Class is in session as four of America's
best lunchladies are taken out of the classroom and into our version of
the School of Hard Knocks. Only one will graduate with a $10,000
scholarship. The other three... will chop out.
New Haven, CT
High School in the Community
New Haven, CT
Common Ground HS
Great Neck ES
Tonight's judges are all ambassadors of
causes that support combating children's hunger...
- New York restaurant baron Marc Murphy
(Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry)
- Star executive chef Amanda Freitag (Edible Schoolyard NYC Partnership)
- White House chef and senior policy advisor Sam Kass (one of First Lady
Michelle Obama's leaders in the fight against childhood obesity)
Round 1: APPETIZER (20 minutes).
The first box of the night has... canned tuna fish, wonton wrappers, spinach,
and dill pickles.
And time... starts .... *checks watch*...
Cheryl: Spinach and Sausage Stuffed
Rhonda: Deconstructed Tuna Salad Sandwich
Dianne: Goat Cheese and Tuna Beggar's Purse
Arlene: Stuffed Wonton with Tuna Florentine
In addition to the usual three
categories, the judges will be thinking about the kids and about
Cheryl stuffed her tuna salad into a
tomato. The plate is creative enough to get kids to eat their tomatoes,
but it needed to be seasoned better. Rhonda's plate lines up with the
MyPlate, in that it's heavy on vegetables. Dianne's beggar's purse isn't
fried, so that's healthier. Arlene's dish needed a little bit of a
vinaigrette, as she said that she blanked on the time.
All four are deserving for their service
for kids and country, but in the end, someone has to be chopped in order
to get to the final victor. The first chef... to be chopped... is...
RHONDA. Her plate was beautiful, but there was no dressing for the
Round 2: ENTREE (30 minutes).
One down, two to go. Next on the menu... collard
greens, chicken breasts, anchovies, and quinoa.
Half an hour to make school lunch happen.
Cheryl: Quinoa-Coated Chicken with Penne Pasta
Dianne: Sesame Crusted Chicken with Quinoa
Arlene: Stuffed Chicken Pinwheel
A big day to day hurdle for the
lunchladies is to get kids to try new things. These are about as new as
they come. Quinoa is about as flavorless as brown rice, so the ladies
will use it as such.
Dianne's chicken looks beautiful, and
there's a lot done. Creatively wise, it's a wonderful idea, but it's
missing a little bit of salt. Arlene's quinoa is cooked perfectly. The
presentation is very sloppy. Cheryl's pasta plate is comfort foods. The
quinoa is not successful, as it needed some liquid. Marc likes it,
Lunch is almost over, and it's time to
send one school chef to detention hall. Spoiler alert... it isn't
Dianne. The next chef... to be chopped... is... ARLENE. Time proved to
be a factor, and the chicken didn't get a chance to be seared.
Round 3: DESSERT (30 minutes).
And this is where success pays. Cheryl and Dianne are now one basket away from
$10,000. In said basket... sunflower seeds, grapes, cream cheese, and canned
Good luck, chefs... and GO!
Cheryl: Sweet Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Dianne: Fresh Fruit Ambrosia with Grilled Pineapple
The overall question, should we be
serving dessert in schools? These two have a golden opportunity to
create something sweet and actually good for you.
Cheryl's dessert is creatively and
texturally superb, BUT the portion is too large. The flavors on Dianne's
plate speak tropical and summer, but it didn't need to be overly sweet.
The fruit, especially grilled, didn't need an extra honey.
This fight was not a big fight compared
to feeding a school full of hungry kids. Both chefs were no slouch about
the honor that comes with their titles. Dianne splits the panel on the
main, while Cheryl knocked dessert out of the park. Dianne was creative
in the starter, but Cheryl had a better tasting one. This is going to be
The final chef... to be chopped... is...
DIANNE. She had incredible dishes, but there were a few points that just
didn't measure up to the standard.
But it's graduation time, and CHERYL
BARBARA gets to take the gold star in the form of $10,000. She says
she's going to share it with her ladies, who deserve equal recognition
for their work on the front lines against childhood eating disorders.
BUT there's one more surprise. The
Culinary Institute of America wanted all four chefs to feel like winners
and advance their education, so each chef is getting a five-day starter
course to hone their skills.
.... AND their kids are waiting in the
wings to congratulate them. Can't really get better than that.
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