The chefs hope that their breakfast sausage appetizer will awaken the judges' senses. And as he explains why he loves to cook, one competitor breaks down. Then in the second round, a frozen dessert puts a chill in the chefs' plans to create delicious fish entrees. And the finalists must make sweet fruit work with sour beer in their desserts.
Chef Sonia: Coconut Roll with Sausage and Melon SaladEdit
Sonia crusted the potato bread with coconut, and made a salad of arugula, melon, and breakfast sausage with a dressing of rice wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Scott found it very refreshing, and liked the inclusion of the rice wine vinegar because it brought out the inherent sweetness in the melon. Alex got a real sense that Sonia liked to make food vibrant, and thought that the salad was simple, direct, and very good, but sensed that there was one basket ingredient that didn't work, which was the bread. Chris agreed, noticing that the bread had the consistency of a saturated sponge and the coconut was burnt.
Chef Charles: Coconut Pork Slider with Pickled CantaloupeEdit
Charles made coconut pork sliders with pickled cantaloupe, with coconut arugula salad. Alex commented right away that using the melon as if it were a slice of cheese was very whimsical. Scott agreed, and more importantly, it tasted good. Chris thought that Charles excelled in the round and really enjoyed the slider, especially the pickled cantaloupe mimicking cheese. Chris's complaint was that the side salad was under-seasoned and felt like a bit of an afterthought.
Chef Arthur: Panzanella Insalata with Coconut GremolataEdit
Arthur made a panzanella insalata, with a coconut pinoli gremolata. Chris was hoping for some crunch because of the softness of the mystery ingredients, which Arthur achieved, especially with the cucumber and the way the coconut was toasted. Scott liked the inclusion of the pinoli, which had a great depth of flavor, and noted Arthur's good instinct on including cucumber and substituting melon for tomatoes. His complaint was that the panzanella was missing the arugula which Arthur intended to use.
Chef Shawn: Spicy Sausage and Melon on Fried BreadEdit
Shawn's dish was sausage tossed with cantaloupe on top of fried potato roll. His original plan was to make a spring roll, but was unable to roll it up. Chris complimented Shawn for his use of spices because he balanced the sweetness of the melon with spiciness of the sausage without it being too spicy. He also commended him for actually finishing, because he wasn't sure if he'd actually make. Alex thought the most successful part of the dish was the cantaloupe, which was cooked down into a sort of compote and made the sausage juicy. The judges would have liked to have removed the bread altogether, which was dark and bitter. Scott thought that deep-frying the bread was kind of crazy and had no idea where Shawn's mind was with that decision.
Chopped: Chef Shawn was chopped. He was complimented for being able to adjust with 4 minutes left and still get something on the plates that had big assertive flavors. However, the bread was overcooked and the presentation left a lot to be desired.
Chef Charles: Pan-Seared Cod w/ Polenta and Blood Orange SauceEdit
Charles made a pan-seared crusted sablefish with orange-glazed fiddlehead ferns, and vadouvan polenta with blood orange sauce. The judges found the fish was cooked flawlessly, it was perfect. Chris remarked that it was the best fish he had ever had on the show, and the polenta was very very good. Alex thought that the polenta and the fish together were brilliant, with the technique and the taste borderline obscene. What the judges didn't like was the sauce: Chris remarked it was tacky, sweet, and didn't belong, and Scott noticed that it was far too reduced. Scott remarked that there were a lot of positive elements on the plate, but the sauce was clearly not one of them.
Chef Arthur: Fern Carbonara w/ Blood Orange Beurre BlancEdit
Arthur's entrée was a brown butter and vadouvan crusted fillet of sablefish served atop of smashed purple potatoes topped with a bit of goat cheese, alongside a carbonara of the fiddlehead ferns and a blood orange beurre blanc. Scott thought that it was the most successful use of the blood orange sorbet. Chris remarked that it was a wildly creative use of the ingredients, loving the flavors, especially in the sauce, which went well with the fish. However, he didn't think it went with anything else on the plate. He liked the smashed potatoes with the goat cheese on them, but he didn't think it went with everything else. Alex found that all the dairy he used were sort of crutches. She and Chris remarked to add Parmesan cheese and goat cheese to a dish with a seared piece of sablefish on it was overkill.
Chef Sonia: Seared Cod with Ancho Polenta & Orange SorbetEdit
Sonia dusted her fish with the vadouvan and pan-seared it, served with an Ancho chili polenta, and she made a cucumber salsa with the blood orange sorbet to cool it down. Scott and Chris complained about the polenta, Scott pointing out that it was much too hard and not cooked all the way through, and Chris getting large chunks of Ancho chili in his polenta that dominated his pallet. He also noticed that the fish was undercooked. Alex thought that Sonia was the most successful with the blood orange sorbet, which was ironic as she left it in its pure form, but it went well with the cucumber. She remarked that if the polenta was airlifted off of the dish (Ted remarked that one would need aircraft), it would have been a good dish.
Chopped: Chef Arthur was chopped. The judges felt his dish fell short because of his overuse of the goat cheese, the Parmesan cheese, and the butter really overwhelmed the other elements of his dish.
Ingredients: Sour Beer, Cherimoya, Raspberries, Brown Bread in a Can
Chef Sonia: Bread Pudding with Sour Beer SabayonEdit
Sonia made stove-top bread pudding with a beer sabayon over the cherimoya, caramel as a garnish, and raspberries macerated with sugar and beer. Scott really liked it: the cherimoya was perfect, and thought that Sonia had a deep understanding of the products, although he would have liked more beer in the sabayon. Chris liked what was done with the brown bread, which soaked up the custard. Alex found it very inviting, and chewing the caramel made her feel like a little kid. All of the judges felt that Sonia had made the stronger dessert.
Chef Charles: Pain Perdu with Sour Beer CaramelEdit
Charles made a brown bread pain perdu with a cherimoya and maple syrup coulis, sour beer caramel sauce, a raspberry mousse, and a raspberry salad. Alex thought that the caramel was one of the best things she had tasted for the entire meal, which had an amazing richness that showed transformation of the beer. Scott noticed that Charles was having trouble with the mousse, and over-whipped it as a result, losing its texture although the flavor was wonderful. Chris felt that the bread wasn't transformed, and that it just tasted like brown bread out of a can, which was a result of Charles cutting the bread too thick.
Chopped: Chef Sonia was chopped. Sonia preformed at a very high level which on any other day would have been enough to win. Unfortunately, Charles stayed one step ahead.