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Previous Episodes
June 11
June 13
June 16

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

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Ted Allen
Creators Linda Lea
Michael Krupat
Dave Noll
EP Linda Lea
Dave Noll
Packager Notional Productions for Food Network
Origins Food Network Studios, New York City
Web foodnetwork.com/chopped
Airs 10p ET Tues, Food

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Wheatgrass Roots
June 18

Tonight, the first basket ought to be named the earth first basket because of its crazy ingredient. Who's taking it on today? Two vegetarian chefs and two who just know how to handle it without meat.
Rich Landau
chef owner, Vedge
Mustapha Rahiim
New York City
executive chef, Urban Cooking
Sonya Coté
Austin, TX
executive chef, Hillside Farmacy
David Garrido
Austin, TX
chef owner, Garrido's

Tonight on the panel.

- Superstar Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
- American restauranteur Marc Murphy
- Executive chef supreme Amanda Freitag

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First in the mystery baskets are... rice wrappers, morel mushrooms, chia seeds, and dandelion greens.

... and you have 20 minutes... and they start now.

Rich: Horta Roll with Morel Stock
Mustapha: Noodle Salad with Greens & Morels
Sonya: Morel Spring Rolls with a Winter Salad
David: Mushroom Ragout with Braised Dandelion Greens

There are a lot of textures on Rich's dish, but it needs a little more salt. Alex likes the flavor of the stock. Chef Mu's dish had a little bit of sweetness, but the bourbon was overcloying. The "noodles" were "glopped" together. But the use of the chia seeds were spot on. Sonya's morel filling is delicious. It's Alex's favorite so far, but what's up with the lemon slice and the hot sauce? Finally, David's morel saute pairs well with the dandelion greens with bacon and honey, but the rice paper has a stick-to-your-teeth textures.

The first chef... to be chopped... is... DAVID. The flavor was there, but the focus needed to be on the mushrooms, and the rice paper were not successful.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). And then there were three left to take on this box... etrog citron, golden beets, wheatgrass, and tempeh.

Thirty minutes... Get to it!

Rich: Steak Spice Temped with Marinated Beets & Italian Salsa Verde
Mustapha: Asian Saute Temped with Frisee Salad and Candied Beets
Sonya: Curry Roasted Tempeh with Heirloom Tomatoes and Beet Puree

The tempeh takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked in. Etrog citron needs to be balanced with other flavors to offset its own acidity.

Chef Mu looked like a train wreck, but... it worked. No taste of tempeh whatsoever. But there's no real harmony in the components. Sonya's dish was overpickled, causing Alex to choke on herself. Meanwhile, the tempeh tastes a lot like bacon, and the rest of the dish was mushy. Rich's tempeh was very bright, and it's very well seasoned. The beets are cohesive on the plate, but this is not a steak and should not be treated as such.

The next chef... to be chopped... is... SONYA. The tempeh's bitterness came through, and though the puree was tasty, it bled into the wheatgrass.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). We've got the carnivore turned vegetarian vs. the vegetarian turned carnivore. Both will face the challenge of... cranberries, green tea powder, edamame, and local honey.

We're half-an-hour away from a big money moment.

Rich: Edamame Turnovers with Cranberry Sauce
Mustapha: Merlot Cranberry Sauce with Candied Yams

Rich is wrestling with a dilemma. At 18 he swore off of ALL animal products. Honey is an animal product. "I don't feel there's any virtue in being eliminated by not using an ingredient to make a statement. I'm never going to use honey in our restaurant, but I'm going to use it today." He's going to use it, but he's not going to overdo it.

Rich's turnovers won the judges' over, with the cranberry balancing with the green tea. The turnover needed a little more cooking time. Chef Mu's dish was an ode to home. His childhood has nurtured a love of ingredients. It's a good dish.. but is it a dessert? The judges were looking forward to a cookie crumble or something.

The final chef... to be chopped... is... MUSTAPHA. There was a push-pull between creative choices and actual cohesiveness. The dessert was lacking a "dessert" element.

And so the vegetarian from Philadelphia has pushed meatless cuisine further into the limelight, as RICH LANDAU takes away $10,000 and the title of Chopped Champion.

Now our attention turns to the next battle. One player is going to be paid, and the other three are going to be CHOPPED.

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