Another four chefs, another three baskets,
and another $10,000 to the chef with the best menu.
orig. southeast Texas
caterer, Distinctive Fare Catering
chef/owner, Red Newt Cellars Winery & Bistro
New York City
executive chef, World Yacht
executive chef, Scottadito Restaurant
You know the rules, and you know the lifelines.
Let's meet the judges...
- American cuisine expert Geoffrey Zakarian
- Fine dining specialist Amanda Freitag
- Latin chef & restaurateur Aaron Sanchez
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes).
On the menu today for round 1 are... udon, watermelon radish, razor clams, and
Who wants 20 minutes? I got'em. You got a
Christopher: Cold Udon Salad with Shaved
Debra: Warm Udon Salad with Razor Clams
Denis: Warm Asian Style Udon with Razor Clams
Raffaele: Exotic Caponata Insalata
All of the dishes look VERY VERY SIMILAR.
Christopher's dish shines in its being
served cold. But it needed some sort of flavor or salt. Debra's salad is
warm, sweet, hot, and attractive... but there's a bunch of grit from the
clams. Denis' noodles are colorful and vibrant, but Geoffrey's mouth is
on fire. Raffaele's dish is well balanced, but it needs a little salt.
The first person... to be chopped...
is... DENIS. Noodles were overcooked, and the spices were - no pun
intended - way overboard. Let this be a lesson: use your time wisely.
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes).
Who wants another box? Here we have... sweet
vermouth, leeks, French fingerling potatoes, and live diver scallops.
... and time starts now.
Christopher: Pan-Seared Scallops with Roasted Potatoes
Debra: Scallops in Creamy Vermouth Sauce
Raffaele: Pan-Seared Scallops with Vermouth Reduction and Leek Pesto
Debra's sauce is wonderful, and the bacon
was a smart touch. But the bacon needed to be cooked a little bit more.
Raffaele's pesto is very flavorful with the mascarpone, but the scallops
are over, and the potatoes have no flavor whatsoever. Christopher heeded
the call to creativity. His scallop is cooked to perfection, but
Geoffrey's scallop is sandy and Aaron's leeks are underdone.
The next person... to be chopped... is...
DEBRA. The wilted lettuce was bland and without purpose.
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes).
This is for money. In the baskets for dessert... Thai basil, marinated cippolini
onions, black Oxford apples, and rolled oats.
We're 30 from a champion... Let's go!
Christopher: Oatmeal Cookies with
Cippolini & Basil with Berry Soup
Raffaele: Sauteed Apples & Cippolini a L'orange
Christopher as a rule does not cook with
alcohol, because he spent a long time getting clean and sober from it.
So he's flying blind.
Raffaele's apples were well caramelized,
but where are the Thai basil? Amanda wants some bite with her apple. And
the two components of his dish don't work together. Christopher uses his
onion in the cookie, which is strong, but inside the soup, it mellows
out. Speaking of the soup, the brandy flavor is very strong.
Powerful motivation for both chefs.
Raffaele wants to take his son to Italy to show him where he's from.
Christopher wants to get the recognition that he deserves. Good flavors
in both menus, but time management gives Christopher the edge.
So who gets the money and who gets the chop?
The final chef... to be chopped... is...
RAFFAELE. He has a simple approach to cooking, but through the progression of
his meal, there were a lot of flaws.
So sweet vindication - literally - is in
Christopher's hands, as is $10,000 and the title of Chopped Champion.
And speaking of, in two weeks, a group of
champions will return to the Chopped kitchen for another Champions Tournament.
Someone's going to get paid. The others are going to get... Chopped.
(C-Note: per the black card at the end of today's
"IN MEMORY OF DEBRA WHITING, EXECUTIVE CHEF AND
CO-OWNER OF RED NEWT CELLARS WINERY & BISTRO."
Upon further review - read: my Google-fu is
better than your Google-fu, Whiting was killed in a June 30 car accident. This
episode was taped in November. More information can be found
extras from this episode, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at