For the last year, you've been seeing some of the
best chefs in the nation enter the Chopped Kitchen for a shot at winning $10,000
and the title of Chopped Champion. Tonight, one of them will win another $10,000
and move one step closer to being named a superchampion. Who'll rise to the
challenge and who'll be Chopped?
orig. Buenos Aires, Argentina
junior exec chef, Industria Argentina
Won episode 2.1
New York City
skateboarder & chef instructor at ICE in NYC
Won episode 1.9
New York City
catering chef at Union Theological Seminary
Won episode 1.1
Won episode 1.13
- sophisticated dining expert Marc Murphy
- Star executive chef Alex Guarnaschelli
- Renowned restauranteur Geoffrey Zarkarian
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First
challenge has... Crayfish, red seedless grapes, and fiddlehead ferns.
Twenty minutes... starting now.
Natalia: Grape and Apple Crawfish Salad
James: Spiced Crawfish with Fiddlehead Ragout
Sandy: Warm Crawfish Tail with Roasted Fiddleheads
Michael: Crawfish Veloute with Glazed Fiddleheads
The judges swear that Natalia is not going to
finish with 10 minutes left on the clock. Michael may also not finish, due to
his making a roux in his 20 minutes. Sandy is moving cool as a cucumber. "Jump
down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton." James on the other hand is fast.
Whose approach will work best?
And... that's time. One of these winners... is a
loser. Which one?
Sandy made a roasted fiddlehead and crawfish
salad. The wine tempers the sweetness of the grapes. A few of the crawfish had
James had a "cooler" crawfish with fiddlehead
ragout. Bacon tied the sweetness to the spiciness, but the spices are a little
Natalia had sauteed fiddleheads with a crawfish
and apple salad. Natalia's crawfish was muddy, but the salad was fresh.
Michael's crawfish veloute was a great idea. The
crostini was crispy, but the roux is a little bit thick. And it doesn't taste a
lot like crawfish.
So who just blew their chance at up to $40,000?
The first person to be chopped... is... MICHAEL. They were tantalized with the
promise of a really great soup, but the garnishes and the crawfish fell victim
to the thickness of the soup
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Next up is a
dish with quail, guava nectar, udon noodle, and dinosaur kale
You have 30 minutes... GO!
Natalia: Guava Glazed Quail with Sauteed Kale
James: Quail "Two Ways" - Marinated Quail Breast & Stuffed Kale Roll
Sandy: Guava Orange Quail with Roasted Noodles
And Sandy's again not in a rush. Good for him.
Quail is usually served medium well. Something to remember. James is
making a noodle cake with apples and bourbon. They're not getting crispy enough.
And Sandy's done with three minutes to go. James has an ambitious dish that may
not get done. Natalia looks like she's almost done as well.
And... TIME. ... For dinner. Heh. It looks like
Sandy and Natalia were doing the same thing. Woops.
James' quail is a good idea. The noodles give
texture and the quail gives it flavor. Marc's breast was a little dry, and the
rest of the plate was small
Natalia's quail is an entree, but she's not
getting much flavor from the sesame oil. She likes the wing bone, but the judges
think that it could've done better without.
Sandy's quail looks and sounds like Natalia's.
The noodles have flavor depth, and the quail is perfectly cooked. He likes
simple and clean flavors.
Two of these dishes are the same. One is half a
portion. Who'll feel the sting of the Chopping Block next? The next person... to
be chopped... is... SANDY. He showed simplicity and competence, but he lacks
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Right where
you want to be... and standing between you and another $10,000.... are baby
kiwi, Israeli couscous, rice paper, and saffron.
Someone's going to survive at the end of 30
minutes... Off you go!
Natalia: Baby Kiwi Sushi Roll
James: Tapioca Pudding with Kiwi Fruit Roll
Saffron... kills everything.
Natalia's trying to psych James out a little.
Once again, James is overachieving with a pastry cream. Meanwhile, Natalia is
keeping everything simple. James is complex. This could come down to the wire.
And James is staring at Natalia's stuff with a
minute left. And he's nervous. Natalia's brittle is not coming up cracklin, so
she decides to use it as a topping.
And... TIME. You've done all that you could. Now
it's on the judges.
Natalia's kiwi sushi is tied with the cream, but
the Creme Anglaise is undercooked.
James' saffron couscous pudding and the kiwi
summer roll is refreshing. But there's a lack of clarity in the dish.
Natalia has kept it simple all competition long,
while James has been more than ambitious. Both are very creative, but on the
other hand, if it doesn't taste well, then you can keep your creativity.
Remember, the winner will come back next week to
compete against another set of champions. So who is going to return for that
chance to make ANOTHER $10,000?
The final person... to be chopped... is...
NATALIA. She had a heck of an effort, but the first course let the crawfish
down. She should be proud of the work she did.
But now it's about James, who is a two-time
Chopped Championship with another $10,000, which will be put to good use as his
baby is about to pop. More importantly, he will compete again next week against
three more champions to determine who'll win another $10,00 and who'll be...
Chopped. Stay tuned.
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at