Once more into the breach as
we round out season 3 of "Chopped" with four new chefs, each hoping to
taste culinary glory... and $10,000. Let's meet the combatants...
chef/owner, Salt Gastro Pub
chef/owner, Dish and mom
North Salem, NY
New York City (orig. France)
chef instructor, French Culinary Institute
You know the rules, and you know the lifelines. Let's
meet the judges...
- Rockstar restauranteur Chris Santos
- Executive chef secret holder Alex Guarnaschelli
- Cookbook superscribe Scott Conant
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). Our first
course must feature... raspberries, asparagus, and chicken livers
Your 20 starts now.
Bradley: Pan-Seared Liver with Apple Raspberry
Hannah: Crostini with Liver Pate and Asparagus Salad
John-Michael: Poached Liver with Raspberry Salad
Marc: Seared Liver with Grilled Asparagus
Chicken livers do not take a long time to
cook, but you don't want to overcook them, because they get a little
chalky. The secret to victory, how to pair them with raspberry, because
you can use the sweetness and acid to make the livers pop.
Hannah is taking out the grill pan at the
13 minute mark. This could be a major misstep. Marc is grilling it from
a raw state at the start, which is a good move. Bradley's missing
something... perhaps the fact that his livers are still sauteeing.
Hannah's crostini is not getting hot enough. John-Michael's going to cut
it a little fine with his bacon. Marc just hopes everything is going to
be cooked on time. Hannah's done before time is called, but her bread is
going to determine whether or not she makes it to the next round.
... and TIME! If it ain't on the plate,
it ain't gonna get served.
Bradley added a balsamic reduction. The
crunch is akin to fried chicken, but the livers are really overcooked.
Aside from that, a good start.
Hannah was ambitious, but the crostini
was undertoasted. There are a million ways to cook a toast.
John-Michael's raspberries are the best
so far. The judges like the red wine poaching, but the livers are
overcooked and the bacon is undercooked.
Marc's asparagus is very pure, very
flavorful. It's not particularly creative, though. The judges are
looking for a risk.
Ultimately, Marc is safe, though, because
ultimately the first rounds are decided on taste. Lots of overcooked
liver, and one undercooked crostini. What will the outcome reflect? The
first person... to be chopped... is... JOHN-MICHAEL. The judges thought
long and hard, but in the end, the choices he made were bad ones.
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Time for
celebration is over. Time for arugula, pickled daikon, fresh pasta, and mackerel is nigh...
... and time starts now.
Bradley: Asian Noodle Bowl with Raw Mackerel
Hannah: Crispy Asian-Style Mackerel over Pasta
Marc: Pan-Seared Arugula and Pasta
Watching someone butcher a fish that
knows how is almost zen-like in approach. The chef'testants are looking
for color, except for Marc, who's looking for techniques. Hannah is
taking most of the first 10 minutes butchering her fish.
The daikon has a juicy, sweet flesh.
Marc will opt for a tagliatelle, while a
baguette will give the dish a nice crunch. Hannah's mackerel starts
falling apart, so she reorganizes her play a little. Bradley's pasta is
still in pinwheel form. Can he make it work in time? Not if he keeps
looking at the clock.
... and TIME! Step off and let the dishes
Hannah's flavor profile goes over well,
but her noodles are stuck together. Scott has a problem with that.
Marc's noodles are also stuck together.
Scott gives him the business for it. The other judges like the
combination of ingredients, but where is the risk?
Bradley's pasta bowl... also stuck
together... and the fish is as raw as the pasta. The vegetables are
perfect and the fish is creative.
So the raw pasta evens everyone out, but
whose is a greater disservice to the judges? Marc lacked soul with his
dish. Hannah brought every one of her ingredients together masterfully.
Bradley's fish wins the round, but the next person... to be chopped...
is... HANNAH. It didn't all gel in the way that the judges had hoped.
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). It's
heads-up on Chopped. Marc and Bradley will have to turn Greek yogurt, sugarcane,
cactus pears, and popcorn kernels into $10,000.
We're 30 from a champion... Let's go!
Bradley: Prickly Pear Napoleon with Yogurt
Marc: Toffee Popcorn with Tequila Soaked Pears
Cactus pear is very melon like, but what
do you do with sugarcane? The only thing you can do is make a syrup out
of it. The use of the juicer will ... complicate things. Sugarcane is
not juiceable. Second shot with the juicer... and it's working.
Bradley is going to try an apple butter
to counter Marc's toffee popcorn. The flesh of the cactus pear is hard
to maneuver. Marc's caramel... burned. He's going to start another.
Bradley adds his apple butter to his popcorn, and it's done. Just
waiting for that last reduction.
Now to get it on a plate...
... and TIME! This one comes down to the
Scott liked that Marc used the juicer to
extract the syrup. He's not crazy about the tuile on the bottom. It was
more academic than anything else.
Bradley's popcorn is strangely addictive,
but the napoleon is looking for something that should pop flavorwise.
Now it's time for a $10,000 decision.
Marc played it right on the line, straight and narrow, by the book.
Every decision he made up to this point has been academic. On the other
hand, Bradley went out of the box, especially on dessert. He did win the
entree round in the eyes of the judges, but is that going to be enough
to secure him the win?
The final person... to be chopped... on
the final episode... of this series of Chopped... is... BRADLEY!
The overall scope of the meal set him back with the overcooked chicken
livers and the undercooked pasta.
But today, by-the-book wins, as Marc goes
back to his classroom $10,000 richer and a Chopped Champion.
And that will do it for season 3 of
Chopped. We hope to see you with season 4 in the coming months, when
four chefs will face three baskets in a shot at 10 Gs. One will rise to
the occasion... the other three... will be CHOPPED!
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at