Chopped Up: Ted’s All-Star Recap, Round Three

by in Shows, March 20th, 2011
The third round of Chopped All-Stars featured four culinary heavy-hitters.

Now this is stone-cold talent: For the third episode of Chopped All-Stars, three of our four celebrity chefs have competed in the culinary Super Bowl that is Iron Chef America: Chefs Beau MacMillan, Anita Lo and Nate Appleman. And one of them, Chef MacMillan, in a battle I was lucky enough to judge, actually won there, an incredibly difficult feat. The remaining competitor, lovable Frenchman Jacques Torres, is one of the most famous and successful chocolatiers in the world—a force to be reckoned with in any dessert competition. But could he get there?

With competition this fierce, the judges literally squirm when they think a contestant might not get the food on the plate. (That also might be because they actually want to taste what these chefs are cooking!) And in this round, Chef Anita Lo miscalculated the number of ravioli she needed, and was one plate short. Usually a mistake that grave is more than enough to send a chef home—but in this round, it was Jacques Torres who committed the worse offense: first, he burned the chorizo until it was acrid, but more problematic, his addiction to all things cacao compelled him to smuggle chocolate nibs into the kitchen. Au revoir, Chef Jacques!

In the entrée round, Chef Beau MacMillan confessed that his Iron Chef win didn’t do much to prepare him for the Chopped judges. “There if you make a mistake you can recover,” he said, not mentioning that you also have two assistants to pitch in. “On Chopped, you make a mistake and it’s over.” And unfortunately, Chef Beau made just such an error, going overboard with soy and eclipsing everything else from the entrée basket.

Nate Appleman toughed it out against Anita Lo in the dessert round.

Chef Nate found himself in the final round with the chef he considered his toughest competition: Anita Lo. And did he ever respond to the challenge! Chef Nate had done a little Chopped homework, and made a beeline for the ice-cream machine, getting it filled and running with 5-Spiced Frozen Yogurt within mere minutes! Definitely one for the Chopped record books. Chef Anita played up the peanut butter flavor in her dessert, creating a Napoleon that made Judge Alex Guarnaschelli nearly swoon. But when the chefs’ overall meals were stacked up against each other, Chef Anita’s initial failing to get that appetizer on the plate came back to haunt her. And so Chef Nate Appleman will get to bring his incredible focus and determination to the finale of the Chopped All-Stars competition.

Next week, the episode we’ve all been waiting for! At last, the number one request from Chopped fans is answered: We turn the tables on our own Chopped judges, and Maneet Chauhan, Geoffrey Zakarian, Amanda Freitag and Aaron Sanchez find themselves on the hot side of the Chopping Block. At stake: the last remaining spot in the April 3 finale. Stay tuned!

Want more of Ted’s witty commentary? Follow @ChopTedAllen on Twitter.

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Comments (73)

  1. whatj2sk says:

    I am happy chef Nate won, I relate to his charity, my son,
    also had Kawasaki disease when he was two.

  2. jimB says:

    Two shows I would love to see. First do a chopped with the four finalists (two winners and two runners-up) from the Worst Cooks show. Second how about an open tournament? Let some of the viewers take a shot at the competition.

    Jim B.

    • tail11 says:

      I'd love to see the Worst cooks come back, but I don't think they could muster chopped unless they are familiar with the ingredients. Remember, they were the worst cooks in America for a reason!

  3. I always love Chopped, but Chopped All-Stars has really been fantastic! Usually I just watch episodes whenever they happen to be on, but for All-Stars I've had to set my DVR. Can't wait for next week's episode! I was glad Chef Nate made it through last night, but I can't imagine anyone being able to beat Anne Burrell. She's so fast and polished. I would love to see more tournaments like this!

  4. payen says:

    I think that ALL chefs that have ever worked as judged should be on the chopping block. I also think the judges should be former competitors that didn't necessarily win. THAT would be fun.

  5. opal says:

    last night episode had nothing on episode two. i was disappointed to a small extent. after last week i was hoping for more intensity, it didnt deliver.hope food net is saving the best for last.

    apart from that great show.

  6. donna says:

    Chef Appleman has clearly benefited from his NIC experience. He thinks like an IC. Best of all, it seems the loss he endured has given him a charming humility he did not posess then. I thought he might win tonight. I'm pulling for him.

  7. Spy Hemi says:

    Great competition. I would have liked to seen Anita win, but she did miss a plate in the appetizer round, and well, for a chef of her caliper, to simply use a granola bar – right out of the bag – with no treatment at all, was very, very weak. Nate was the best choice. I'm pulling for Chef Anne Burell to rock it out baby yea for the 50K.

  8. Doris says:

    I'm sorry but my first thought when I saw this lineup was "Who ARE these people?" Why not more Food Network/Cooking Channel people? I'd love to see Kelsey Nixon compete in this. How about Sunny Anderson? Adam Gertler? One of the Neelys? Jamie or Bobby Deen? I guess it's not likely we'd get Paula or Ina or Rachael or Sandra or Giada. I only know Beau from The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and I've heard of Jacques Torres, but that's all. If you wanted a chef, why not John Besh, who has been on the network and has contributed to the FN Magazine? Next time please make it all Food Network/Cooking Channel stars.

    • Kindred says:

      I used to watch Jacques all the time on our local PBS.
      I would have liked to see Ming Tsai out there to compete with them. :)

      Maybe a whole season of All Stars in a Food Network Cook-off with a few outside chefs thrown in.

  9. Rebecca Hands says:

    I look forward to Sunday nights because of Chopped. Having Chopped all stars makes it even more fun! I love seeing the pro's have to "sweat it" a bit! I hope next you do Chopped "Rookies". I will be the first rookie to sign up.

  10. Kindred says:

    I am disappointed that Jacques got eliminated in the first round (as did Duff in the first show).
    I understand that he burned the chorizo, (he even knew it) but, as he said: any good chocolatier has his own chocolate. I am disappointed that the judges quoted his use of his own ingredient as a reason. Doesn't that show preparedness and ability to improvise all in one? Because he was right – the pantry didn't have any good chocolate.

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