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June 14
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 City Lights TV for Food Network
Origins Food Network Studios, New York City
Airs 10p Tues, Food
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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High Hopes
June 23

From the moment the clock is started, the judges have high hopes for every group of four chefs that enter the arena of competition. But the proof of the (insert random ingredients here) is in the eating, so... let's open up the boxes and see who's brave (or perhaps foolhardy) enough to challenge them.
New York City
sous chef, London
Manhattan, NY
executive chef, Delicatessen
New American
Hoboken, NJ
sous chef, W Hoboken
Jersey City, NJ
executive chef & owner, Ox Restaurant
Comfort Food

Three rounds, each one has its own box of mysterious ingredients. Be it a little or a lot, each one must be used. After each course, the plate will be judged on creativity, presentation, and taste. The lowest rung on the pole each round gets chopped. These are timed rounds; strategy is involved. The last chef standing wins $10,000 cash money.

Tonight's judges...

- Italian cookbook superscribe Scott Conant
- Star chef Amanda Freitag
- NYC bistro baron Marc Murphy

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First course has to have calamari... brussel sprouts... and Asian pears.

The clock on the wall says 20... GO!

John: Sautéed Squid with Caramelized Brussel Sprouts
Michael: Grilled Calamari Salad
David: Crispy Squid with Asian Salad
Nicole: Wilted Brussel Sprout Salad

The key to working the calamari is cleaning it with ice and water. Michael thinks he knows his way around it. A lot of the chefs are spending too much time cleaning it and not enough time cooking it. John's concentrated on seasoning and flavoring. Nicole is working on a tempura batter. Halfway through the round, and it looks as if no one is ready just yet, which sucks because they've all got a lot to prove at this point. John is the first to plate. Nicole's oil is not hot enough. Michael has cartilage. And this will come down to seconds....

And TIME. What's on the plate is what's for dinner.

John: Sauteed Squid Salad with Black Pepper. It's very simple and clean, but it's heavy on the pepper. Amanda finds an eyeball in the tentacle.

Michael: Grilled Calamari Salad with Bacon. Michael didn't clean his calamari very well. Cartilage everywhere. Scott basically says that you ignored the customers and served something inedible.

David: Crispy Squid Salad with Calamata Olives. It's very high in the salt. The pear is also nonexistent.

Nicole: Wilted Sprout Salad with Tempura Calamari. Most of her time was spent cleaning the calamari to the point that she did not finish.

So a lot of calamari innards didn't make it past the judges' eyes. A group of rising stars making rookie mistakes, but who will get the knife? The first person to be chopped is... NICOLE. The dish... not completed, albeit the most hoped for. The other chefs, though, do not escape mildly, as the judges put them on notice.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Let's see how you do against... Bison... dried mango... leeks... and Belgian-style ale.

Thirty minutes on the clock and not a second more. OFF YOU GO.

John: Bison Pot Roast
Michael: Roasted Sirloin of Bison
David: Roasted Bison

John's done this before as a chef in a pub in England. He goes for all-in-one flavor. The key to winning: get the bison rare, but not too rare. Michael wants to get a nice sear on the bison. David goes for potatoes to match it. Michael thinks that John's way of cooking is a little out there. David's gastrique is a little on the sweet side, so he goes with the sour of Worcestershire sauce. A lot of hubris going on around the kitchen. David's meat is undercooked. John's worried about the potatoes. Michael's experimenting with sauce.

And everyone completes on time. But are they any good?

Michael: Roasted Sirloin of Bison with Arugula Salad. The mangoes work with the salad. The raw onion is penetrating through the dish. His cooking style doesn't really warrant a starch, he thinks. He also thinks well on his feet.

David: Roasted Bison with Ale & Mango Gastrique. His meat is very rare. All of the components, though, come out well.

John: Pot Roasted Sirloin of Bison. His potatoes are amazing. Amanda's taken back to a pub, while Marc wondered why the cut was still too fatty. It's a mistake he cops to ready.

A marked improvement from the last round, but we still have to cut one of these chefs. The next person to be chopped is... DAVID. All three have stepped up the game, but David did not sear his bison hard enough. Also, the gastrique missed the mark.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). Standing between you and ten large is... ancho chilies, semi-sweet chocolate, and black plums.

This is for money... GO!

John: Caramelized Plums
Michael: Napoleon

John follows his mentor's advice: "simple ingredients cooked simply" (C-Note: London is Gordon Ramsay's restaurant). Michael is 22 minutes away from a genoise. Ambitious. So far, everything's working out fine. Both chefs are infusing the flavor of the chilies into the chocolate... with wine. With 10 minutes left, Michael begins assembling his cake. John's very aware of time. Everything's going together well on both side.

And ... TIME. Do you have the $10,000 dish? Let's see.

John: Caramelized Plums with Roasted Almonds. The dish is beautiful, but the chocolate is overwhelming. John wanted to keep it simple all through evening.

Michael: Napoleon with Sweet Ricotta. This was an all-or-nothing shot with a genoise... and the chocolate was on the side. Not really the star of the dish with TWO of the ingredients in it.

So let's talk about the dinners overall. John stuck with simple foods with simple ingredients, cooked simply. Michael thought well on his feet. This is very close, especially when you consider the time restraints that held the chefs behind the 8-ball.

That said... the final person to be chopped... is... MICHAEL. He had an amazing recovery, but in the end, they had to return to the appetizer and the sloppy job he did.

But that means that the sous-chef of Gordon Ramsay has come out on top, with John Lawson taking home $10,000 for his efforts as Chopped Champion!

But he will have to pass the glory onto another set of four, as next week will find another action-packed meal ending in three people getting... chopped.

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