On the menu today... whatever four chefs can come up
with in one hour... using ingredients only known to them upon their reveal.
Sounds tasty, doesn't it? We'll soon see.
New York City
executive chef, Georgia Bistro & parachuting nurse
New York City
sous-chef, Broadway East & artist
New York City
executive chef, Coffee Shop
private chef & nutritionist
It should be known that Melinda is a vegetarian.
If meat is involved, she may be at a disadvantage.
You know the rules, you know the lifelines, let's
meet the judges...
- Master of dynamic American cooking Geoffrey Zarkarian
- Master executive chef Alex Guaranschelli
- Rock star restauranteur Chris Santos
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). The first
boxes of necessity contain... turkey breasts, Kirby cucumbers, and graham
You have twenty minutes to put something
together... Off you go!
Luisa: Cucumber Gazpacho with Honey Turkey
Dominick: Greek Salad with Tzatziki and Spiced Turkey
David: Turkey Milanese with Pickled Cucumbers
Melinda: Seared Turkey with Cucumber Slaw
And Melinda only brought one knife with her.
Kirby cucumbers are hard to deal with with their
tough skin... unless you're David, and you like to show off your mad knife
skills. That's another show, David. Luisa can't find the tomatoes, so she
uses... ketchup. Dominick's turkey is too big. Won't cook in time. Melinda...
has to wash her knife repeatedly. And Dominick cuts himself very badly, as in
"on-stage medic" badly, as in "dripping blood, someone get a bottle of bleach"
badly. Yeah, stick a fork in him, he's done.
... but he sticks it out to the two-minute
warning. But will he finish? ... Sort of.
That's TIME. And the judges are about as stressed
seeing Dominick... and they haven't eaten yet!
Chris tastes Portugal in Luisa's dish. It's very
creative. And honey lightens the flavor. The crispy graham, however, is not
crispy at all.
Dominick just impresses the judges by finishing
AND delivering a palatable dish! The flavor is there, but the judges wish it was
a little crispier.
David brought a lot of energy as well. The dish
is colorful and flavorful, but the turkey is under-seasoned and over-seared. If
he's going to be flashy, you should also be consistent.
Melinda wanted to keep the appetizer small.
Everything tastes nice, but the portion is a little too weird and the overall
plate is not that creative.
Dominick may get by on his ability to create a
winning dish injured. So that leaves a zesty gazpacho, a colorful but burned
turkey, and an open-faced turkey sandwich to battle it out to avoid the dubious
honor of being chopped first. Unfortunately, that honor goes.... to MELINDA. She
may be a talented cook, but she didn't show us that. That dish lacked any
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Now to build
off of your success. And your building blocks are... black cod, puffed rice
cereal, pineapple, and chorizo.
Half an hour... from now! Aaaand they're off!
Luisa: Chickpea & Chorizo Stew with Seared Cod
Dominick: Rice-Crusted Cod with Pineapple Salsa
David: Black Cod with Caramelized Pineapple
Mexican chorizo has a lot of fat, and therefore a
lot of flavor. And all of the chefs are using that to their advantage. And it's
obvious that Dominick is still having some difficulty working wounded. David
sees him as a bit of a rival and not really a chef. That could spell out a story
line right there.
At the two-minute warning, Dominick is looking to
finish off his dish with some sriracha. Luisa wants to show off the food of her
homeland. David... is pretty.
And TIME. Lots of pretty dishes, but how does it
Dominick brings forth a taste of home, as he was
brought up in Florida. You can taste the subtlety in the fish, but the sriracha...
totally unneeded. And it's always a killer when Alex finds pinbones in your
fish. The rice, though, elevates the fish, leading her to call him "a
David was very imaginative and creative. He
executives on the ragu, making it a great execution. The fish however, according
to Geoffrey, needs an acetylene torch to finish it off. And he has THREE lemon
Luisa's dish was right up her alley. It's not
greasy and cooked through. It's a great dish... but the puffed rice gets soggy
All three dishes had their strengths, but all
three dishes suffered some fundamental setbacks. Which one will be the most
damning, pinbones, half-a-fish uncooked, or throwing rice into a stew and
calling it used? The second person... to be chopped... is... DAVID in an upset!
He had vitality and passion, but the main and the starter were out of the same
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). We have
"Mama" versus "The young gun".... versus puff pastry, mangos, coffee beans, and
A sweet victory is just 30 minutes away. Get
Luisa: Mango Napoleon with Ricotta Meringue
Dominick: Donut with Mango Puree and Coffee Cream
The rosewater will be the X factor. It's water
infused with roses, comes from Morocco... Can kill a dish easily. Dominick takes
a taste of the rosewater... and it tastes like soap. So he's going to wing it
here... braise the mangos with rosewater and the coffee. He doesn't do pastry
well, though. Luisa, on the other hand, is Zen. This is her thing, desserts. Her
pastries are absolutely perfectly perfect. Dominick's... are burnt. He covers it
up with maple syrup... Luisa, though, is ready to serve her eggwhite tower of
"I'm going to kick your butt because it's not burnt."
... and TIME! Your $10,000 desserts, please...
Luisa thought it was an easy dessert. This is
light and airy, but the coffee beans are overpowering. The move of
meringue-on-top-of-semi-cream is very personal to her. She is a master
manipulator, and as Alex says, "That's how the game is played."
David sells his dessert as a "reflection of a
happier time". The coffee cream is great. The burn doesn't get past Geoffrey,
but the maple syrup curries Alex's favor.
So this may be closer than we think. It's all
going to come down to who evolved over the meal from starter to finish. Dominick
had a wild start... and an appetizer that could be called the best, but then
came the blob of sriracha. Luisa dropped the ball twice with graham cracker and
puffed rice throwaways.
This is going to be a close one. BUT ... the
final person... to be chopped... is... DOMINICK. His later two courses couldn't
measure up to the level of his appetizer. But still, he gets props all around
for making it a great game today.
And speaking of great games, Luisa Fernandes wins
this one and $10,000 that goes with it! Only in America. Only on Chopped.
And as we prepare for our palate cleansers, we
get ready for three more rounds, four more chefs, and ten large to the one who
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at