McDonald’s cashier wins after forgetting every mystery basket ingredient
The Chopped kitchen is not for the faint of heart. Tears are shed, dreams are crushed, fingers are hastily sliced off and that timer just keeps counting down. In a reported season one episode of the Food Network sensation that never aired, one contestant died, yet the clock was never stopped. In fact, the competition carried on as usual and the judges even critiqued what little food the chef had already prepared, attacking his poor presentation skills and the large amounts of blood in the dish. This is not unusual; the judges are known to be ruthless.
It was under these circumstances that four contestants embarked on the journey that would change their lives forever… or as much as $10,000 before taxes could change one’s life. The first three contestants were all professional chefs who went to culinary school and owned restaurants; very respectable, deserving people. The fourth contestant was somewhat of an underdog. Edmund Ramen had no professional experience and did not attend cooking school of any kind. In fact, Edmund was a cashier — not even a fry cook — at a local McDonald’s. When the judges were told of this blatant mistake, judge Aaron Sanchez punched host Ted Allen to blow off some steam, Marc Murphy looked off in the distance haughtily and said nothing, and Scott Conant nearly spit out his vodka. However, the producers and contestants allowed Ramen to compete, assuming he would be the first easy out.
Round One: Wonton skins, Napa cabbage, American cheese, vodka
“I don’t remember putting vodka in the mystery basket,” producer Ken Smith reportedly said. Conant looked down at the table guiltily. The contestants got to work, frantically running around the kitchen. Well, almost all of them. Ramen seemed to be taking a different approach. He stood unmoving at his station for quite some time before dashing to the fridge for eggs.
When it came time for the critiques, the other three were up first.
“You call this an egg roll?!” Sanchez said to the first chef. Murphy said nothing of the second chef’s dish.
“This sesame chicken salad dressing doesn’t have enough vodka!” Conant shouted to the third chef. When it came time for Ramen’s dish, the judges and Allen were both confused at what was in front of them: scrambled eggs and ham.
“Chef Edmund,” Allen said. “Did you not use any of the mystery basket ingredients?” Before Ramen could interject, Conant exclaimed that there was “most definitely” vodka in the eggs and voiced his approval of the dish. Sanchez said they were the best eggs he’s ever tasted and Marc even managed a smile. The other contestants, who had followed the rules and used the ingredients, were dumbfounded. It was at this moment the judges declared the competition over; Ramen was the clear winner. They awarded him the $10,000 and Conant even asked him for his recipe. The other three contestants declined to comment.
Rachel Mucha is a sophomore journalism major who would like to see you on the chopping block…if you know what I mean. Email her at [email protected].