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

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Ted Allen
Linda Lea, Michael Krupat, Dave Noll

Packager: City Lights Television for Food Network
Origin: Food Network Studios, New York City
Airs: Tuesdays at 10p ET on Food Network

In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Octopus/Duck/Animal Crackers
January 13

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to cook a three-course meal with three ingredients? Chances are you haven't, but for four chefs in Food Network's new series, it's going to be a challenge to see how they can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary in their answer to "Top Chef" on speed.

Tonight's contestants...

Sandy Davis
catering chef
Summer Kriegshauser
personal chef; nutrition coach
Katie Rosenhouse
pastry chef
Perry Pollaci
rock musician turned sous chef

The rules are simple. You're given a mélange of random theme ingredients that must be used in that dish. You have 30 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...

- Chef and restauranteur Aaron Sanchez
- Executive chef and "The Cooking Loft" host Alex Guarnaschelli
- Chef and restauranteur Marc Murphy

Round 1: APPETIZER. The mystery ingredients... Baby octopus, bok choy, oyster sauce, smoked paprika.

Did we mention that Summer is a vegan? Good luck.

Sandy: Pulpo and Olive Salad with Octopus and Wilted Bok Choy Salad (he has never cooked an octopus in his life)
Summer: Miso Glazed Octopus with Bok Choy
Katie: Citrus and Sauteed Octopus Salad with Toasted Baguette
Perry: Grilled Octopus with Bok Choy Broth

Sandy is the first one done with his dish, while Perry is rushed to the last minute. And TIME. What is down on your plate is what the judges will eat.

Over at the Chopping Block, Sandy is given points on his presentation. Summer uses red cabbage in presentation for color. Katie's plate is too small, but Marc likes that it's all mixed together.  Alex... is looking for oyster sauce in Perry's dish.

Will Sandy's heavy salting hurt him? Will Perry's lack of time constraint be a factor? The first person to be chopped is... SUMMER. The dish was very nice looking, but she needed to concentrate on the flavor.

Round 2: ENTREE. The mystery ingredients... Duck breast, green onions, ginger, honey.

Sandy thinks that if you add a little orange, you're golden. Time starts... NOW!

Sandy: Duck a L'Orange with New Potatoes with Orange & Ginger Glaze
Katie: Seared Duck Break with Scallion Sauce on Cocoa Ricotta Crepe
Perry: Duck a L'Orange with Glazed Carrots

And we have an injury as Perry cuts himself. That leaves him a little flustered. Perry does a little better with time management, so he uses his time to make his dish pop. Katie's presentation... is a little sloppy. And TIME.

We start with Katie's dish. Her dish has a nice bitterness, but the scallions were cooked a little too much. Perry likes clean flavors... and he is missing a starchy element. Sandy's scallion char is an added element of surprise.

Was Katie's dish a little too sloppy? Did Perry really have to use cilantro twice in a row, and where was his starch? The next person to be chopped... PERRY. The dish was a little too safe, and it didn't show enough progression.

We're going head to head now...

Round 3: DESSERT. The mystery ingredients... prunes, animal crackers, cream cheese.

It's a pastry chef versus.... Sandy. Time starts now!

Sandy: Animal Crackers in My Soup with Cream Cheese Garnish (it's not a soup; it's rather a fruit poach served in its poaching liquid)
Katie: Animal Cracker Semifreddo with Prune Compote

And apparently no one is picking up on the subtle reference to Shirley Temple. And all we're doing with a minute left... finishing touches. TIME! "Katie is a pastry chef. She just made $10,000."

Sandy's up first. The prunes are large, but at the same time, the cream cheese mixes well with the rest of the dish. Katie's semifreddo needed acid, and they got it, but it was all cream cheese and no other ingredients.

Not only are the judges giving $10,000 based on the dish at hand, but also based on the natural progression from appetizer to dessert. Did Katie just take the easy route to $10,000, or was Sandy able to pull the come-from-behind victory with his overall approach?

The final person to be chopped is... KATIE. Sandy Davis is $10,000 richer!

Next week, four more chefs and three more dishes, all hoping not to be... chopped.

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the official website at