Last night "Chopped Champions" began the first in a series of four competitions to find the sole survivor from past champions of "Chopped" episodes. Only one will earn the title and stand proudly among the "Chopped Champions." Oh, the winner will receive $50,000, but they must survive all three rounds of this competition, then be ready to go against the winners of the next three competitions of past winners.
Judges for this episode are; Chris Santos, Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian. The host is Ted Allen.
First competitor was Lish Steiling, assistant food stylist for a national television show. Next were, executive chef Sylvain Harribey, freelance chef Sean Scotese and executive chef Kenneth Johnson.
The first round appetizer mystery box contained; Haggis, Smoked Gouda, Celery and Prunes. Kenneth made haggis pancakes using brandy, vinegar and eggs. Lish made "Devils on Horseback," which are prunes stuffed with haggis using bacon and apple. Sylvain made haggis crusted galette cake using cucumber and Dijon mustard. Sean made haggis & prune stew using mushrooms, cream and cognac. The judging was difficult but the champion who did not make it was Lish, who did not meet the expectations of the judges.
Next was the entree round of: Fish Heads, Hon-Shimeji Mushrooms, Crema and Sugar Cookie Dough. Kenneth made fish cakes with root vegetables using wine and vegetable broth. Sylvain made seafood gratin using butter and sweet potatoes. Sean made Szechuan broiled collar and poached cheek using sesame oil, five spice and star anise and Asian spiced cookie dough cracker using five spice, star anise and cumin. Sean forgot the crema and Kenneth had scales in his dish, but Sylvain's dish did not meet with the criteria set down by the judges and therefore, he was "Chopped."
The next round was the dessert box with; Spiral Ham, Green Plantains, Water Chestnuts and Spiced Rum. Sean made summer roll using maple syrup and coconut. Kenneth made strudel using blueberries, pizza dough and cocoa nibs. The judges had a difficult time judging all three rounds, but Sean had to go leaving Kenneth, the oldest of the competitors as the first one who will compete for the title of "Chopped Champions."