I watch a shitload of Chopped, the Food Network show where four chefs are forced to create a three-course meal in 80 minutes using random crap like smoked donkey penises and Taiwanese shitfruit. And reader Jim recently alerted me that the show was going to have a special episode dedicated to amateurs. Well, the second I found this out, I dropped every goddamn thing (even my baby) and filled out the application as quickly as I could. Given that there were NINETEEN fucking essay questions, I was not terribly quick. Here now is my application in full:
Please describe any moderate to severe food allergies:
None. I'm too powerful and strong for food allergies.
Chef coat size:
In a few sentences, please share your story: Tell us who you are and your current situation.
I'm a writer for Gawker and Deadspin and a correspondent for GQ magazine and I watch Chopped more often than is healthy. I wanna walk into that kitchen, take a deckle of beef and a pickled chicken foot, and I wanna rock Geoffrey Zakarian's nuts off. I cook at home all the time and have OK knife skills, along with a basic understanding of making sauces, roasting meats, and cooking pasta correctly. If you choose me, I will NOT overcook the pasta. I will let the meat rest properly. I will devein every shrimp. And I won't serve Conant red onions. You have my word.
Describe your background/history-where are you from?
I'm from the streets. (By streets, I mean suburban Minnesota, which has many lovely streets)
List family members and note any that may be involved in the culinary industry.
None. I didn't get where I am today as an amateur chili maker out of nepotism. I EARNED my way here.
Why do you like to cook? Who do you cook for and how often?
I like to cook because I like eating WHILE I cook. Also, cooking is an easy way for me to avoid dealing with the kids and still look like I contributed something to the household. I cook for my family every day: risotto, braised chicken, chimichurri sauces, everything. My kids won't eat any of it because they lack refined palates and are ungrateful little bastards. But my wife is down with it.
Do you cook professionally? If so, where, and in what capacity?
I do not cook professionally. I may not have the "education" or the "knowledge" of "actual" chefs. But what I lack in formal education, I make up for in SOUL. That's what every amateur cook says right before they get chopped, right? That they have soul? I have a shitload of soul.
If you are not a professional chef, list any goals past or present regarding cooking professionally.
I have but one goal: To go on "Chopped," win the $10,000, get Frietag to smile a devilish smile at me, and then retire UNDEFEATED. Once I serve you a title-winning olive panna cotta with rosemary caramel, I'm OUT.
What inspired you to start cooking? Where did your interest in food begin?
My mom was a huge influence on me as a chef. She used to let me cook with her when I was a kid, and that was how I learned to make eggs and pasta and cookies and all sorts of tasty things. If I go on "Chopped," I will definitely talk about her on camera and cry, so that the audience and I form an emotional bond that can never be broken. I'll also mention any relatives of mine that are now dead.
Describe your cooking style, ingredients you love and any specialty dishes.
My cooking style can be best described as SEXYLOVESAUCE. When you eat my food, you feel sexy and saucy. And you feel loved. SEXYLOVESAUCE. I love BOLD FLAVORS, because chefs who don't like bold flavors are pussies. My favorite ingredients are HARD WORK and FIERCE SCRAPPITUDE. And Adobo. Adobo kicks ass.
What are you like in the kitchen when you are cooking?
I'm very quiet and intense. No lie. When my wife comes into the kitchen while I'm cooking, I get all pissed off because she's in my business. And then she's like, "Why are you so testy when you cook?" And I'm like QUIET WOMAN, I HAVE VEAL STOCK REDUCING. You do not mess with me in the kitchen. You know those fat gross chefs who won't shut up when they're cooking on Chopped? I will punch those people.
Discuss some of the results/rewards of your cooking, the ways your culinary work has touched others.
Dude, you have NINETEEN essay questions on this application. Are you shitting me? This isn't Harvard Law School. I'm not gonna give you some flowery bullshit about my food touching the soul of others. I'm here to MAKE LOVE TO YOUR TONGUE. That's it.
How would your friends/family describe you?
"We don't really talk about Drew in public. He tends to alarm people."
Describe your greatest accomplishment. (Culinary or otherwise)
One time, I was summoned for grand jury duty in New York City. You ever been summoned for grand jury duty? It's like four WEEKS. It's ludicrous. Anyway, I was in the courtroom, and they were asking us to choose between two grand jury sessions. So before they drew for me, I asked which session had more entrants, and thus a lower chance of me getting picked. They said the morning session, so I put my name into the morning session and then I didn't get picked. Which was the fucking BALLS. Oh, and I'm a published novelist.
What is something that we wouldn't know about you by looking at you?
Huge pig tattoo on my left buttock. You can't miss it if you're watching me shower.
List any cooking competition experience
Often, I compete with myself to see who made the best blueberry crumble that night. I NEVER LOSE.
Describe your passions/hobbies besides cooking
My biggest hobby is sneaking off to the bathroom and locking myself in when my kids get too loud. There, I often think about football and read the WHO WORE IT BEST section of US Weekly.
Why do you think you can be the next Chopped Champion?
I will get everything on the plate. I will not serve raw chicken. I will not lose track of the clock, which is insane for chefs to do because the clock is right there and Ted is always shouting out how much time is left. I will not wander around the pantry like a moron. I will render my bacon fat until it's nice and crispy. I will keep my station clean and not throw food scraps on the floor like that one British lesbian lady did, which was so gross. I will not bitch about the ingredients in the mystery basket. "WHOA HEY CANNED FISH! I didn't expect this!" No kidding, idiot. You're on Chopped.
What would you do with the $10,000 Chopped winnings?
Beer and guns.
In ONE sentence, tell us why the Food Network needs YOU on a special episode of Chopped:
Because I'm sexy like Freitag, mean like Zakarian, and hairy like Conant.
I also checked the box that read "I understand that if chosen to compete and cook on an episode of Chopped that I am willing and able to touch/use/cook with/incorporate all of the basket ingredients given to me on that given day." You bet your ass I'm willing to touch that goat shank. Call me, Food Network. Don't deprive me of the right to be humiliated on national TV.
Update: Host Ted Allen has replied.