I’m competing on Chopped!

Yes, you read that right – I’m facing the infamous “Chopped” kitchen on Sunday, July 22 at 8:00pm ET, all in the name of a good cause. And, let me tell you, it is in fact just as nerve-wracking and intense as it looks on TV. Time flies like never before, and those baskets – they really are a surprise, and you really do have about 4 milliseconds to think before starting to cook. I’ll be competing with my fellow “Food Network Star” winners from other seasons including Aarti Sequeira, Jeff Mauro and Amy Finley. And our judges are the amazing “Food Network Star” team mentors Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown.

We’re each playing for a charity in this episode, and the winner’s charity will receive $10,000.  I’m playing for an organization that is very close to my heart: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I have a deep personal connection and love for AFSP and the work they do, as I lost my mom to suicide when I was 20 years old.  I feel blessed to be a part of furthering AFSP’s mission, and my sincere hope is that its message will reach even a few people in need who happen to be watching “Chopped” on Sunday. Thanks to organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there is help out there for people in need as well as for the survivors. On the AFSP website, you can read the personal story I wrote about my mom and why playing for AFSP on “Chopped” means so much to me.

And, although I can’t give too much away and I can’t tell you how many courses I survived to cook, here are a few ingredient secrets I can share from the show:

  • The appetizer round basket includes sparkling cider.
  • The entrée round basket includes black chickens.
  • The dessert round basket includes frozen peas and cinnamon cereal.

This special episode of “Chopped” will air just before the season finale of “Food Network Star”.

I’ll be live tweeting (@MelissadArabian) during “Chopped” on Sunday, and I hope you’ll join the conversation (#Chopped) as you’re watching! And, you can also always share your thoughts on my Facebook page.