You’ve Just Been Chopped

Sorry, House Hunters International. You’ve just been “chopped” from your position as my favorite TV program. My new fave is Chopped.

I recently stumbled across a Chopped marathon on the Food Network. I spent the next four hours glued to the TV screen like burnt molasses on a cast-iron skillet. I marveled as each chef combined a cornucopia of disparate ingredients into mouthwatering (and sometimes mindboggling) culinary creations. I was addicted. I’m now a certified choppedaholic.

I began to analyze my fascination with the show and realized that each of the chefs was essentially doing what I have to do every day — taking a group of often unrelated components and combining them to create something that meets (or exceeds) established objectives. In the case of Chopped, the ingredients might be brown bread in a can, broccoli, duck eggs and bing cherries to create an appetizer. And its criteria is creativity, presentation and taste.

In my case, it may be a bunch of text files, stock photos, grunge type and primary colors. My criteria may be visual appeal, rapid delivery of complex information and strong emotional response. Somehow, within these parameters, I must create an eye-catching and effective brochure within an allotted amount of time. Or get chopped. Ouch!

Nevertheless, nothing is more satisfying and rewarding than meeting the challenge. And that’s what keeps me whipping up tasty visual treats.