Chopped 420 Brings Cannabis Cooking Competition to Discovery+
Need proof of the mainstreaming of marijuana? How about a televised cannabis cooking competition show on basic cable.
The popular TV show "Chopped," as every foodie knows, involves four chefs who face off against one another in a timed cooking contest. The goal is to prepare a three-course meal using four secret ingredients. The one who gets the best score from a panel of judges wins.
A new spinoff of that show is designed to appeal to a cannabis-loving audience. It's one of the surest signs yet of the mainstreaming of cannabis in American culture.
The new show, called "Chopped 420," will debut on Discovery+ on - you guessed it - April 20. That's because 420 is considered a holiday for cannabis users or at least a time to reflect upon how the code for cannabis by California high schoolers became a global phenomenon.
The goal of both "Chopped 420" and another spinoff on Discovery+ called "Chopped Next Gen" is to draw in younger viewers to "Chopped"-related shows and other content, according to Variety.
The new show will run for five weeks on Discovery+.
For the initial run of the show, five episodes will stream on Discovery+. Comedian Ron Funches will host, and the judges' panel includes chefs Esther Choi, Luke Reyes and Sam Talbot. Other judges will consist of drag performer and cannabis activist Laganja Estranja and comedian Tacarra Williams.
Each chef will have to include cannabis in every course of the meal, something chefs at real restaurants have been doing the past few years (especially if you live in California). The winner will earn a $10,000 grand prize.
Courtney White, Food Network's president, told Variety that "Chopped" is the perfect show to explore the popularity of spinoffs aimed at more niche audiences. "I think you have to have a really powerful franchise to be able to experiment this way," she said.
"Chopped 420" isn't the only cannabis-themed cooking show
American society is fast reaching the point where marijuana-themed shows - cooking shows, at least - are no longer a novelty. While "Chopped 420" is getting a lot of attention, other cannabis cooking shows have emerged in recent years.
They include "Cooking on High" and "Cooked with Cannabis," both on Netflix, as well as VICE's "Bong Appetit: Cook-Off." Of the three, "Cooked with Cannabis" has received the most press because of host Kelis—the one with the milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard.
Marijuana-themed TV also has become a staple outside of cooking shows. Some of the shows featuring cannabis and cannabis-related themes include "High Maintenance" on HBO, "Disjointed" on Netflix, "Dope State" on Apple TV, and, of course, "Weeds," which ran on Showtime from 2005-2012. A "Weeds" sequel is in the works, bringing back stars Mary Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins.