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Alton Brown Returns to the Judges’ Table With the Craziest Baskets yet on new Tournament Chopped: Alton’s Maniacal Baskets

May 19, 2021

Alton Brown Taps Social Following to Pick Mystery Ingredients in New Five-Part Stunt

Tournament Premieres Tuesday, June 22nd on Food Network and discovery+ 

Plus, Starting June 22nd Fans Can Catch All Prior Seasons of Chopped in its New Streaming Home on discovery+ 

Judges Marcus Samuelsson, Maneet Chauhan and Alton Brown in round 2 tasting, as seen on Chopped, Season 50, Alton Brown Maniacal Baskets Tournament. Download Hi-res.
Judge Alton Brown, as seen on Chopped, Season 50, Alton Brown Maniacal Baskets Tournament. Download Hi-res.

NEW YORK – May 17, 2021  Alton Brown, the culinary science mastermind, returns to the Chopped judges’ table to confound sixteen bright-eyed chefs with the zaniest and brainiest baskets ever, in the new five-part tournament Chopped: Alton’s Maniacal Baskets, premiering Tuesday, June 22nd at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Hosted by Ted Allen, each one-hour episode of the out of this world competition features Alton harnessing the power of his broad social media following, as he joins forces with his fans to come up with maniacal ingredients that are sure to have the competitors in disbelief as they must utilize them to create unique and delicious dishes over three rounds – appetizer, entrée, and dessert. The judges’ panel consisting of Alton, Maneet Chauhan and Marcus Samuelsson select the winners from the four preliminary heats who will face-off in the grand finale featuring the biggest maniacal twist yet to see which chef goes home with the $50,000 cash prize. Think victory will come easily in any of the battles? Not with Alton Brown in town. Fans can also stream the tournament on  discovery+ with new episodes available weekly beginning June 22nd, plus, catch up on every episode of the series to date with all seasons available on discovery+ beginning that same day.

“Alton Brown is truly one of the most passionate and brilliant culinary minds in the world today. With his hilarious and scientific approach to looking at food, Alton has amassed a loyal social following and there is nobody better at stumping the Chopped competitors with eccentric mystery ingredients that are sure to bring a smile to viewers’ faces. This is Alton’s world and we are just living in it,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network.

“When the Chopped producers said they wanted to ask my fans for basket suggestions, I knew we were in for a wild ride. But I wasn’t prepared for this. No-one, is prepared for this. Honestly, in this case ‘maniacal’ is a soft, fuzzy puppy compared to this stuff. It’s just…wrong,” said Brown.

The sixteen chefs must brace themselves for shocking ingredients in each basket, selected with the help of Alton’s conspiring fans. A Scandinavian delicacy with a challenging texture awaits in an appetizer basket, while sticky beans and a peculiar salad are the basket surprises in the entrée round. For the dessert basket, the chefs have their work cut out for them to make great dishes from the wild ingredients presented. The tournament heats up in another episode as the competitors brace themselves for a unique style of apple pie in the entrée round that has everyone asking ‘why?’ And the competitors are faced with an unusual pudding consisting of pork in the dessert basket to see which chef is worthy to join the winners of the other preliminary heats. In the finale, Alton has a big announcement that is sure to get the chefs fired up for their appetizer basket. Then, the final three challengers open their entrée baskets to discover that one of the items is staring back at them. Finally, a weird wedding cake is part of the dessert round puzzle that the chefs must solve to determine who is crowned the Chopped Grand Champion.

Fans can meet the competing chefs, learn more about Alton and get insight into his maniacal basket ingredients at Follow along with the competition on social media using #Chopped.

Chopped: Alton’s Maniacal Baskets is produced by Notional Entertainment. 

FOOD NETWORK ( is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Seth Hyman