Marc Murphy is a highly respected executive chef and restaurateur of the popular New York eateries Landmarc and Ditch Plains but chances are, out here in Orange County, you know him best for being one of your favorite judges on Food Network's Chopped. If you think it would be cool to say, hang out with Marc or one of the other judges in the kitchen or maybe turn the tables on them with mystery baskets, the Food Network is doing just that by giving us a brand new webseries called, Chopped After Hours.
This ten episode webseries is being featured on FoodNetwork.com and is on after each on-air episode of Chopped. It has the judges tackling basket ingredients from the episodes they just judged and offers up plenty of behind-the-scenes interaction between some of our favorites including Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chris Santos, and Aaron Sanchez. Since we wanted to get some insider info about Chopped After Hours, we went straight to the source to ask Marc "Five Totally Chopped Down Questions" about it.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Now I'm not trying to bring up any bad memories BUT, do you think you might have had an unfair advantage on "Chopped All-Stars" because you had a bum hand?
Marc Murphy: All-Stars is always a great time and I agreed to participate with a cast on so, I wouldn't say I was at a disadvantage. Most importantly, I was able to raise awareness for my charity Share Our Strength, and that's really what it's all about.
Is it easier or more difficult to work with the baskets on Chopped After Hours because A) you already know the ingredients or B) one of the chefs who competed tried an idea that you had in mind and now you have to go a different direction?
I would say A) because you get more time to think about the ingredients. We've judged a lot of episodes and we know what works and what doesn't in a short amount of time. Timing is crucial in the Chopped kitchen.
What is the grossest thing that you've eaten during your judging on Chopped so far?
Hands down, Rice Soup made with Lamb Heart.
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How do you feel about a contestant using only a little or only the essence of a basket ingredient and not using the full amount of it?
We respect the rules. You can use a little or a lot as long as you're using the ingredient, it's OK. You guys look like you are having a ton of fun taping Chopped After Hours. You're not faking it for the camera's right?
It's a great time! On and off the set there's a great camaraderie between all of us and the Chopped After Hours webisodes really show that.
Make you sure you don't miss any of the behind the scenes action by checking out Chopped After Hours on www.FoodNetwork.com. For more information on Marc's charity, please check out their website www.nokidhungry.org. You can also follow Marc on Twitter @ChefMarcMurphy and find edibles and apparel through his website www.Marc-Murphy.com. Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook. And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!