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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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String Cheese/Jicama/Ginger Snaps
March 17

Another four chefs. Another three baskets. Another $10,000. Let's meet tonight's flinging fists of foodie fury.

Willingboro, NJ
executive chef & caterer
New York City
executive chef & owner, Kuma Inn
Trenton, NJ
executive chef & caterer
orig. Laos
executive chef, Talay

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...

- cookbook author & Italian authority Scott Conant
- executive chef Amanda Freitag
- dynamic chef & restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian

Round 1: APPETIZER. In the first baskets... chicken wings, soba noodles, celery, string cheese

This round has 20 minutes... Time starts now!

Jonathan: Pan-Seared Sesame Chicken Wings
King: Asian-Style Buffalo Chicken Wings
Darius: Asian BBQ Stuffed Chicken Wings
Soulayphet: Chicken Miso Soup

The cheese and celery throw all of our chefs for a loop. The biggest concern with the judges is... are they going to eat anything or will we just have raw chicken? Soulayphet is not planning to serve undercooked chicken to the judges. He plates his noodles. King is worried about his chicken being undercooked. One minute to go, and we're afraid that we might see some unfinished business.

And that's time. And the general consensus is that no one's proud of their dishes.

But what do the judges have to say? Jonathan's dish is a little bland, and the use of celery and cheese as a garnish is a copout. King's dish is delicious, but he has no cheese or celery incorporated. Darius's dish is ambitious, and it has some love in it. Soulayphet's dish is presented nice and contained.

So we have two dishes that were copouts, and two with some love added. Who'll be the first to be chopped? The judges were shocked at what was done... and what wasn't done. That said... the first person to be chopped is... JONATHAN. Both he and King offended the judges with their lack of ambition, but ultimately King was given another shot.

Round 2: ENTREE. Hopefully we can make something happen with... Striped bass, pimento peppers, jicama, mango, and brie.

Thirty minutes in this round... GO!

King: Pan-Seared Bass with Pickled Mango & Jicama Salad
Darius: Pan-Seared Bass with Brie Bread Pudding
Soulayphet: Pan-Seared Bass with Jicama Mango Salad and Onion Puree

All three chefs are going the same way, but the question is... how do you incorporate cheese? Darius is using cabbage for a cole slaw. The main concern is getting the fish nice and crispy, while Darius is dredging it in flour for something different. Darius plates first with five minutes to go. The colors are sick. Meanwhile, Phet is thinking that the brie just might work with the puree. King, on the other hand, loves his salad on top of his fish.

And... TIME. What's on the plate is what the judges will taste.

Phet's dish is all good, but the skin isn't crisp all the way through. Darius' presentation is popping. King's brie seems to be missing.

So we have a great tasting dish, a great presentation, and then there's the entire package. Did King show up in this course? Scott... doesn't think so. But it's alla bout the collective. That said, the second person to be chopped is.... KING. None of his components actually came together.

Round 3: DESSERT. Time for the final faceoff, and in the baskets... ginger snaps, creme fraiche, instant coffee, and carrots.

Thirty minutes to make something happen... GO!

Darius: Carrot Sponge Cake with a Ginger Snap Crust
Soulayphet: Ginger Snap & Carrot Crepes with an Anglaise Sauce.

Phet doesn't like coffee. At all. Ginger snaps give flavor and texture to whatever dish you can come up with. Phet is spending more time than necessary on his Anglaise. Ultimately, he ditches it in favor of coffee with creme fraiche. Meanwhile, Darius' crust isn't all that's cracked up to be, so he tries a ginger snap praline instead. Phet is coming around, finding his groove. Darius almost makes the mistake of going somewhere and taking his dish with him! Heh.

And that's time. Let's serve it up.

Darius' dish ends up as a Carrot Genoise soaked with a raspberry syrup and a coffee-ginger-praline cream. The presentation is great. We're imbalanced with carrots and raspberry. Phet's crepes aren't "correct", but the presentation and stuffing awes the judges.

So will the flavors in Phet's dish beat out the presentation of Darius's dish? More importantly, who progressed more and deeper throughout the entire meal? The judges area at each other on this, and they decide that at the least, it's a dead heat.

But in the end, there can only be one. The final person to be chopped... is.... SOULAYPHET. They're both winners, but Darius brought a level of passion and love to his dishes that was unparalleled. Phet agrees.

So there you have it. Darius Peacock wins $10,000 for his dishes! And right now, the Chopped Champion is left speechless.

Next week, another three servings lead to the sweet taste of victory for another chef, while his or her opponents are left... chopped.

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