Tonight's episode of "Chopped" finally gave home cooks a chance to compete in the kitchen. How they will fare, is to be learned, as each one has the challenge of the mystery baskets before them. There are three rounds; appetizer, entree and dessert. At the end of each round, once will be eliminated until one remains. The competitors are; Kevin Rooney, mayor of Wyckoff, N.J., Adrian Ashby, an administrative assistant from Queens, N.Y., Maureen Sanchez, a home chef from Oswego, Ill. and Michael Press, a jeans company president from White Plains, N.Y.
The judges for this episode are; Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant with the host, as always is Ted Allen.
The first round appetizer mystery box contained; Pickled Watermelon Rind, Sushi Platter, Kohlrabi and Bacon Bits. Michael made pan-seared sushi with panko crusted kohlrabi using corn syrup, eggs and panko. Adrian made fish tacos using tortillas, apricot jam and brown sugar. Kevin made a stir-fry using siracha, rich wine vinegar and sesame seed oil. Maureen made rice cakes using frisee, radicchio and siracha. The first chef to be eliminated was Adrian whose presentation did not meet the expectations of the judges who cut no slack to the participants.
The entree round contained; Ostrich Fan Fillets, Purple Asparagus, Fish Roe in a Tube and Blueberry Wine. Maureen made grilled ostrich and pan-roasted asparagus using mixed greens, merlot and rice. Kevin made pan-seared ostrich marinated in fish roe & blueberry wine using Parmesan, red potatoes and jalapenos. Michael made grilled ostrich with blueberry wine reduction using bacon, soy sauce and peppers. The home cook eliminated was Maureen, who needed some sauce.
The dessert round included; Cinnamon Chips, Baby Red Grapes, Earl Grey Tea Leaves and Pound Cake. Michael made pound cake pain perdu with cinnamon chip caramel using eggs, heavy cream and mascarpone. Kevin made sweet & savory French Toast with red-wine reduction sauce using goat cheese, bourbon and eggs. The winner of the $10,000 and the first home cook "Chopped" champion was Mayor Kevin Rooney.