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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

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One in a Hundred
November 1

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."
Jackie Baldassari
Chesterfield, NJ
country club roundsman
Matt Lambert
Manhattan, NY (orig. New Zealand)
chef de cuisine and musician
Tiffany Jefferies
Brooklyn, NY
Dave Cusato
Yonkers, NY
sous chef, H2O

Tonight's judges...

- New York bigshot Marc Murphy
- Latin Indian fusion wunderkind Maneet Chauhan
- Innovative chef Chris Santos

Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes). The first box of the night has... duck prosciutto, purple asparagus, Korean melon, and Greek Easter bread.

And time... starts .... *checks watch*... NOW!

Jackie: Sliced Duck Prosciutto with Grilled Asparagus
Matt: Asparagus Salad with Crispy Easter Bread
Tiffany: Sweet Potato & Melon Salad
Dave: Toast with Duck and Melon Ragu

Three of the four ingredients have an inherent sweetness. Purple asparagus is sweeter than green asparagus, the bread is sweet, and the melon is sweet. There's going to have to be some offset. Jackie tries... truffle oil. NO!!!!!

Jackie's presentation is really nice, as are her combinations of flavors. The truffle oil... works! Matt treats the melon nicely, not losing any of the texture. His asparagus is a little tough. Tiffany's asparagus on a crispy prosciutto is perfect. Besides that, it was overly sweet, and her sweet potato is not consistent. Dave's dish is well composed, but his bread is cut too thick. The melon loses its texture, and there's not enough salt.

All four chefs have done a good job to start. We have a strong start, but someone has to go. The first chef... to be chopped...  is... TIFFANY. The sweet potato adds more sweetness, leaving it overly sweet.

Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes). One down, two to go. Next on the menu... barramundi, ramps, sun-dried tomatoes, and unripened green almonds.

Half an hour to make something happen.

Jackie: Barramundi with Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta
Matt: Barramundi with Beurre Blanc Sauce
Dave: Barramundi with Sweet Potato

Barramundi lends itself to various flavor profiles. Jackie sees butchering fish as second nature, having been a poissoniere (fishmonger). Matt sees it as more of a slap in the face, a Kiwi using an Australian fish.

The green almond has an acidic tang, but it has a slightly tart flavor.

Matt's fish ended up crispy, but Chris' pieces are a little dry. Maneet likes the almonds, but the beurre blanc overpowers them. Overall, it's well balanced. Dave baked his fish. The flavor development is there, but the fish is a little soggy. The sweet potato also worked, but we needed more ramp. Jackie's citrus sauced fish is tops. The polenta... not so much. It's still granular.

Three solid plates, but the next person... to be chopped... is... JACKIE. 'Twas the polenta that did her in.

Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes). And this is where success pays. Matt and Dave are now one basket away from $10,000. In said basket... Kirby cucumbers, beignet mix, lemon lime soda, and nata de coco.

Good luck, chefs... and GO!

Matt: Poppy Seed Cake with Cucumber Compote
Dave: Cucumber Raspberry Slushy with Beignet

Nata de coco is a Filipino ingredient that comes from fermented coconut water. That gives it its natural gelatinization. Think coconut water with floral overtones. Dave's been putting a lot of himself in the dish. In that he dipped his finger in the slushy and drank the rum straight out of the bottle.

Dave's presentation is nice, and you can get the flavors and the textures throughout. The brulee wasn't successful with the nata de coco. Then there was the licking and the drinking. Matt's presentation is also nice, and the nata de coco is edible. And he pushed the envelope by making something other than a beignet. But is it too heavy a dessert?

Both of the finalists were competitive. Dave's dessert has no harmony. Matt transformed the ingredients and took risks with it. Matt used the ingredients to his advantage, while Dave just went with his best feeling.

An easier decision than you would believe, BUT... the final chef... to be chopped... is...  DAVE. Even the smallest mistake will prove too costly, as Dave used a beignet mix to make beignets.

Little things mean big money for MATT LAMBERT, who now takes home $10,000, which he will use to buy diapers and guitars. Laugh it up, buddy, you earned it.

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.

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