Salty Veggies & Heated Battles
Season 2, Episode 1
Air date June 16, 2009
Winner Jason Zukas
Episode Guide
Strawberries, Turkey and Gummi Bears
High Hopes
An unusually salty vegetable presents the chefs with a quandary in the Appetizer Round. Then a red-hot battle ensues in the entree round, where Thai chilies threaten to overpower the dishes. And when two finalists with very different cooking methods take on Mexican-inspired desserts, the judges face one of their most difficult decisions ever.


  • David Rotter, Executive Chef, Campo, New York, NY
  • Jason Zukas, Chef Consultant, Bocca Fina, Queens, NY
  • Cheryl Perry, Chef and Culinary Instructor, New York, NY
  • Fritz Knipschildt, Chef and Chocolatier, Knipschildt Chocolatier, Norwalk, CT




Ingredients: Sea Beans, Ginger Ale, Pork Tenderloin

David prepared Pork Tempura with Rémoulade and Sea Bean Vinaigrette. David treats the sea beans the best, and the judges love the tempura batter. However, Chris gets one piece of pork less than the other judges. Marc doesn't like the rémoulade.

Jason did Seared Pork Tenderloin w/ Sautéed Sea Beans and Herb Salad. Jason's appetizer is very fresh and light, and everything on the plate diffuses the saltiness of the sea beans. Unfortunately, Jason puts too many sea beans on the plates.

Cheryl did Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/ Sea Bean Vinaigrette and Ginger Reduction. The judges like her addition of chili flake to the sea beans, which helps with the saltiness. Chris noticed that while cooking, Cheryl continued to use tongs after she dropped them on the floor.

Fritz prepared Seared Pork with Sea Beans, Ginger Ale Curry Sauce, & Bloody Mary. The judges love his pork and curry sauce. However, his Bloody Mary is undrinkable, and the addition of bacon to the sea beans makes them overwhelmingly salty.

After deliberating, the judges chop Chef Fritz for his undrinkable Bloody Mary.


Ingredients: Baby Artichokes, Cashew Butter, Monkfish, Thai Chilies

Jason did Panko Cashew Crusted Monkfish w/ Artichoke Chickpea Ragout. His ragout is a hit with the judges. His fish is cooked the least effectively, with more of the crust on the plate than on the fish. Chris's ragout has lemon seeds in it.

Cheryl made Sesame Monkfish with Sautéed Pepper Slaw. Cheryl's monkfish is hands-down the best monkfish of the round. However, the judges feel that the dish is far too spicy and did not come together. Her artichoke isn't cooked all the way through and feels like a piece of leather wallet. Alex caught Cheryl double-dipping.

David did Cashew-Crusted Monkfish with Artichoke Barigoule. His dish is a hit with the judges, having a well cooked fish and good flavors. The only complaints are that it is a little too spicy and needs texture.

The judges chop Chef Cheryl, feeling that her dish was disjointed and the artichoke did not receive the time and attention it needed.


Ingredients: Jicama, Pepitas, Blueberries

David made Caramelized Jicama with Ricotta & Chocolate Mousse. David's dessert is hands-down the most creative. However, the dish doesn't come together for the judges and feels like a "Make-your-own-taco-bar-dessert".

Jason prepared Crêpe with Jicama, Pepitas & Ricotta with Blueberry Sauce. The judges enjoy that Jason made the dessert keeping in mind that it was for an overall meal, but it needs more sauce. Chris got a large dump of cocoa powder on his plate.

After careful consideration of the overall meal, the judges chop Chef David, feeling that David declined throughout the meal whereas Jason improved. Jason is made the Chopped Champion, which he takes as his validation as a chef.


  • The chefs for the episode. From left to right: Fritz, Cheryl, Jason, and David.
  • David's appetizer
  • Jason's appetizer
  • Cheryl's appetizer
  • Fritz's appetizer
  • Jason's entrée
  • Cheryl's entrée
  • David's entrée
  • David's dessert
  • Jason's dessert


Chopped Season 2
<< Season 1Season 3 >>
#01 Salty Veggies & Heated Battles#08 A Wish Upon a Starfruit
#02 High Hopes#09 Buckwheat Blunders and Twists of Fate
#03 Floundering Around#10 The Ultimate Face-Off
#04 Pride on the Plate#11 Best of the Best
#05 Pretty Please With a Pepper on Top#12 All Stars Showdown
#06 A Prickly Situation#13 Bring It!
#07 Pods, Grills and Sticky Fingers