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Season 16
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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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Cleaver Fever
June 11

It's a new season in the Chopped Kitchen. A new wad of $10,000 cash money is on the line. And a new batch of chefs are awaiting the chopping block. Tonight, we have these four...
Sevan Abdessian
Glendale, CA
owner/chef, Recess Eatery
Nicole Mummolo
Millbrook, NY
sous-chef, La Puerta Azul
Raquel Jubran
Long Beach, CA
executive chef, The Attic
Owen Clark
Brooklyn, NY
executive chef, Gwynnett St. Restaurant

Tonight on the panel.

- Executive chef Elizabeth Karmel
- Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
- Superstar restauranteur Scott Conant

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). The first basket of the night has... tuna belly, key limes, black radishes, and bacon popcorn.

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

Sevan: Tuna Tower with Radish Popcorn Puree
Nicole: Tuna Belly with Key Lime Ceviche
Raquel: Seared Tuna with Radish Salad
Owen: Chilled Black Radish and Key Lime Broth

The soy ties Sevan's dish together, but the fish loses the cleanliness. Nicole's ceviche is bright, depth, and acid. The radish chip needed to be thinner. Raquel's seared tuna is tied with the salad by the vinaigrette, but it suffers. Owen's tuna is small and seasoned. The broth is clever, but you get off-putting sulfur smell.

The first chef... to be chopped... is... RAQUEL. She really needed to taste that tuna.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Our three remaining chefs are now taking on the challenge of the entree box... and inside of it: leg of lamb, toban djan, spinachi, and lassi.

Thirty minutes... Get to it!

Sevan: Toban Djan with Lassi Marinated Lamb Loin
Nicole: Braised Leg of Lamb with Lassi
Owen: Seared Lamb Leg

Lassi is a yogurt drink. while toban djan is a Chinese chili sauce.

In his excitement, Owen has nicked his finger. That's time wasted.

Alex thought that Nicole's dish looked a bit like Thanksgiving. Scott wishes she didn't try to braise the lamb. It needed more time. Nicole's got a bit of fight in her. Aside from being a former exotic dancer, she's also a boxer and a former professional wrestler. Owen's lamb is inconsistently cooked from judge to judge. Sevan's lamb was a "buff" plate: balanced, unity, focused, and flow. The lamb is masterful, but the toban djan and the lassi are lost in the aioli

The next chef... to be chopped... is... SEVAN. He has passion and creativity, but he needed a little bit of restraint.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). Who wants dessert? Who wants money? The ingredients are ... rosewater syrup, almond butter, rambutans, and mashed potato candy.

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

Nicole: Almond Cookie Tower with Rosewater Ice Cream
Owen: Almond Butter Cake with Whipped Ricotta

Owen's cake fell apart in the plating, and the mashed potato candy was part of a caramel that didn't make it onto the plate. The rambutan was a positive note. Nicole's ambition is on display, and the texture of her ice cream is phenomenal. The milk-chocolate mashed potato cream is good. But there's a lot of sugar on the plate.

Nicole started by winning the appetizer round over Owen, but Owen won the entree over Nicole. Dessert is going to be the tiebreaker.

The final chef... to be chopped... is... OWEN. It all came down to the sulfuric odor from the app round and the lack of ingredient from the dessert.

That gives us our first champion of season 16, NICOLE MUMMOLO! You look like you could use a $10,000 tip. Have one of ours.

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