It's about to begin again. Four more
cheftestants, three more baskets, and $10,000 to the one who can avoid
having Ted Allen say with no feeling or malice... "You've been chopped."
executive sous-chef at Joe's Stone Crab
New York City
corporate executive chef
executive chef in NYC
San Francisco (orig. Niceville, FL)
owner/pastry chef, Biscuit Bender
- Trend-setting restauranteur chef Chris Santos
- New American superstar chef Amanda Freitag
- Modern Italian chef Scott Conant
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes).
The first box of season 9 has... Izote flowers, smoked butter, rhubarb, and... a
whole chicken in a can.
And time... starts .... *checks watch*...
did I mention that was chicken in a canNOW!
Ronnie: Sauteed Chicken Salad with Basil
& Izote Flower Vinaigrette
Helen: Creamy Chicken Soup
Ryan: Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Salad
Van: Crunchy Rhubarb Salad with Warm Chicken Salad
Izote flower is the flower of the yucca
plant, pickled and preserved. Chicken in a can is... exactly what it
says on the tin. Meanwhile, Helen just lit a fire about something. No
Van sauteed the Izote for a unifying
element. Chris likes the rhubarb salad, but the salads are like two
different salads that don't really belong together. Amanda likes the
texture of Ryan's salad, though it is straight-forward. A little too
much so. Helen's soup is not cream of chicken. It's light broth with a
touch of cream... and a bone. But the mushroom topping works. Ronnie's
chicken salad had a great vinaigrette. The chicken's flavor is amazing,
but no one's going to eat the raw onion. And again, someone has to have
a bone in theirs... and it wasn't "restaurant quality."
There are only three boxes in the entree
round. The first chef... to be chopped... is... VAN. The taste was
there, but it didn't come together into one dish.
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes).
One down, two to go. Next on the menu... yellow miso...
pork shoulder... mountain yam... and astronaut ice cream.
Strange, isn't it? Food isn't going to cook
Ronnie: Spiced Pork Shoulder
Helen: Grilled Pork with Miso Sauce
Ryan: Miso Braised Pork
"Astronaut ice cream" was created in 1968 and
used in ONE mission, Apollo 7, and never again. And yet 50 years later in 2011,
they still make it. Go figure. Helen uses it to make a base for her miso sauce.
Meanwhile, Ryan doesn't know what to do with
mountain yam. He proceeds to puree it and... we have another fire... Ronnie.
Ryan makes his yam into slaw with the ice
cream and Granny Smith apples. The flavors in the pork were well
incorporated. The ice cream... not so much. Helen's sauce actually was
done well, but it clashed with the mustard marinade. The salad served
with the grill was top notch. Ronnie's pork is perfect, but it probably
matches up to Helen's dish. The curry and the ice cream... and the
coconut... worked with the sauce. The potato AND mountain yam... also
worked. Presentation, though, is lacking.
The next person... to be chopped... is...
RYAN. It was a giant step backwards.
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes).
And this is where success pays. Ronnie and Helen are now one basket away from
$10,000. In said basket... margarita mix, quick cook grits, marionberry
preserves, and vanilla yogurt.
Good luck, chefs... and GO!
Ronnie: Creamy Grits with Marionberry Compote
Helen: Marionberry Sauce with Ginger.
... but what is Helen going to make that sauce
WITH? How about... a grits roulade? Meanwhile, Ronnie needs a hit of surprise,
so he adds condensed milk to his grits and rum to his whipped cream.
Helen ended up with a Berry & Grits Roulade with
Lime & Yogurt Sauce. It's really creative, but the middle is soggy. And it could
stand to be a little sweeter. On the flip, Ronnie's dessert could stand to be a
little less sweet. But it hits all the marks.
We've saved the hardest decision for last. On the
one hand, Ronnie grew from being nervous to being a sharp-shooter, but did he
overshoot it? Helen did more or less the same. The same approach... two
different meals. Both started sloppy, ended on a high.
Unfortunately for one player, there's only one
check for $10,000. The final chef... to be chopped... is... RONNIE. He
nailed the first course and the second, but he never got past the points for
And that means that today, Helen Park is the
season's first Chopped Champion! That gives her a nice payday, $10,000 for three
So who's next to bring it home? Find out next
week when four more chefs compete in three more rounds. One of them will get
paid. The others will get... chopped.
extras from this episode, or to apply to be a contestant on "Chopped", visit the
official website at