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.
New York City
table tennis player & chef owner, Can Cook Personal Chefs
New York City
chef instructor & radio show host
New York City
gluten-free special diets chef instructor
Staten Island, NY
chef & restauranteur, DoSi Cafe
So you all know... Yes, that's Sunshine's REAL
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
Clock's winding down. And Mario... is
already done. The other three get there eventually.
TIME'S UP. First course going to the
Mario's flavor balance is presence.
The frog legs were perfect, but the peppers were high and the dates were
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
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
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
So who's well done and who's medium raw?
The next chef... to be chopped... is... WARREN. Too much food. Too many
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
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