So, You Want to Be On Chopped? Here's How

By: 
Leslie Kelly
Former contestants on the Food Network's "Chopped"

Judging by the incredible feeding frenzy about Top Chef filming around the city, it's seems safe to say cooking reality shows have huge followings. There might even be a few viewers who long to be on the other side of the camera, and here's some encouraging news: Food Network's smash hit Chopped is casting here, looking for home cooks. Here's the skinny on how to apply.

And for a few tips on how to successfully audition, we talked to former Top Cheffer Robin Leventhal, whose advice boiled down to this: Above all, be yourself!!

"When I answered a cold call for Top Chef, I walked in and added my name to the list, and waited four hours before they called us in for a group interview," says Leventhal, who has been working as a consultant, doing catering gigs and training as an auctioneer since being on the show in 2009. "I was the only one who talked! I wasn't afraid to be myself. I didn't really think I had a shot, so I wasn't nervous or stressed like some of the others in the room, who wanted it so bad, you could see the strain on their faces."

Producers, she said, are looking for authenticity. "The minute you start trying to be someone else, it's obvious. They don't want actors. This is reality TV."

If you'd rather watch, head over to LUC tonight (Wednesday), where Top Chef Masters gamer Thierry Rautureau will air the season premiere and show it every Wednesday. Go chef T!