Walk on the Whelk Side
Season 16, Episode 10
WotWS Chefs
Air date August 6, 2013
Winner Katsuji Tanabe
Episode Guide
Break a Crab Leg!
Chopped Family Feud
A wild first basket, including whelk snails and lemon bars, has the chefs battling the clock to create delicious dishes. And in the entree round, the chefs all bring their personal styles to their plates in a notable way in their lamb shawarma dishes. Then cucumber salad is a cumbersome ingredient for the finalists' desserts.


  • Ben Durham, Executive Chef, FOUR Food Studio & Cocktail Salon, Long Island, NY
  • Natasha Pogrebinsky, Chef & Owner, Bear Bar & Restaurant, New York, NY
  • Paolo Pasio, Chef & Owner, Osteria Latini, Brentwood, CA
  • Katsuji Tanabe, Executive Chef & Owner, MexiKosher, Los Angeles, CA




Ingredients: Lemon Bars, Acai Juice, Upland Cress, Whelk Snails

Ben prepared Asian Style Snail Ceviche with Acai Berry and Lemon Bar Broth. The judges enjoy his creative approach to the ingredients, and the flavors in his dish are great. For the sheer strength of the broth, there is too much of it on the plate, and Geoffrey's plate is extremely sloppy.

Natasha made Sautéed Snails w/ Garlic Potatoes & Acai Berry Lemon Bar Purée. The judges like her approach and the use of purée and the potatoes. The snails are overcooked.

Paolo made Sautéed Snail with Potato Cake and Lemon Acai Sauce. The flavors are very classic, and the snails are very tender. While the judges enjoy the idea of the potato cake, the cakes are undercooked. The presentation is messy.

Katsuji made Snail Ceviche with Lemon Bar Crostini. The judges like the flavor of the ceviche and the use of the lemon bar as a spread on the crostini. The smoke doesn't add to the dish, although it doesn't take anything away. Aarón thought it could have been spicier.

All four chefs brought a lot to the table. Ultimately, the judges decide the first to go will be Chef Ben because of his issues with the acai broth.


Ingredients: Lamb Shawarma, Baby Romensco Cauliflower, Cornichons, Chicken Flavored Potato Chips

Natasha's entrée is Lamb Shawarma Stroganoff w/ Roasted Romanesco & Cornichon Vodka Shot. The dish is a very hearty homey dish that works nicely. Her use of the basket ingredients is very smart, and the vodka shot with cornichon juice is genius. The one complaint is that the shawarma could have been cut smaller.

Paolo made Lamb Shawarma Polpette with Mashed Potatoes and Cornichon Reduction Sauce. The lamb has a good sear on it so all of the juices are locked in. The cornichon sauce is beautiful and lively. The dish needs a little bit more seasoning.

Katsuji made Lamb Shawarma Toasted Salsa with Cornichon Romanesco Crema. Although Katsuji didn't want to call it a mole because of the time required to make one, the sauce has those properties, and it compliments the lamb nicely. There is a lot of flavor and sophistication in the dish. His tortillas he are greasy and mushy.

The judges love the integrity in the dishes and find it very hard to chop someone, but find that they have to chop Chef Paolo for having a dish that was a little bland in comparison to his competitors.


Ingredients: Cucumber Salad, Cantaloupe, Sesame Seed Candy, Marshmallow Spread

Katsuji has Crêpe w/ Sesame Seed Cajeta and Cantaloupe Cucumber Sherbet. The judges like his cajeta filling, and while the dish borders on savory, it is sweet enough. The cucumber whipped cream is delicious. The sherbet has too much fat in it, and it is overchurned.

Natasha made Sesame Cookie with Marshmallow Cream and Melon Cucumber Tea. The dish is very creative and not too sweet. Aarón finds the cookie too dense. Maneet doesn't have a problem with the cookie, but the tea is completely flat.

In the end, the judges decide that the dessert made by Chef Natasha did not live up to her first two dishes, and chop her because of that. Katsuji is made the Chopped Champion.


  • The chefs for the episode. From left to right: Katsuji, Paolo, Natasha, and Ben
  • Ben's Appetizer
  • Natasha's Appetizer
  • Paolo's Appetizer
  • Katsuji's Appetizer
  • Natasha's Entrée
  • Paolo's Entrée
  • Katsuji's Entrée
  • Katsuji's Dessert
  • Natasha's Dessert


Chopped Season 16
<< Season 15Season 17 >>
#01 Fry, Fry Again#08 Sweet Surprises
#02 Cleaver Fever#09 Break a Crab Leg!
#03 Mix and Mache#10 Walk on the Whelk Side
#04 Gyro We Go Again#11 Chopped Family Feud
#05 Big Fish, Small Basket#12 Extreme Halloween
#06 Teen Invasion#13 A Chopped Thanksgiving
#07 Mochi Obliged

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