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OXO vs Smart Design in a Chopped-Style Showdown

OXO vs Smart Design in a Chopped-Style Showdown

Words Veronica Chan

Here at OXO, we like a good challenge — whether it’s determining the precise gasket shape for a leakproof container or how to clean the top of a ceiling fan. So when our friends and office neighbors at Smart Design challenged us to a Chopped-style cooking competition, of course we couldn’t back down. Without hesitation, several of us OXOnians volunteered to participate, ready to put our culinary chops and personal reputations on the line.

There would be three rounds: first up, a cocktail round, followed by an appetizer elimination round, and then a final round between the two remaining teams. After each round, the final dishes were judged by a panel of Smart Design and OXO members on creativity, presentation, and taste.

Each team’s stations were equipped with an identical set of OXO tools. Unmarked boxes with mystery ingredients were revealed, the clock began the countdown, and then the competition commenced.

 

Round 1: Drinks

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Time on the clock: 12 minutes.

Our challenge: to concoct a cocktail made with Fruit Loops, blueberries, and mini bottles of Kahlua, Fireball, and St. Germain. We dashed to the liquor station to grab additional ingredients and began to shake and stir our creations. While no teams would get eliminated this round, the winning team would be able to omit one ingredient from their box next round.

 

CHOPPED.

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And the Winner Is…

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Round 2: Appetizers

Time on the clock: 30 minutes.

Our challenge: To prepare a dish incorporating carnitas tacos, kale chips, dark chocolate, and fennel. My team repurposed the ingredients into a 7-layer dip, but sadly our creation fell short. It “lacked texture, like a meal from a college dining hall,” commented one judge. And just like that, we were chopped.

 

CHOPPED.

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Our 7-layer dip definitely wasn’t a looker but the judges did admit it tasted good!

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Although conceptually interesting, the chocolate dipped tortilla chips were aggressively spiced and salted.

 

Second Place

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Carnitas reincarnated into a classy crostini with a funky lime-fennel garnish.

 

And the Winner Is…

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Carnitas-topped nachos with a bonus Michelada on the side.

 

Round 3: Entrées

As the final two teams unboxed their ingredients, Lyndon from Smart Design (also our Australian emcee for the evening) excitedly announced the ingredients.

The ingredients: Sushi-grade tuna, Cheetos, mangoes and vegemite — with extra emphasis on the vegemite. The bottle of vegemite was subsequently passed around the audience to taste, many for the first time (and with great repulsion).

 

CHOPPED.

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Unfortunately, deep frying sushi-grade tuna was unanimously frowned upon by all judges so this dish was CHOPPED.

 

And the Winner Is…

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Congratulations Lynna, Jess, and Joey, who took home the Chopped trophy for their Cheetos-encrusted, vegemite-marinated and seared tuna with a side of mango salsa.

By Veronica Chan

Veronica Chan is part of OXO's Brand Communications team. She hopes to one day open a free range chinchilla farm which will include a petting zoo for the kids and maybe balloons.

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