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Four chefs will create a three course dinner... with one chef eliminated after each course.


Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

FACT FILE:
Host:
Ted Allen
Creators/EP:
Linda Lea, Michael Krupat, Dave Noll

Packager: City Lights Television for Food Network
Origin: Food Network Studios, New York City
Website: foodnetwork.com/chopped 
 
Airs: Tuesdays at 10p ET on Food Network

In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online
 

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Strawberries/Turkey/Gummy Bears
April 7

Welcome to the season finale of Chopped! We have four more chefs and three more baskets, and we've saved our best for last...
 
JONATHAN CONTES
Long Island, NY
owner/chef, Mosaic
VICTOR CABEZAS
Newark, NJ
owner/chef, MiSavi
AMY ROTH
New York City
chef/entrepreneur of Amy Cake Catering
MICHAEL CARRINO
Montclair, NJ
chef/owner, Passione

The rules are simple. You're given a mélange of random theme ingredients that must be used in that dish. You have a given number of minutes of cooking time. After each course, the plate will be judged on creativity, presentation, and above all, taste. The chef whose plate scores the lowest after each course will be "chopped". The last chef standing wins $10,000.

Tonight's judges...

- Latin expert and cookbook author Aaron Sanchez
- executive chef Amanda Freitag
- cookbook author & Italian authority Scott Conant

Round 1: APPETIZER. First up... salmon, radicchio, ginger, and strawberries

You have 30 minutes... Time starts... NOW!

Jonathan: Salmon with Strawberry & Poppyseed Dressing and Strawberry Radicchio Salad
Victor: Sweet & Sour Salmon with Sautéed Radicchio
Amy: Seared Salmon with Sautéed Radicchio and Strawberry Ginger Sauce
Michael: Crispy Skin Salmon with Strawberry Ginger Salad

Michael doesn't like salmon. At all. Vic and Amy have similar dishes. Jonathan hopes that searing the fish on one side and leaving it raw on the other is a bit of a concept move. Amy doesn't go for fussy or trendy.

All the chefs finish in the nick of time. Alright, let's go to the judges.

Jonathan's dish confuses Scott. The flavors are lovely, though. Vision comes together with Victor's dish, but it needed to come together a little more. Amy's dish was trying for something sweet and spicy at the same time, and it wows the judges. Michael's salmon delivers with crisp.

So four good starts, but someone's gotta go home. A couple of amateurs pull off some amateur moves. Will that cost them?

The first person to be chopped is... VICTOR. The dish was well-intended, but it was muted.

Round 2: ENTREE. Next up in the mystery boxes are... turkey breast, baby turnips, pearl onions, and coconut flakes.

Thirty ticks on the clock, please... GO!

Jonathan: Spiced Turkey with a Coffee Coconut Cream
Amy: Roasted Turkey over Sautéed Turnip Greens & Pearl Onions
Michael: Turkey Roulade with Raw Turnip Salad

And Amy burns her coconuts. Part two. Amy sees turkey roulade and thinks that it's so culinary school. Jonathan decides to saute his vegetables in the rendered fat. And Michael... He likes fire. Amy is completely flustered. With five minutes remaining, no one has plated as of yet. Michael starts the stack. He likes stacking. Jonathan has a great idea, but nothing on his plate! Okay, there he is. With a minute on the clock. And Amy's not feeling good... AT ALL.

And... TIME. Plates are down. Time to serve.

Amy calls this the worst food that she's ever put out. She should've gone with the curry. Michael's dish is innovative, but the skin becomes a disconnect. Jonathan has a lot of bold flavors and a lot of good intentions...but also a lot of negative space. Scott takes issue with his dish not being done properly.

At this point, Amy is confident that she's going home. Is that a self-fulfilling prophecy? The second person to be chopped is... JONATHAN. The judges like the bold flavor, but the undercooking of the meat was unacceptable.

Round 3: DESSERT. Welcome to the cash round. In your buckets today... Blackberries... kiwi... wonton wrappers... and gummy bears.

Let's get serious.... GO!

Amy: Pavlova with Fried Wonton
Michael: Fried Wonton with Kiwi & Gummy Bear Filling

And gummy bears prove not to go gently into that dark night, as Michael's food pro doesn't really gel with them. Meanwhile, Amy is turning fast-forward on her pavlova. A lot of things are going crazy all over the place. There's going to be a lot of moisture, but in the end, everything comes together. Michael melts gummy bears, Amy makes a meringue.

And... TIME. For the last time this season... what's on your plate is what the judges will taste.

The judges like that Michael didn't just throw gummy bears into a dish. The liquefied candy is an interesting contrast in texture. The pavlova tastes like ... scrambled eggs.

Let's talk cashroo. Amy was more of a roller-coaster, while Michael sort of plateaued. Amy had a better dessert, but Michael had a better front game with his execution. So who's getting $10,000 and who's getting the next ride home? The final person to be chopped... is... AMY. It was a hard choice, but ultimately, they looked at the whole body of work.

So guess what, Michael Carrino... You are a Chopped champion! You get the bragging rights and the cash.

So that's it for season 1 of "Chopped". Casting for season 2 is underway, so head to the website if you think your dish could be one of only 13 not to be... well... you know.

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the official website at www.foodnetwork.com/chopped