After countless nights of watching "Chopped" with my roommates, we finally decided to host our own cooking challenge. Although we aren't as professional or creative as the cooks on the show, we all made the best dishes we could in our smaller-sized kitchen. So, I guess it would be better to call this a college-student version of a "Chopped" competition.

First, we needed to gather some judges to rate our dishes. This was a pretty easy step because most college students will go anywhere they can get a free meal—or multiple. Once we had our three judges, we had to figure out how many courses we would do and what ingredients we would use. We decided on three courses—appetizer, entree, and dessert—and then used a random food generator online to figure out our ingredients (roughly). Obviously, we couldn't do anything too crazy, like chicken feet, because our judges wouldn't eat them, and we didn't know how to cook them, which could potentially be dangerous. So, the following ingredients are ones we chose from the random food generator for each course:


1. Cream Cheese

2. Cucumber

3. Arugula


1. Chicken

2. Bacon

3. Beer

4. Lemon


1. Kit Kats

2. Coconut Milk

3. Baguette

4. Frozen Berries

The Rules:

We were each allowed to plan out our dishes before we went to the grocery store, but we weren't allowed to look up any recipes. Everyone had to use all of the required ingredients in each course, along with any other ingredients they wished to use, and we weren't allowed to share our planned out recipes with each other before the competition. 

The judgement portion of the competition went a little differently than normal "Chopped" competition rules. Instead of eliminating one person each round, we had our three judges rate us out of 10 points for each course, and added them up at the end to determine a winner. 

The "Chopped" Competition:

Once we had our judges lined up, the ingredients laid out, and the rules decided, we were able to officially begin our very own "Chopped" competition. We decided to have a shorter time limit for the appetizer, since no one's dish required cooking. The appetizer time limit was 15 minutes. We were going to have a time limit for the entree and dessert, but our kitchen was just too small to work diligently around each other, so we just all finished in our own time. 

The Appetizer Round:

Everyone started frantically creating their appetizer dish for the 15 minute first round. We could make anything we wanted out of cucumbers, cream cheese, and arugula, and these were the end results.

Rachel Roche

Roommate 1: (on the left of the picture above) She made a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich and finished off her plating by surrounding the sandwich with some arugula and spinach leaves. 

Roommate 2: (on the right of the picture above) She mixed cream cheese with spices, spread it on top of cucumber slices, and garnished cucumber slices with an arugula leaf to top it all off

Roommate 3: (at the top of the picture above) She made a cucumber, cream cheese, and arugula sandwich on wheat bread. 

Roommate 4: (on the bottom of the picture above) I made an arugula salad with a lemony vinaigrette. On top, I mixed together cooked shrimp, cucumber, cream cheese, mayo, and spices to make a shrimp salad.

The Entree Round:

Things started getting a little hectic during this round. We had dishes everywhere from the quick appetizer round and only four burners to work with on the stove. We each had to make our most creative entree with chicken, bacon, beer, and lemon. With that being said, this is how the dishes turned out for this round.

Rachel Roche

Roommate 1(located at the top of the picture above) This dish consisted of a pan-cooked chicken breast with crumbled bacon on top. She used a beer and lemon marinade and let the chicken cook with the marinade in a pan. She used a side of Lay's Hickory Barbecue chips to finish it all off.

Roommate 2: I didn't actually get a picture of this roommate's entree because the judges ate it all before I was able to take a picture—so you could say this dish was popular. She made a seasoned chicken breast cooked with beer and lemon juice, topped with a bacon barbecue sauce. She added some garlic bread sticks as a side to bring her dish all together. 

Rachel Roche

Roommate 3(pictured above) Her dish consisted of a seasoned chicken breast wrapped in bacon. She included a side of broccoli flavored with lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, beer, and Parmesan cheese. 

Roommate 4: (at the bottom of the picture with Roommate 1's dish) My dish included a seasoned, lemony pan-cooked chicken breast with a beer cheese and bacon sauce over the top. I included a last-minute side salad of arugula and a simple vinaigrette.

The Dessert Round:

Once the dessert round came around, we were all pretty cooked-out. Making two dishes within one hour was pretty intensive, not to mention we had to figure out how to incorporate a baguette, coconut milk, frozen berries, and Kit Kats into a delicious, sweet dessert. Nevertheless, this is what we came up with.

Rachel Roche

Roommate 1: (pictured above) She chose to hollow out one side of the baguette to make little bread cups for her berry filling. She put the frozen berries into her bread cups and poured the coconut milk over the top. Then, she finished it off with Kit Kat crumbles. 

Rachel Roche

Roommate 2(in the white cup pictured in the oven above) She made one big bread pudding by cubing the baguette, and mixing it with the coconut milk and berries. Then, she sprinkled some chopped Kit Kat over the top of the dessert to finish it off.

Roommate 3(in the muffin pan pictured above) She also made a bread pudding by cubing the baguette, and mixing it with the coconut milk and chopped Kit Kat. She finished it off by adding the frozen berries and some dark chocolate chips on top. She served it with some vanilla ice cream on the side.

Rachel Roche

Roommate 4: (pictured above) I chose to make a chocolate fondue by heating up the coconut milk, Kit Kat crumbles, and dark chocolate chips in the microwave. I mixed it together until it was to the consistency I liked. Then, I added the frozen berries and baguette slices around the plate to dip in the chocolate fondue. 

The Results:

Our judges added up their ratings from each round, and the results were final. Though we all put our best cooking efforts forward for the competition, the judges came down to a decision and decided which competitor's dishes were the most delicious. This is what they decided:

Fourth Place: Roommate 1

Third Place: Roommate 2

Second Place: Roommate 4

First Place: Roommate 3

Overall, this competition left us with a lot of dishes to clean, but it was a fun way to spend our Saturday night. I encourage you to try having your own "Chopped" competition whenever you find yourself sitting around bored with your roommates or friends—just maybe try to use paper plates to eliminate all the work afterwards, trust me.