Grace under pressure is the name of the game as the chefs attempt to wow the judges from the first course. Can watermelon and pepper jack cheese make for a good pairing? And will the judges say, "yes" or "yuck," when yucca hits their plates in the second course? But it's not the mystery ingredients, it's the ticking clock, that trips up one competitor. When an ingredient falls to the floor, the offending chef must either rise to the challenge or plead for mercy.
Ingredients: Watermelon, Canned Sardines, Pepper Jack Cheese, Zucchini
Chef Ed: Watermelon Zucchini Salad with Cardamom and Pepper JackEdit
Ed prepared a watermelon, zucchini, and sardine salad with cardamom and pepper jack cheese. Geoffrey said that Ed used the ingredients in a light way, and that the dish was very colorful and inviting. He also said the flavors were distinct and worked together. Alex enjoyed the addition of black olives, which made the dish pop, but felt that it needed some acidity. Marc said the flavors worked together and were interesting. The judges noted that the dish was plated a bit casual, which was okay.
Chef Josh: Watermelon Red Pepper Salad with SardinesEdit
Josh made a salad with watermelon, red peppers, and sardines. Alex liked how he placed the sardines on top of the dish, giving the appearance of the fish swimming, which was very inviting. Geoffrey felt that the flavors were too delicate for him, wanted a bit of a crunch, and that the portion was a bit small, although Alex felt the size worked. He also felt that the dish was plated too safe. All of the judges enjoyed the presentation of the dish.
Chef John: Zucchini Pasta Salad with Watermelon VinaigretteEdit
John made a zucchini pasta with a watermelon and sardine salad and a watermelon vinaigrette. Geoffrey commended John on his creativity on the pasta. Alex enjoyed the idea, but noted that he broke up the ingredients a lot, and felt that he could leave a tender moment alone. John explained he would have executed this dish differently, but he could live with what he presented and felt that the tender moment was with the zucchini. Alex noted that dish did look a lot like pasta, but it was more of a question if it worked.
Chef Andrea: Caramelized Watermelon, Zucchini Confit and SardinesEdit
Andrea made caramelized watermelon, a zucchini confit, and sardines. Alex enjoyed her creative use of the watermelon, but felt the ingredients weren't integrated very well. Marc enjoyed the dish, his complaint being that the watermelon was cut too thick for the balance of the plate and would have liked some salt on the plate.
Chopped: Chef John was chopped. The judges appreciated his creativity, but felt he fell apart in the execution.
Chef Josh: Oven Roasted Beef Shoulder with Yucca and Raisin PureeEdit
Josh prepared an oven-roasted beef shoulder with a raisin yucca puree and vegetables. Geoffrey enjoyed the way it looked, saying it had a bistro appearance to it, but felt that it was a bit safe. Alex appreciated the way that Josh cut his meat. Geoffrey felt that it was precise, wonderful and technical, but that there wasn't any love in it. Marc found the dish was executed perfectly, with Geoffrey responding that it was boring.
Chef Andrea: Steak, Bacon and Eggs with Raisin Chili Gastrique and YuccaEdit
Andrea prepared steak, bacon, and eggs with a raisin chili gastrique and yucca. Geoffrey liked how creative the dish was, a continuation from her last dish. Alex found the dish whimsy and playful. However, Marc and Alex found the yucca dry. All of the judges appreciated the egg and bacon that she put in the dish, but noted that those weren't the mystery ingredients. Geoffrey felt that there were many ingredients in the dish, and they didn't harmonize.
Chef Ed: Ancho and Raisin Braised Beef Shoulder with Yucca Puree and Fried PicklesEdit
Ed made ancho and raisin-braised beef shoulder with a yucca puree, fried pickles, and parsley salad. Marc enjoyed the creativity and freshness of the fried pickles. Geoffrey found the dish very creative and interesting and also found the fried pickles genius. Marc found that he really brought some flavor out in that beef. However, the judges were disgusted with a serious mistake made by Ed while he was cooking: one of the pieces of beef he had served fell on the floor while he was tenderizing it.
Chopped: Chef Andrea was chopped. The judges found it to be a difficult decision, but in the end, they felt Andrea set very high standards for herself in the first round, and her second dish just never came together.
Ingredients: Flour Tortillas, Prosecco, Canadian Bacon, Roasted Chestnuts
Chef Ed: Chestnut Quesadilla with Prosecco and Ginger SabayonEdit
Ed made a chestnut quesadilla with a little Canadian bacon, Prosecco, and a ginger sabayon. Alex found that the quesadilla was a little too big. Geoffrey was pleasingly stunned by the creativity of the dessert, but felt that there were some technical errors. He found the plate was a too small, the tortilla was chewy and there was too much of it, as well as the sabayon on top being a little weak. Marc found that the cream in between the tortillas made it a bit mushy.
Chef Josh: Pain Perdu with Cream of Chestnut and ProseccoEdit
Josh prepared pain perdu with a chestnut Prosecco cream, topped with a bit of Canadian bacon and crispy tortilla. Geoffrey loved the elegant presentation and how Josh fried the tortilla, but would have liked a bit more egg with the pain perdu itself. Marc thought the dish looked nice and that the flavors were very good and worked together. Geoffrey's opinion was that this was the dish from Josh that finally had some passion.
Chopped: Chef Ed was chopped. The judges were on the verge of flipping a coin for their answer, but felt in the end, although his dishes were very innovative, they had serious technical flaws and had to chop him, leaving Josh the winner.