Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chopping the bully judges from Chopped - Geoffrey Zakarian

Chopped, seen weekly on Food Network, is energetic and entertaining and a Tuesday habit in this house.  However, Chopped dropped the ball of responsibility and the entire  ‘Anti Bully push’ that this nation has embraced, went out the window with Judge Geoffrey Zakarian.  

Chopped demonstrated that it’s ok for men to push women around and get away with it. Tonight I saw a rerun from a couple years back, had I saw this on first run … I probably never would have watched another episode.

Honestly? What were the producer’s thinking? It’s bad enough that every judge comes on the show in a bad mood or extremely pre menstrual. But Geoffrey Zakarian epitomized the worst of the worst giving every chef a bad name.

The episode was Flower Power, the victim,  Lola Garand. First round, Lola is having fun. Apparently having fun is a no-no, because judge Marc Murphy stated, “If she was in my kitchen I’d have to tell her to shut up.”

It was apparent from the get go, these two male judges did not like Lola. But Geoffrey took that a step further acting like a school yard bully and humiliating her like I have never seen … on national TV. Fire him. He spoke about how he thought her house was probably a mess and he wanted no part of it. Hey, uh, Geoffrey, its not your place to judge her home. Judge her food.

I searched for over an hour on the net for the clip. I couldn’t find it.

“You’re disrespectful,” He told her.
“I’m sorry, I was having fun with this game.” Lola is from the UK.
“Game? Game? You think this is a game.”
(Well, yeah, Geoffrey, it is a game, they are competing)
But when Lola tried to defend herself, he held up a hand, told her to be quiet he wasn’t finished and bashed her further. Not her food. He bashed Lola.

I’m a writer and I can’t even begin to describe how unacceptable this was.

It was apparent that the other judges were embarrassed by his behavior, but Lola remained classy.

Fire him.

Somewhere in the whole scheme of things, someone forgot to tell Geoffrey that he is there to judge the food not tear up, tear apart and humiliate a contestant.

My God, it was a complete demonstration of a mentally abusive spouse. Seriously. He humiliates Lola, she cries, and when she returns, she aims to please, Then SHE apologizes to HIM, and he gets away with it. Sound familiar to anyone whose been in an abusive relationship? I waited for an apology. Maybe he apologized off camera, but the damage was done to the viewer, at least to me.

I worked in restaurants my entire life, and know the temperaments of cooks.  Bash her cooking, I have no problem with the judges being harsh on cooking, but leave the personalities out of it.

Food Network producers allowed this man to degrade a human being on national TV without any repercussion. They all but said it is ok to treat another human being like that. He scolded her like a child, degraded her as if she were beneath him. I don’t give a rat’s ass who he is, what he is or has accomplished, he had no right to get away with that. Fire him.

Hey Food Network, it’s not entertainment. You sent a message to every bully, mentally abusive spouse. Not only the message that you can unwarrantedly chastise someone, but you can do so and not have to atone.

Why don’t you show the episode a few more times so the newbie abusers can learn how to get it right?

Time for the producers to put Geoffrey Zakarian in a basket and CHOP him.

It won’t do much, but it’s my stand and my petition. Feel free to be one of the few who sign in. By signing it you stating that bullying behavior on national television will not be tolerated no matter who the bully should be.


  1. She was sloppy, dirty with her station, loud, annoying, and her food was subpar. Apparently being judged for competition was never something you have experienced. There are times in which you are so over the top they just send you home. You noticed that she pulled it together, zipped her comments and did a fine dish in the end. Apparently he did something right because she took his criticisms and changed her ways for the better.

    Anti-bullying has nothing to do with competition. You are there to give your best and not trivialize the event. If you don't give respect to the competition then you lose the respect of the judges and competitors. Sometimes harsh words are beneficial to reel in a wayward individual.

    1. BKE while you bring up valid points about competition, harsh word yes are acceptable but the way he delivered them was degrading. I'm sorry, there are ways to do so. She was not his child and if she was not caliber enough to be there, dont let her in the show or chop her.

      He handled it badly. And I am quite versed at being judged. I have ram several music competitions with big prizes. I also get judged daily via reviews of my books

      People call my writing bad, stories weak and they have every right. I put it out there, but when thy call me stupid or an idiot that's when they cross a line from judging my work to judging me.

      If in one i the many competitions (52 to date) that I have ran, a judge can tear apart the singer but to remark about their personality, clothes, home life .... Beyond the confines of the competition

      Chopped is not Miss America. If they are getting judged on the whole package than the producers dropped the ball by placing an ill prepared contestant on the show and Geoffrey handled it bad

      Thanks for your input though. Again some valid points but we agree to disagree?

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  3. Lola should have been more tidy but that wasn't what she was being judged by. I was an abused spouse and my mouth dropped open when I saw his treatment of her, and like you said, SHE had to apologize to him. Disgraceful for anyone to treat another person in this way, and all the more degrading for it to have been from a man to a woman. Lola was clearly having a great time and that "behavior" was unacceptable to the judges. These are four little known chefs in big cities competing for 1% of the advertising dollars brought into a multi-million dollar empire, the food network. Get over yourself Jeffrey. Lola was raised in a communist family--yet the judges criticized her for being helpful to the others. Get off your high horse Jeffrey and back off on folks who are different from you. I'd love to see you wear Lola shoes for a day. I loved her spunk, her fun, and she was the most entertaining part of that episode.

  4. I just watched that episode and several others. Lola was annoying, but the contestants are not supposed to be judged on personality or behavior. Jeffrey's comments very over the top, but it is all in the spirit of Chopped that has as an unwritten rule that women should not win. It is frustrating as hell.

  5. I watched this episode last night and could not believe his comments. I totally agree that he was bullying her and I wish she would have walk off and not cooked the last round. I have no respectful for him anymore.

  6. I just viewed this episode and when that part aired, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The guest judge sitting next to him looked as though she wanted to crawl right out of her skin. I used to like Jeffery a lot, however now I think very differently about him. I liked Lola. Having been a cook most of my life, it's fun to have goofy people around. It breaks up the stress and monotony. She is clearly a team player and I would gladly cook with her any day. Yeah, she's a little sloppy but you have to sweep the floor whether there are toast crumbs or burdock root shaving all the same. I do admire her for "calling him out" on his comments but I, too, wish she would have walked off. Jeffery is a little too big for his britches, I believe. FIRE HIM!!

  7. I watched season 26 episode 5 last night and think Geoffrey Zakarian is subjective as are the other judges. They stated desserts should have an appealing presentation and of course taste good. The young gal had amazing presentation on all three of her desserts and they tasted good with texture as one judge could only review for each dessert. Geoffrey ask the female contestant what she would do with her winnings and she replied I would pay off debt. Geoffrey lashed out saying what she should do is go to 50 restaurants and travel. This guy is so overrated and just not a nice person. I will not continue to watch a show that does not judge on merit but rather the pathetic story of a contestant and the ratings they think it will draw. By the way his dishes had horrible presentation and one was rolled in cereal. The last dessert was a cake and just that a basic run of the mill cake. The young lady made an amazing hard chocolate top with artistry and Geoffrey could not identify what it was.

  8. Fuck Geoffrey. FIRE HIM!!!!! Uppity bastard

  9. Before you go asking if Geoffrey is an abusive person, why don't you ask the other judges? WOman are not always the victums of abuse. SOmetimes, as a matter of fact, they are the abuser!

  10. My GOd you people, If alex would have called her out, yall wouldn't be saying anything. It's all about the Female dominated society complex that grips the 21st centry like a cancer.