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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 Notional Productions for Food Network
Origins Food Network Studios, New York City
Web foodnetwork.com/chopped
Airs 10p Tues, Food
Available
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Victory on the Brain
July 13

It's a brand new season of dinner on the fly. Four chefs, three rounds, three boxes, three judges. All these threes will lead to 10 Gs.
 
Samantha Buyskes
Finger Lakes, NY
owner/chef, Simply Red Bistro
Colin Kruzic
New York City
former executive chef
Alejandra Padilla
orig. Southeast Los Angeles, CA
chef, La Padra del Sol
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Baltimore
executive chef, CR Lounge

You read that correctly. Sammy Davis Jr.

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

- Latin expert Aaron Sanchez
- American cuisine expert Geoffrey Zakarian
- Italian virtuoso Scott Conant

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). Our first course must feature... tamarind soda, cocktail nuts, haricots verts, and goat brains.

Control room, give us 20... and begin!

Samantha: Spiced Nut-Crusted Goat Brain with Spring Salad and Tamarind Cocktail
Colin: Milk-Poached Goat Brains
Alejandra: Big Bad BBQ Backyard Salad
Sammy: Asian Stir-Fried Goat Brains

One minute left, and Colin has not yet plated. That... changes. TIME. Let's go to the block.

Samantha's dish is perfect to two of the judges (Geoffrey disagrees). Geoffrey does like the spice, though.

Colin's brains are perfect, but no sauces on the brain. At all.

Alejandra's prep is inviting, but the peanut needed a little coaxing. It suffered from too much acid.

Sammy incorporates the texture of the brains, but they end up overcooked. The sauce brings it all together.

Not looking good for Colin, but let's see who wins this incredibly tough round. The first person... to be chopped... is... COLIN. He has a lot of talent, but he needed to bring his dish together.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). Next up for our surviving chefs are ... cream of cocnut, baby turnips, wakame seaweed, and... everyone's favorite... fish heads.

... and time starts now.

Will Samantha throw in the towel... and her knives? No she doesn't.

Samantha: Creamy Coconut Linguine with Sauteed Cod Cheeks
Alejandra: Braised Fish Heads with Pickled Turnip Greens
Sammy: Fish Head Curry Stew with Rice

The fish is northeastern cod. Very sweet flavor. Great opportunity for the chefs.

Sammy takes a cleaver to the meat to extract all that delicate protein. He also extracts some of that flavor from the seaweed. Alejandra loves the natural flavors and the opportunity to add her own flare. Samantha adds cheese to her pasta dish. This is relevat.

And TIME. Let's see what the panel says...

Alejandra's dish was simply "awesome". The pickled turnips were a nice touch, but the fish had a lot of bones and cartilage.

Sammy's dish was smart. Geoffrey thought it was a little too hot for him. Scott thought that the curry was grainy.

Samantha's dish was very tasty. Creativity is up there. The pasta was perfect, but Scott doesn't like cheese on his pasta.

So it's obvious that the chefs on season 6 have raised their game. The judges... have also raised their game as well.

The next person... to be chopped... is... SAMANTHA. It was hard to ignore the positives of the dish, but the dish itself was very muddled.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). It's heads-up on Chopped. Alejandra and Sammy must transform peanut brittle, marsala wine, wonton wrappers, and the very spiny durian fruit into $10,000.

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

Alejandra: Durian Fritters with Marsala Custard
Sammy: Durian & Mascarpone Stuffed Wontons with Marsala Sauce

Durian has a custardy texture and a stinky flesh. Whoever can look past all of that (and the taste of it, which isn't that pleasant) will win. Sammy wants to bury the durian in a whole lot of sweetness, while Alejandra wants to enhance and concentrate it. Which approach will win?

And... TIME. This is going to be close.

Sammy hasn't really given thought to the progression of the meal, as all three of his offerings were fried. They're very good dishes and dessert was embraced by the judges, but there was no growth onto the central theme.

Alejandra had more or less the same dish as Sammy. The sauce is a very nice element. The durian, though, is not un-muted, and it needed to be. Good presentation, but the fruit was bitter.

So who gets the money and who gets the chop?

The final chef... to be chopped... is...  SAMMY. He had some great moments, but he stayed inside his comfort zone... AND was simply outcooked by a better chef.

And speaking of which, Alejandra is going home with $10,000, having killed it today.

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

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