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Previous Episodes
April 6

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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My Froggy Clementine
April 13

Another four chefs as season 4 continues. Another three boxes and another three rounds. To be sure we get to the one to win $10,000.

Mario Tolentino
New York City
table tennis player & chef owner, Can Cook Personal Chefs
Erica Wides
New York City
chef instructor & radio show host
Sunshine Best
New York City
gluten-free special diets chef instructor
Warren Schierenbeck
Staten Island, NY
chef & restauranteur, DoSi Cafe

So you all know... Yes, that's Sunshine's REAL name.

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

- Latin cuisine authority Aaron Sanchez
- Fresh off her loss on "Next Iron Chef", Amanda Freitag
- Scarpetta executive chef Scott Conant

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). Our first course must feature... bourbon, anchovies, dates, and frog legs.

Your 20 starts now.

Mario: Southern-Fried Frog Legs with Bourbon Cream Sauce
Erica: Braised Frog Legs
Sunshine: Better-Fried Frog Legs
Warren: Pan-Roasted Frog Legs

So do frog legs really taste like chicken? They do... if chicken swam in saltwater. They have a delicate flavor. Most likely you see them fried or lightly cooked.

Halfway through, sunshine is adding a honey garlic bourbon sauce. Erica is adding a sweet & sour tangy ketchup. Mario is going a little sour with a little vinegar... and a little sweet with an arugula and apple salad. Warren is going with a warm Romaine salad with anchovies, which turn out to be a little more than smushy.

Clock's winding down. And Mario... is already done. The other three get there eventually.

TIME'S UP. First course going to the Chopping Block.

Mario's flavor balance is presence.  The frog legs were perfect, but the peppers were high and the dates were low.

Erica's ketchup ... is about as original as it gets. The frogs have a little bounce back, but they were hoping for a little more anchovy.

Sunshine's sauce made the coating of the frog flavorful. They were made blind... and they were wonderful, but did the judges REALLY need to know about the failed anchovy fries?

Warren's frogs are very tender. But Amanda says that they're really bland. Scott agrees with... Amanda. And the anchovy is a little overwhelming.

So which dish - and which chef - did not measure up to the others? Erica had a flavorful ketchup, but not so with the frogs legs. Warren's legs were perfect, but they didn't have enough salt. Sunshine suffered from the lack of ingredients. Mario was concise and had some technique, but the pepper was too assertive.

So who's going to the next round, and who's going back to the swamp? The first person... to be chopped... is... SUNSHINE. They appreciated the ambition, but the dish had a lot of miscues.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Next up for our surviving chefs are ... hamachi, beets, tortilla chips, and the Latin soft drink called Malta.

... and time starts now.

Mario: Tortilla-Crusted Hamachi
Erica: Hamachi Tartare
Warren: Pan-Seared Hamachi

And Mario's tortillas won't blend until he puts the top on. D'oh!

Hamachi is often served raw or very rare. The Malta is a Latin sort of analogue to root beer. I, as a Latin male, grew up on the stuff.

Both guys are going to crust. Mario is adding beets three ways. Warren is going about a beet reduction. Erica has a pickle and a beurre blanc made of the malta.

... and TIME! Everybody looks good. Let's go to the block...

Erica did hamachi two-ways. Aaron likes the beurre blanc. Amanda is upset by the tartare being very uneven. And Scott... doesn't like it.

Warren had a pan-roast with crust. The vinaigrette is a light touch. Aaron's potatoes are a little underdone. Amanda thought it was again, underseasoned.

Mario had a lot of enthusiasm. Amanda loves the crust, having it connect the plate. Scott doesn't like cooked hamachi.

Fish wanted to be raw, but had to be an entree. Erica had a lot of ambition, but the tartare was off. Warren's dish was an assault of food. Mario had a better way of executing his ideas.

So who's well done and who's medium raw? The next chef... to be chopped... is... WARREN. Too much food. Too many element.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). It's heads-up on Chopped. Mario & Erica have to turn clementines, scotch, basil, and toasted oats cereal into $10,000.

We're 30 from a champion... Let's go!

Mario: Toasted Oats Beignets with Clementine Salad
Erica: Toasted Oats Brittle with Yogurt Pudding

Mario's representing personal chefs everywhere, while Erica is doing it for the crazy unconventional chefs. Erica was a pastry chef, so Mario was thinking that she was going to be elaborate. Instead, she's going for a parfait and a brittle.

Basil is part of the same family as mint. Mario's oil needs to be hot at 10 minutes. While he's waiting for that, he's making a butterscotch sauce with the clementines.

And did someone say fire?

The chefs have to start putting things together with a minute to go. Mario's done... Will Erica catch up?

... and... TIME!

Mario's dessert is "unbelievably light". Aaron needed a little bit of cream. Scott likes the clementine's flavor, but it's a little bit hard to eat.

Erica's parfait was topped with the brittle. The brittle was the best element, but other than that... meh.

It's been a neck-and-neck race according to the competitors, but according to the judges, both chefs brought it in dessert, so this will have to be decided upon the whole dinner. Mario's been quick, at times a little too quick, while Erica was a little more methodical and a little more knowledgeable of her ingredients. That translated to creativity. Both have something to prove. Only one will.

The final chef... to be chopped... is...  ERICA! The competition was fierce. It was a close race.

As Chef Smarty Pants gets props as she is escorted out of the doorway, we salute today's $10,000 Chopped Champion, Mario the personal chef, scoring one for personal chefs the world over!

But who's next? Find out next week as another four chefs fight it out for $10,000 while avoiding being 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