Last time on Chopped, Einat Admony faced three
returning champions in her quest to become the ultimate Chopped Champion.
Unfortunately for her, that quest was stopped in the Entree Round. Her loss...
Cody Utzman's gain, as he becomes the new champion to beat. Tonight on the
season finale, three champions will return for another play... and three more
champions will be chopped.
New York City
sous chef, Gordon Ramsay's London
Won episode 2.3
New York City
Won episode 2.9
executive chef & owner, Exceptional Taste Catering
Won episode 1.10
chef & restauranteur, The Standard
based upon his environment
$20,000, two games
Tonight's judges... all come from New York City's
- Latin cuisine authority Aaron Sanchez
- Star executive chef Alex Guarnaschelli
- Italian maestro Scott Conant
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First
challenge has... lobster, bananas, and endive..
Twenty minutes... starting now.
John: Warm Lobster Salad with Endive &
Diane: Lobster Poached with Herbs
Darius: Grilled Lobster with Braised Endive
Cody: Chipotle Banana Lobster Quenelle with Endive Salad
Lobsters are the only critter that the chef has
to kill before cooking. And Diane's finding that out the hard way. Cody thinks
that the others are playing it safe, while he's being edgy. Every chef wants to
be the one at the end, but it's like Darius says... "You're only as good as your
last dish." And the quenelle is proving to be a bit of a challenge, even for the
Now the judges are just hoping for food on a
And... TIME! We have food on a plate, but is it
enough to last? Perhaps not for Cody, who left his endive below his station.
Endive would've been the key to Cody's dish. He
wanted to bring something new to the table, and the flavor combinations were
Darius' lobster is brought together. The
rusticness of it comes together, but it's not homogeneous through the chopping
The endive is the standout for Diane's dish. Her
inexperience with lobster, though, is coming out in the dish.
John's dish is fresh-looking with a claw on the
plate, but the dish is missing something that wakes up the plate, so to speak.
All of the dishes are worthy of a place in the
champions' round... but alas, one dish is going to come up just a little short.
The first person to be chopped... is... CODY. The stakes are higher, especially
for the champions involved. The standards also have to be higher. He completely
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). You survived
your first course... but now comes pork loin, watercress, galia melon, and taro
... and half an hour to make it all work somehow.
John: Roast Pork with ... ???
Diane: Korean-Style Glazed Pork with Smashed Taro Root
Darius: Grilled Pork Loin with Fresh Watercress Salad
A little trick to the pork: french cutting the
ribs and then marinating it in eggs. The taro root can be applied like a
potato... but John's puree of such doesn't go off without a hitch, so it's off
to a hand mixer. Diane's the first to plate with five minutes to go. And she's
forgotten her melon. Meanwhile Darius is making lemonade out of smashed lemons.
His fried taro isn't, so he dresses it up and makes it work as a garnish.
And... TIME! Diane's happy... but.... holy
mamma... Yeah. You forgot the melon.
Darius' pork chop is very crispy and juicy. The
taro root is a pleasant accident. The red peppers, though, didn't work.
Diane's dish is missing melon. They zapped Cody's
dish on the endive. I expect the judges to not be any different here. But to her
merit, everything came together wonderfully.
John's pork chop is perfect, but the sauce took
away from the presentation. His duality, though, is on display for the judges to
see, and they approve of that.
Diane missed the melon. That's all it came down
to. And if they blasted Cody for missing endive, then they have to blast her
here. Granted, there was a lot of elements in play, but rules are rules. But
it's not up to me... The next person to be chopped is... DIANE. For all the
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). John and
Darius are just one dish and one person away from another $10,000. Who'll make
the most of... matzo crackers, pomegranate molasses, roasted chestnuts, and baby
This is for cash money. GO!
John: Apple-Fennel Crumble with Chestnut Cream
Darius: Chestnut Mousse
John, as a pastry chef, has had a lot of
experience with dessert. He calls winning this a big confidence booster. It's
getting a little hot for Darius. He wants to make some ginger tuiles. That would
require baking, but in 20 minutes? Darius is convinced that he has it.
But does he? It's your classic tale of two chefs.
John's all about techniques and flavors, while Darius is all about soulful
cooking. Darius is a big burly guy, while John is this lanky British dude.
Darius owns his own business. John's one of the best chefs in the City. This
just may come down to inches.
And... TIME! For the last time this season, the
dishes are heading to the Block, where one champ will rise, and one champ will
The apple crumble is very light and very
delicious, but it's missing something extra, something to add that little pop
Darius's dessert is fun to start, and then
delivers. That's presentation that's both dramatic and functional. His chestnut
and fennel needed to be there, though.
This is as close as it gets, and I personally
can't think of a better way to have this special series conclude than with these
two chefs, these two dishes, and one of the toughest decisions in Chopped
history. John won round 1. Darius took round 2... It's a game of inches now.
Needless to say that they both deserved the title
of being Chopped Champion. But there can only be one $10,000 winner. The final
person... to be chopped... is...
... JOHN. The judges were blown away by
technique, but he needed to bring it to a higher level.
But Darius comes back to win the day, the money,
and the title of Chopped Champion! This is about more than that... It's about
who's watching him at home. This is a benediction...
... and so it ends, the second season of Chopped.
But fear not, connoisseurs of culinary combat, because a third season is heading
up to the pass as we speak. Look for it in two weeks. In the meantime and
between-time, stay with us for four more chefs, three more rounds, and $10,000
to the one who isn't... CHOPPED.
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at