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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
Web foodnetwork.com/chopped
Airs 10p Tues, Food
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Flower Power
January 5

It's 2010... A new year. New hope. New opportunity. But one thing still remains... Three course dinner and $10,000 on the line.
Tommy Lee
New York City
executive chef, Battery Gardens
Keith Jodway
New York City
consulting chef
Bill Feldman
New York City
chef/entrepreneur & boxer
Lola Garand
New York City
freelance consultant chef

You know the rules, and you know the lifelines. Let's meet the judges...

- Bistro baron Marc Murphy
- Mexican expert Sue Torres
- Eatery magnate Geoffrey Zakarian

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First box of 2010 contains... Chicken breasts, kiwi, and zucchini blossoms.

All three of those have to be in your appetizer... in 20 minutes... from NOW. Off you go!

Tommy: Pan-Seared Chicken "Dennis" with Kiwi Salsa
Keith: Seared Chicken with Lemon Dressing
Bill: Tuscan Chicken Sandwich
Lola: Roasted chicken with Kiwi Salsa

Zucchini blossoms... The trick is to stuff them and fry them. All of the chefs seem to go that route.

And the one constant of the competition seems to be Lola talking. A lot. Bill wants to be as healthy as possible... so why is he cooking the kiwi? You can't do that. Not if you want the nutritive value. Bill is looking down the barrel of a raw chicken. Keith is hitting his kiwi in an arugula salad. Tommy meanwhile is sweating. A lot.

And we have a situation. Lola burns her hand on a pan. And Keith hasn't plated with 45 seconds on the clock. That turns into a marathon session.

And... FINISH LINE. Keith forgot to plate kiwis. That may cost him.

Tommy's dish is well prepared, but it's not coming together. There's no real tying element.

Keith's zucchini blossoms are perfect. The chicken is a little short of that. And Keith admits to forgetting kiwi.

Bill's sandwich is a little big. Geoffrey agrees. Marc's kiwi is okay.

Lola's chicken has good flavor. It's a dry dish due to Lola's dropping of the pan with the dressing.

So we have a dry dish, one missing kiwi, one that's too big, and one that's not unified... They all have reason to be hanging in the gallows, but who'll snap their neck first? The first person... to be chopped... is... BILL. The sandwich was not composed, and it was not the appropriate size for an appetizer.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Next up, the odd grouping of scallops, cranberry juice, artichokes, and burdock root.

Half an hour to whip something up... GO!

Tommy: Pan-Seared Scallops with Cannellini Ragout
Keith: Seared Sea Scallops with Artichoke Mash
Lola: Bacon-Infused Scallops with Artichoke Tapenade

Two very rooty dry ingredient that take a while to impart any flavor. Lola has no idea what to do with either of them. Keith is making a reduction and a broken vinaigrette courtesy of a favor that Lola did. I don't know about you, but this is a competition. Tommy is going with a bean ragout as a starch.

Five minutes, and Keith has not cooked his scallops. Tommy also hasn't cooked his scallop. And Lola... has stopped having fun.

And TIME... The knife is about to fall... AGAIN. But on who?

Tommy's main course has a lot of spice to it, on account of his parents, who like spice. The burdock takes the cranberry nicely.

Keith has no cranberry juice... That will cost him.

Lola's dish is good, cooked well and colored through. Geoffrey wants a little more care with the food, especially with throwing garbage on the floor. And that's for starters.

Back in the chef's holding room, Lola is getting a mite peeved about Geoffrey's critique about her kitchen habits. At the Chopping Block, all three chefs are given the business about having a complete dish. But the least complete of the three... and the next person to be chopped... is... KEITH. First course was a pass, but at the end of the day, he's his own worst enemy.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). One dish away from glory... and one box left. Inside... blackberries, apple cider, shredded phyllo, and chickpeas.

Thirty minutes to one dessert... Get going!

Tommy: Candied Chickpeas with Compote & Phyllo Nest.
Lola: Blackberries and Apple English Crumble with Hot English Custard.

Lola is confident that she'll cook something that'll prove her mettle as a proper British chef. Tommy on the other hand is making something that can be produced by his big freaking fingers. Seems like the two chefs are coming to terms with not only the competition but the camaraderie. Tommy's busy thinking about his family. For the first time in the competition, both chefs are composed and ready to deliver, but who'll deliver the goods?

That's TIME. Let's see who's got the cash money in the bag.

Lola's dessert goes over well with the judges. But it's missing a little more caramel and a little more custard. This is her high mark.

Tommy's "grandma's fruit compote" brings out the sweetness of the chickpeas. The rest of the ingredients are playing off each other. A nice way to end the meal.

So now it's all about the entire meal. Lola's dessert was on the money. Tommy's was creative, yet hokey. Everything he prepared was all about him and his family. Lola's dishes, on the other hand, were missing a few vital components to tie everything together. Also, Lola had an overall progression. Will that be the deciding factor in this game?

The final person... to be chopped... is... LOLA. She's made a great comeback, but Tommy simply overplayed her throughout the whole game.

... and as a result, Tommy Lee will be the first player of 2010 to win $10,000 as Chopped Champion.

Next time, four more chefs, three more rounds, and one chance to be the champ... or to be chopped.

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the official website at www.foodnetwork.com/chopped