Ron Funches has come a long way since he was a favorite stand-up comedian on Portland stages. In the years since he moved to Los Angeles, Funches has acted in TV series and movies, continued to do comedy, written, lent his voice to such projects as the “Trolls” movie franchise, created the “Gettin’ Better With Ron Funches” podcast, and more. Now, Funches is reaching new heights as host of “Chopped 420,” a cooking competition where chefs will be asked to include cannabis in their dishes.
Like the popular “Chopped” show on Food Network, “Chopped 420″ will challenge chefs to prepare delicious meals with unpredictable ingredients. But “Chopped 420″ adds a twist. As the press information promises, the show will break new ground, “with each episode featuring four budding cannabis chefs who are challenged to create tasty and mind warping dishes through three rounds – appetizer, entrée, and dessert – from a mystery basket of ingredients for a chance at winning the $10,000 grand prize. Besides scouring the Chopped pantry for ingredients, each competitor must also navigate the Chopped green house for cannabis or CBD-infused products to incorporate into their dishes.”
Judging by the episode titles — “High Expectations,” “Get Baked or Get Chopped,” “Go Green or Go Home,” and so on — the chefs should be prepared to use their imaginations when it comes to adding cannabis to the foods they whip up.
According to the press info, in each hour-long episode of “Chopped 420,” the chefs must try to please the palates of a panel of recurring judges, including chef Esther Choi, drag performer and cannabis activist Laganja Estranja, chef Luke Reyes, chef Sam Talbot and comedian Tacarra Williams, if they want to avoid being chopped.
Episodes will include chefs trying to make dishes that use spot prawns and borscht, something called “chocolate dentures,” and the not-very-appetitizing-sounding combo of armadillo eggs and eel.
“Chopped 420″ isn’t the first culinary competition to emphasize weed cuisine. Portland-based chef Leather Storrs was featured on a Netflix show called “Cooked With Cannabis,” that premiered last year on Netflix.
All episodes of “Chopped 420″ premiere Monday, April 20 — get it? 4/20? — on the Discovery Plus streaming service.
— Kristi Turnquist