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October 13
October 20


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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Judge Knows Best
October 27

Four chefs will arrive to face the Chopping Block, but in the end, there can only be one $10,000 winner.

Ayesha Nurdjaja
New York City
executive chef, Il Bordello
Joshua Whigham
New York City
sous chef at an oyster bar
Farm Fresh
Fabian Ludwig
New York City
executive chef, Gramercy Park Hotel
Joe Dobias
New York City
chef owner, JoeDoe
Aggressive American Style

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

- Bistro baron Marc Murphy
- Italian cookbook superscribe Scott Conant
- Renegade restauranteur Chris Santos

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). First to challenge our chef's creativity are... hamachi, quail eggs, and dried cherries.

Twenty minutes... starting now.

Ayesha: Spiced Hamachi Kebabs
Joshua: Hamachi Crudo with Cherry Salad
Fabian: Pan-Seared Hamachi with Cherry Chutney
Joe: Raw Hamachi with Cherry Sauce

Hamachi is similar in texture to sushi-grade tuna. It's a little fattier. But once you cook it, it's not like tuna at all. It's firmer. Now how do you pair that with cherries and quail eggs?

Joe's going totally off the beaten path here, blending the cherries with bread. Fabian's going to rehydrate his cherries with some nice liquor. Ayesha's just getting a grill pan on the heat with 10 minutes. That should've been done right from the start. Welcome to freakout city. But her pan is hot. Now she needs to get a grill line. Joshua is the only one who's doing a yolk dressing raw. This may set him apart, or it may come back to bite him.

And... TIME. Appetizers up.

Ayesha's got a quail egg on top for richness, but the hamachi is a little too over.

Joshua's onions are dressed, but raw onions don't go over well. There's nothing wrong with it, but it could be better.

Fabian's very simple with his dish, but the fish is overcooked.

Joe's dish is perfectly cooked, but it's a little small for an appetizer. He's creative, but it was a little too small. Joshua's fish was underneath too many ingredients. Ayesha wasn't very kicky.

So who's dish is on the Chopping Block first? The first person... to be Chopped... is.... FABIAN. The cherries were overwhelming... and the fish was overcooked.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Congrats... you survived your first course... One of you will not survive the second, and it's on the back of .... beef tenderloin, mango, gruyere, and kochujang.

... and half an hour to make it all work somehow.

Ayesha: Kochujang Tenderloin with Mango Lentil Salad
Joshua: Seared Beef Medallions with Chocolate Sauce
Joe: Seared Beef with Kochujang Sauce

Kochujang is a very spicy miso paste. What do you do with it and mango? What do you do with it and gruyere? No idea. Joe's very focused on his dish, while Ayesha remembers what Scott said about not living raw onions. So she only uses so much of it. Same with Joshua. Joshua's chocolate sauce is very heavy... he added the mango...

Gruyere is a semi-sweet very hard cheese. That can be used easily for the gratin for the steaks. Joe tries that application... but it's not working. And with a minute on the clock, it's time to get out of the pantry and onto the plates.

And TIME... As the dishes go to the judges, so do your fates.

Joshua's potatoes are really rich and go well with the beef. Scott gives the challengers all the business about the onions. Don't. Use. Raw. Onions.

Ayesha's salad is not going well with the red onion. Cooking is not just extraction of flavor, it's also about a nuance. And her steak is overcooked when it isn't done perfectly.

Joe's latke is soggy. The sauce, though, is top notch, and all of the flavors meld together.

Joe may get a pass to the next round, simply for avoiding the red onion. Joshua barely used the mango AND he talked back to the judges. Will this come back to haunt him? The next person... to be chopped... is... AYESHA. The judges are left with, pardon the pun, a bitter aftertaste of onion.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). Final showdown time. The final baskets have... ripened plantains, prosecco, crystallized ginger, and bacon. Because bacon can enhance the flavor of anything.

This is for the moolah. Get going!

And Joshua is stumped, while Joe gets going on his dessert.

Joshua: Seared Plantains with Candied Bacon & Zabaglione
Joe: Plantain Quick Bread

Zabaglione is eggs, sugar, and champagne. Joshua is using the prosecco. Joe's cooking down his plantain in olive oil. Joe is literally on top of the world. Joshua tries to execute what little plan he has. All the components for his plate are finished. Joe's hoping to have his cakes ready before the time-up... but it isn't working...

One minute left. And Joe's cake is nowhere near done. He's switching to plan B pancake with only 30 seconds to go. He's not going to make it.

And... TIME. Joe has no dessert. Joshua might've made bank here. The Chopping Block awaits.

Joshua decides that what's on the plate, a bacon-plantain mousse with prosecco ginger sauce, is what he'll present. The flavor works, but the presentation is a disaster... at best.

Joshua's plantain looks almost like scallops. Nice sear on those. The zabaglione has some flavor on it, but it isn't sweet enough.

Now we look at the overall meals. Do you want someone who was consistent (Joseph) or someone who had a few great moments, followed by one big suckout?

The final person... to be chopped... is... JOSHUA! It was close, but when you add it all up, both chefs were very talented... Joe was a little bit more talented.

... and for that, Joe Dobias is going to be rewarded with $10,000 and the title of Chopped Champ.

Next week, nine dishes to victory as three baskets lead to one chef getting paid... and three chefs getting CHOPPED.

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