Tuesday night’s episode of "Chopped" offered one of four different groups of previous "Chopped" champions an opportunity to compete for the $50,000, and a new car from Buick, along with the title of the Ultimate Chopped Champion in this episode where the professional chefs were given items in three mystery boxes in this first round episode.
The judges for this episode were: Mark Murphy, Chris Santos and Scott Conant, with host, as always Ted Allen.
Competing in this episode are professional chefs; Giorgio Rapicavoli, who has been nominated for several awards since his appearance, Lauren Kyles, Tom McKenna, chef at Jean-Georges and Fatima Ali, Pakistani chef.
The first round appetizer mystery box contained: Eel, Pepihuates, Shaved Coconut and Sea Beans. Giorgio made barbequed eel with heirloom tomatoes and pepihuates curry using citrus skin, olive oil and coconut milk. The chef eliminated in this round was Jason, who left out a few elements of his dish. Tom made seared eel with sea bean & coconut salad using oranges, rice vinegar and sriracha. Fatima made tempura eel with pepihuates raita using buttermilk, yogurt and coriander seeds. Lauren made pan-seared eel with pepihuates glaze using chiles, Dijon mustard and molasses. The chef eliminated was Fatima whose sea beans were too salty.
The entree round contained: Dressed Squab, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Feta Cheese and Cherry Cola. Lauren made grilled squab with mushroom & grape leaf dirty rice using red wine, red onions and olive oil. Giorgio made “Peking” squab with grape leaf fried rice using sesame oil, scallions and soy sauce. Tom made roasted squab with grape leaf risotto using jalapenos, whiskey and sriracha. The chef who was "Chopped" in this round was Lauren, whose squab was undercooked.
The dessert round included: Grasshopper Pie, Granny Smith Apples, Smoked Salt and Puffed Rice. Giorgio made caramelized apples and grasshopper pie ice cream with rice mousse using blueberries, almond extract and white chocolate. Tom made grasshopper pie puree with caramel puffed rice streusel using blueberries, sugar and agar agar.
The winner of the first round and who will go on to compete in the finale was Giorgio Rapicavoli. Congratulations!