With sea urchin and cranberry juice in the first basket, the chefs have to dive deep to try to imagine and then create the perfect appetizers. Then in the entrée round, can canned fruit and pork hock come together well on the plates? The three remaining competitors try to make it work when they deliver three very different main dishes. And it's a gingerbread dough showdown in the dessert round!
Chef Adrianne: Broccoflower Purée w/ Cranberry MadeleineEdit
Adrianne made madeleines soaked in cranberry to accompany the sea urchin, a purée of broccoflower, and a tad of truffle oil. Marc congratulated her for making a beautiful, beautiful dish, and felt that she tied the four mystery ingredients together in the best way. Amanda loved that she soaked the madeline in the tart, bitter cranberry, which made perfect sense. Seamus warned her to be careful about cleaning the urchin, as he got a quill in his. The judges felt that the truffle oil took away from the dish, Marc saying that it almost ruined it. Amanda felt the spice level of the dish was high.
Chef Wayne: Stuffed Urchin with Cranberry CitrusEdit
Wayne prepared a stuffed urchin with broccoflower and a cranberry citrus sauce. Seeing the cranberry juice, he thought of Thanksgiving, and went back to memories like that, such as cornbread stuffing. Marc loved the idea of the stuffing, which he would have never thought of doing. He considered it one of the most creative ideas of the round. Amanda loved the thought process, and the stuffing really worked like cornbread. Seamus found it really gutsy that Wayne served the dish in the urchin shell, and was the only chef to do so. His only complaint was that he would have wanted it to be a bit sweeter because of the cranberry juice's bitterness. He also felt that the plate was kind of sloppy.
Chef Lish: Broccoflower Salad w/ Madeleine CrostiniEdit
Lish prepared a warm roasted broccoflower salad, with a crostini of madeleine, sea urchin, and a little bit of mint and cilantro to bring it all together. Amanda liked the vinaigrette and its high acidity, which went well with the broccoflower. The judges felt that she was the only contestant to elevate both the cranberry and the broccoflower To Seamus, the madeleine was enormous, and there wasn't enough sea urchin to get the flavor. He and Marc noticed that she sort of made two separate dishes, one of which was stellar, and the other not even close.
Chef Kayne: Broccoflower Purée w/ Cranberry UrchinEdit
Kayne prepared a broccoflower spice purée with cumin, corriander, and toast, with a marinated citrus sea urchin. Seamus found the purée a bit too gritty, resulting from Kayne using the food processor instead of a blender. Marc disagreed, saying that if it was silky smooth, there wouldn't have been any texture besides the apple, and there wouldn't have felt like there was as much food. Marc liked that Kayne got the most sea urchin out of all the dishes, but found that the flavors were flat. Amanda thought that all of the spices worked well together, but didn't like that he puréed the broccoflower with the cranberry, which ended up to be gray.
Chopped: Chef Kayne was chopped. Unfortunately, the judges didn't feel that the cranberry came through, and overall the dish was under-seasoned.
Ingredients: Canned Mandarin Oranges, Red Pearl Onions, Chicken Thighs, Pork Hock
Chef Wayne: Pan-Seared Chicken over Pasta CarbonaraEdit
Wayne prepared a pan-seared chicken thigh over a mandarin and red pearl onion carbonara. Marc said it was very hearty and the flavors were good. The judges liked how well he seared his chicken and seasoned it. Seamus thought it was very smart to use the hock in the pasta water because the flavor of it came through, and loved the chicken. Amanda felt that the onion was abraisive, not sweet like she wanted. Marc thought it was good, but was a little disappointed that it lacked in creativity. He also pointed out the pasta had oranges in it, which just wasn't going to work.
Chef Lish: Ham Hock with Mandarin Glazed ChickenEdit
Lish did a potato and ham hock hash topped with a mandarin glazen chicken thigh, and a little mandarin and celery slaw on top. Marc loved the hash and how the onions were caramelized in there. He thought the plate was beautiful and that it was brilliant to braise the chicken with the mandarin juice. Seamus liked that Lish used the mandarin juice for the chicken and in the slaw on top. He considered that Lish made the best use of the pearl onions, as well as the best entrée. Amanda loved the seasoning on the chicken and that it was cooked on the bone. She also enjoyed the slaw, which brought some freshness. However, both her and Seamus had slightly undercooked chicken at the bone. Seamus did not get the taste of the pork hock.
Chef Adrianne: Chicken Fricassee with Sweet Potato PuréeEdit
Adrianne made a Caribbean chicken fricassee with a curry, goat cheese, sweet potato purée. Originally being of Cuban descent, she wanted to introduce the judges to her culture through the dish. Marc loved the dish: he found the purée to be fantastic, and the texture of the olive and the tomato cooked the way they were had nothing wrong with them. Marc felt Adrianne made the basket ingredients sing. Amanda thought the presentation represented the chef, with the big, bold, fiery colors and flavors. Seamus liked the idea of the trip around the Caribbean and got where she was going, but he felt disconnected with the salad served on the side. Adrianne defended that she always served a side salad in her cooking. Another problem was that her chicken was undercooked, Seamus's chicken actually being raw at the bone. Seamus also felt that Adrianne didn't transform the mandarin, but just tossed it in with the salad
Chopped: Chef Wayne was chopped. The judges enjoyed the energy and passion he put into his cooking, as well as watching him cook. Unfortunately, the presentation and creativity was not at the standards that they were looking for.
Chef Lish: Goat Cheese & Garam Masala CheesecakeEdit
Lish's dessert was a goat cheese and garam masala cheesecake with a gingerbread crust, and a black pepper and strawberry sauce. Marc liked the combination of the strawberry reduction with balsamic, especially with the orange rind. Amanda thought Lish did a good job in connecting the black pepper in the spice mix, and the goat cheese was cooling. However, she didn't like that Lish had left the cheese unsweetened. Both she and Marc considered it to be more of a cheese course, and that it needed sugar to be a dessert. Lish explained that she doesn't like sweet desserts. Seamus didn't mind that it was unsweetened, but he didn't get the garam masala, and would have liked to have seen a more innovative use of the gingerbread dough.
Chef Adrianne: Gingerbread Trifle with Strawberry SyrupEdit
Adrianne made an Indian-inspired gingerbread trifle, and a sauté of green apple and raspberry with the strawberry syrup. Amanda loved that there was the softness of the pastry cream, the crunchiness from the apple, the cakiness from the ginger, and the candied sugar tweel. Marc noted that the cookies were a little overdone, but once it had been soaked with the pudding, it was good. Seamus noticed that her choice to brûlée the goat cheese on top gave a double layer of burnt that created a taste almost like the gas from the torch.
Chopped: Chef Adrianne was chopped. The judges had a very difficult decision, but in the end, there were too many errors to look past.