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June 14
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June 23


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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Floundering Around
June 30

It's chef-on-chef-on-chef-on-chef action with mysteries abound... mainly in the mystery boxes. What happens when a cut of meat, a whole flounder, and some miniature legumes are thrown in the mix? Only one way to find out. Let's meet the cheftestants...
orig. Puerto Rico
sous chef, Orillas Tapas Bar & Grill in Wilmington, DE
Nuevo Latino Fusion
New York City
caterer/chef, Great Performances Catering
Whole Foods
New York City
executive chef, DeGrezia
Hard Knocks Italian
Long Island, NY

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
- Latin cuisine expert Aaron Sanchez

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). What kind of course can you make from beef shoulder, fish sauce, and canned pumpkin? Let's find out...

Twenty clicks on the clock... get clackin'!

Julio: Seared Beef Shoulder with Korean BBQ Sauce
Marc: Thai Beef Salad with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
Massimo: Arugula Salad with Beef Shoulder with Pumpkin Sauce
Christine: Spicy Veggies with Braised Beef with Pumpkin Ragout

You want to cook the beef low and slow normally... but the chefs don't have that time. The fish sauce is essentially blended fermented fish, so it's really salty and too much can really ruin your day.

Marc decides to add head while Massimo decides to add taste. Julio's worried that he won't get done on time, while Christine is wondering how to use the beef now that it's shoe leather. Five minutes left, and plates are down. Marc is hoping for simplicity, while Christine salvages her dish.

And TIME. Everyone's not too crazy about their dishes, but it's all about what the judges think.

Julio's dish is great in the glaze, matching pumpkin puree with a distinct flavor. Aaron wanted to see a little green, though.

Marc: Thai Beef Salad with Pumpkin Chipotle. He wants to keep it simple. It's very simple and very fresh. The meat could've used a little more dressing and fish sauce.

Massimo's appetizer brought out the flavor of the beef, but the pumpkin with the sage is a little overbearing.

Christine's meat is incredibly tough with an inconsistent meat. The pumpkin is a smooth transition.

Two big starters, and two lacking starters. Christine's not convinced that she'll survive this round. Marc and Julio were smart, but what about wild card Massimo? The first person to be chopped... is... MASSIMO. The sage was overpowering and clouding the concept of the dish.

Round 1: ENTREE (30 minutes). Next up for creative interpretation are... flounder, yellow plantain, baby bok choy, and mini watermelon.

Thirty minutes before the judges are served... GO!

Julio: Pan-Seared Flounder with Fumet Sauce
Marc: Curry-Dredged Flounder with Toasted Plantains
Christine: Steamed Flounder Stuffed with Bok Choy & Plantains

The best way to fry plantains is in butter. Bok choy is best done in a blanch. Julio is going the relish route with the watermelon, while Christine is making a sauce out of it. Julio's familiar with plantains, roasting them. Marc is frying, then baking his flounder to bring out the grease... and it's stuck to the paper towel. Christine's got five minutes to cook her fish. It's a hail Mary at this point. At 20 seconds... it's half-cooked.

And TIME. Marc is a little scared at this point. Let's go to the block.

Marc: Fried Flounder with Pickled Watermelon Salad. Scott thought it could've used a little more curry. Amanda wanted a little more pickling brine. Aaron got a broken piece of fish.

Christine's rolls... well, she knows what the judges are going to say, but they go with the watermelon first, it's spicy. It's a good idea, but in the end, it's undercooked.

Julio: Lemon-Glazed Flounder. Amanda just downed a mouthful of bones. The fish is delicately cooked and very well done.

So this one will be decided on execution. Will Christine survive by the skin of her teeth again, or will her habit of not knowing when to say when be her undoing? Will Marc's creativity be trumped by his major mistake? Or will Julio surprise everyone? The next person to be chopped... is... CHRISTINE. Raw fish... overly spicy sauce... owned.

Round 1: DESSERT (30 minutes). The only thing separating you from 10 G's is tomatillos, creme fraiche, and plain donuts.

Thirty minutes to a winner... GO!

Julio: Tomatillo Relish with French Toast Donuts
Marc: Classic Fritter with Tomatillo Relish

Marc ends up cutting his finger, which sets him back a lot. He thinks about quitting, but in the end, he presses on. Julio adds some apples, while Marc is still dealing with cold oil. Julio is taking a risk by cooking some already cooked donuts, while he adds orange zest and tequila to strawberry jelly to make a syrup. He's now worried that his dish is a little heavy. Marc looks at Julio's dish, then thinks that his fritters are too dark. He decides to serve ONE fritter each. A very light ending to a very light meal. Deal with it.

And... TIME. This is for cash money. Let's go to the Chopping Block.

Julio: French Toast Donuts with Tomatillo Compote. There was concern that the dish may be very heavy... and indeed it was. Amanda is very sensitive to cloves, while the other two judges say the dish work well.

Marc: Classic Fritter with Tomatillo Chutney. Marc wanted to break it down. Aaron wanted to see a more compact fritter, but the tomatillos are impeccable.

So now we have to think about bold flavors from Julio and light flavors from Marc. A tight race between different components being brought together versus respecting your product. Both were not without fault. Both had their moments as well. But the bottom line is that one of these desserts is worth $10,000.

The final person... to be chopped... is... JULIO. It was a difficult decision.

But in the end, the decision is made, and Marc Spooner spoons out $10,000 as this week's Chopped champion. Now do us all a favor and go get that cut looked at.

Next week, more ingredients will be hidden from view as chefs fight it out to avoid being... chopped.

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