The tastiest game show in America returns for
another go-round. Which chef will come out on top and which three will be
chopped? Only the mystery baskets know for sure, but before we open'em up, we
have to meet the epicurean masters for today's challenge...
New York City
mother & chef, Matilda
sous chef, Cobblestone Foods
Long Branch, NJ
chef owner, Tre Amici
New York City
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.
- Chef & restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian
- Star executive chef Amanda Freitag
- Italian raconteur Scott Conant
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First up
in the boxes... Jumbo shrimp, edamame, and golden raisins
Twenty minutes on the clock... GO!
Maristella: Shrimp in White Wine Sauce
Joe: Warm Shrimp Salad
Matthew: Sauteed Shrimp Salad
Moha: Moroccan Cajun Shrimp
Everyone's going to reconstitute the raisins with
alcohol. Maristella is blanked to start, while Moha is blanked in the middle.
Joe is getting plates out, and he's not even halfway in yet! Moha cuts himself
as time continues to run short. The rest of the chefs start plating while Moha
tends to his finger.
And Joe's done with five minutes to spare.
Matthew is getting his plates, while Moha has yet to even saute his shrimp... or
done anything else for that matter. With a minute on the block, Moha's got to
And... TIME. And Moha's not even REMOTELY done.
Well, he is.. just not in the way that he had hoped. Let's go to the Chopping Block.
Joe has everything's cooked well... with a dirty
shrimp. But it's a little small. Could've used a little more time to better
construct the dish.
Maristella had a Gamberoni All'uvetta... clean
and simple, tying the whole plate together.
Matthew's salad is cooked very well, but Amanda
only has one edamame, something she called "kind of a bummer."
Moha... has a plate of edamame and little else.
Ambitious, but there's a clock. And the shrimp is completely raw. He'd love for
the chance to learn from his mistake.
He's not going to get it. MOHA's the first person
chopped. The bottom line... he served a dish with nothing on it.
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). It's time to
build on the successes of the last round. And your building blocks... flank
steak, grape juice, goat cheese, and lemongrass.
Maristella hates goat cheese... something she'll
have to get over. Start cooking!
Maristella: Pan Seared Flank Steak
Joe: Grilled Flank Steak with Apple & Goat Cheese Hash
Matthew: Grilled Flank Steak with Goat Cheese Risotto
Lemongrass makes a great marinade. Grape juice as
well. The thing is, though, that lemongrass is completely inedible. You have to
infuse the flavor into something. Maristella actually enjoys her goat cheese..
especially with the grape juice. Matthew adds bacon to his risotto, while Joe is
having a hard time with a sauce, mounting it with a lot of butter. Ten minutes
left, and Maristella looks like she's cooked too much. And she's hoping to plate
it all... even so much as to forego resting the meat. A mistake she will pay for
And TIME. If it's on the plate, it's on the menu.
Maristella had Pink Peppercorn and Tequila Flank
Steak. Everyone's pleasantly surprised, but the flavor of the lemongrass is
Matthew scores with his creativity, but his
risotto needs salt.
Joe's lemongrass sort of disappeared into the
heavens, according to Geoffrey. Amanda wanted a little bigger portion because
the hash is pretty good.
Interesting strategies all of them, and all of
them very tasty, but which one will get the chop next? The second person... to
be chopped... is... MARISTELLA. The dish was delicious, but overwrought.
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). One more
round, one more basket. In it... Coffee liqueur, avocados, boiled gingko nuts,
This is for cash money. GO!
Joe: Avocado & Gingko Nut Mousse
They say gingko nuts bring good luck. These guys
are going to need it, because they also have no texture. Matthew manages to
loosen some of the honey into the batter. Joe on the other hand will combine
coffee liqueur with a chocolate ganache. Still has no idea what to do with that
honeycomb, though. He ends up nuking it for some easy honey, mixing it with a
little lemon, and thinking that he's not going to wow them, just going to do
what he can. He's a little more than shaky.
Both chefs are having a spoon-fest. And Joe's
done... beating his record. Matthew decides against spoons at the last second
and uses cocoa powder. Will this happen?
And TIME. You've done all you can. It's on the
Matthew's toasted gingko nut zeppole... not
sweet. The avocado... not sweet. The coffee cream... too sweet. It's not one
coherent though. The presentation was good, though.
Joe's scoop-and-a-dip comes across like "green
soup", but it's extremely complex and good. There's a wish for some texture.
Now let's think about the overall progression of
the meals. Joe has continually made a habit of coming in under the time but not
really doing anything to improve within that time. On the other hand, Matthew
has been creative with his ideas, but flawed in his execution. His game was not
as coherent as Joe's.
So who gets the money and who gets the shoe? The
final person to be chopped is.. MATTHEW. His cooking prowess is incredible
with a few points of creativity. But in the end, dessert was a disappointment.
His loss is Joe's gain, as he takes $10,000 and
the title of Chopped Champion!
Will the sweets be just as sweet next time
around? Come back soon to see four more chefs vie for the dole and three more
chefs get... chopped.
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at