Can openers are in order for the opening round, when the chefs find a shocker of a protein in the basket. Then the remaining competitors blast into the entrée round to find astronaut ice cream. But will the mission go awry for one chef after he asks a competitor for a generous favor? And a gritty grits battle in the dessert round reveals the finalists' creative strengths.
Ingredients: Izote Flowers, Smoked Butter, Rhubarb, Chicken in a Can
Chef Van: Hot Chicken Salad with Cold Rhubarb SlawEdit
Van prepared a hot and a cold salad: the cold salad was rhubarb, celery, and goat cheese, and the hot salad comprised of the canned chicken and sautéed radicchio. Both salads were topped with izote flowers fried in smoked butter as a unifying element. Chris really liked the rhubarb salad and loved the addition of the goat cheese, which gave it a little bit of a tang. However, he felt like the salads were two almost completely different dishes that just happened to be on the same plate. Amanda admitted that she didn't know if the salads blended well together, and she got a bit of chicken bone in her salad. Scott found it to be a very flavorful dish, but felt that it was lackluster as a whole.
Chef Ryan: Crispy Chicken Salad with Fried Izote FlowersEdit
Ryan made a crispy canned chicken salad with fried izote flowers and sliced rhubarb. Amanda liked the crispy texture of the chicken and the izote flowers. She considered it one of the best chickens of the round. Scott described it as a very simple straightforward salad. He did feel Ryan kind of took the challenge out of it and made it too simple, but thought the chicken was executed well. Ryan was the only chef who did not get any bones in his chicken.
Chef Helen: Herb and Lemon Infused Cream of Chicken SoupEdit
Helen made cream of chicken soup. She infused the broth from the chicken with fresh herbs and a bit of lemon zest, and finished it off with cream to round out the rhubarb and flowers. Amanda found the title of "Cream of Chicken Soup" completely misleading, being a very light broth with just a touch of cream. However, she did like the balance of flavors in the soup. Unfortunately, her very first spoonful of soup had a bone in it. Scott loved the idea of the mushrooms and found them to be one of his favorite components. Chris wasn't crazy about the dish, feeling it was unfinished.
Chef Ronnie: Sautéed Chicken Salad with Basil Izote VinaigretteEdit
Ronnie made a sautéed chicken salad, which he sautéed in the smoked butter. He also made a basil and izote flower vinaigrette. Scott loved the vinaigrette, which was really delicious. Scott and Amanda didn't like that Ronnie used raw red onions in the salad. Amanda enjoyed the chicken, finding the flavors amazing, although she got a bone from the chicken. Chris remarked that he didn't notice the bones in the chicken until right at the end. He also said Ronnie's flavors in the chicken and the vinagrette were completely professional, while his presentation was completely amateur.
Chopped: Chef Van was chopped. The flavors were there, but they didn't come together into a harmonious dish.
Chef Ryan: Miso Braised Pork with Mountain Yam SlawEdit
Ryan made a yellow miso braised pork shoulder with a mountain yam, Granny Smith, and astronaut ice cream salad. Scott liked the flavors that were incorporated into the pork. Amanda was disappointed that Ryan didn't include the braising liquid, which Ryan had deemed too salty for use. Neither she or Scott were happy that Ryan had just thrown the astronaut ice cream on the plate, which Scott remarked was like "Ghostbusters stuff".
Chef Helen: Grilled Pork with Yam Salad & Miso SauceEdit
Helen made a marinated grilled pork with mountain yam salad, and an astronaut ice cream and miso sauce. Amanda liked the miso sauce, whereas Chris found it to be a bit too salty and clashed with the mustard in the marinade. Chris felt that her pork was far superior in comparison to Ronnie's. Scott really liked the marinade in the pork, and the mountain yam with the cucumber and the apple as a refreshing salad.
Chef Ronnie: Spiced Pork with Coconut Sauce & Smashed YamEdit
Ronnie prepared a spiced marinated pork shoulder served with a coconut miso sauce with smashed mountain yam and potatoes. Scott found the pork to be cooked beautifully, but noticed that Ronnie had used Helen's grill for it. Helen explained that she wasn't using it, and she wanted to win at Ronnie's best. Amanda remarked that the curry with the astronaut ice cream and the coconut created a butterscotchy sauce that she liked. She also said that the mountain yam worked with the potato, and she liked the flavors in the pork. Chris felt that once again, Ronnie's presentation was lacking, and kind of looked like something one would get from a cafeteria. He also felt that the yam was bland, but felt that he made the best use of the astronaut ice cream.
Chopped: Chef Ryan was chopped. The judges felt that he took a big step backwards from his first round, and he didn't manage his ingredients properly.
Chef Helen: Berry & Grits Roulade with Lime Yogurt SauceEdit
Helen's dessert was a berry and grits roulade with yogurt sauce. Scott complimented Helen for her creativity, but wasn't sure how the ginger fit into the dish. Chris felt that Helen did the best job of transforming the grits, and considered the yogurt to be his favorite part of the dish. He found the dish sweet enough to be considered a dessert, as well as very light and refreshing. However, he found the middle of the roll to be incredibly soggy. Amanda would have preferred it to be sweeter.
Chef Ronnie: Creamy Grits with Marionberry SauceEdit
Ronnie prepared creamy grits with currants, served with a marionberry and margarita sauce and topped with a yogurt and rum whipped cream. Scott really liked it, having grown up on Cream of Wheat. Chris found it to be very, very sweet, although Amanda loved that. She saw where Ronnie was trying to go, and even though it wasn't perfect, it was a composed, sweet dessert.
Chopped: Chef Ronnie was chopped. In the first course, he nailed it, with the exception of his presentation. In his second course, his development of flavors was good, although he made missteps with presentation again. In the dessert, he just didn't embrace the ingredients like he could.