you know the answer to question one is absolutely "no".
I'm a long time viewer of Chopped. A quick Google search says there are 515 episodes total, and a quick brain search says I've seen 420 or so of the episodes. And if I had to guess the number of times someone has attempted to cook risotto I'd put it at 350, and the number of times they have done it successfully I'd put at 3, AT MOST. If you are a Choppedaholic, you know better than to even attempt to make risotto in the allotted time. But yet people continue to try and be kitchen Jesus and make a risotto and it has a 99% fail rate, guaranteed.
The question truly is though- is it a power move to try and make a risotto? If you've never had risotto, it's delicious. Just a great dish. If just one contestant can make a good one for the Chopped judges, it's almost a guaranteed victory. But if you fail, and boy do they pretty much always fail, you are FUCKED. It's actually astonishing how many chefs enter the Chopped kitchen and try to be a superhero. They think *they* can be the chef that defies all the laws of gravity and physics and whip up an award winning risotto. And it just never, ever happens. It'd be like me stepping up to the plate and deciding if I wanted to face a Randy Johnson fastball or a Jared Carabbis fastball. I'd be a legend if I made contact off the Big Unit, but I'm making the Hall of Fame if I face the Rocket. And that my friends is the best analogy I've ever made.
So tonight at 9pm on Food Network (sick plug by me), we will see what Chef Donny decided to do. One of my life dreams is to cook in the Chopped Kitchen for chef Alex, but if I can't do it, there's nobody I'd like to see it more than Donny. He is one of the nicest, humblest guys who works here and he's without a doubt earned his place on Chopped. Now let's hope he skipped the risotto and the ice cream maker didn't malfunction on him in the dessert round.