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. MK7 says:

    Glad Nate won.

  2. Viana says:

    I disagree wtih those of who feel it is okay for contestants to sneak in their own ingredients. Although Anita mistimed things and did not get most of the appetizer on one of the plates, she did not cheat. Messing up is not cheating. However, sneaking in your own food is cheating. It was not in the basket and not in the Chopped kitchen. The whole concept of the show and the game would be drastically changed, and chaos would ensue if chefs decided to sneak in, e.g., their own specially pre-made sauce, or specially pre-made spice blend, or their favorite cut of meat. TOTAL chaos. The right person was chopped first.

  3. EATnLISTEN says:

    I can;t wait to see next weeks episode, it will be interesting to see how the judges handle the baskets full of complex goodies!

  4. Manny Gutierrez says:

    I have enjoyed the competition tremendously. I do have to say that show #3 was a bit boring and uninspiring. And, I know that we don't know the winner for week #4, but if this is the competition, Anne Burrell is going to wipe the floor with these people! So far, two rejects from two other competitions, and Anne Burrell… Good luck. Looking forward to the judges going head to head. Much Love.

  5. Blah says:

    I love the CHOPPED ALL-STARS episodes
    BUT I want to see ALL THE JUDGES compete and see what they can do in thirty minutes with weird ingredeints. They"re always so harsh to the competitors.

    • tail11 says:

      I'd like to see Alex Guarnaschelli compete. She is a very harsh and mean looking judge. Perhaps if she were put on the hot seat she would gain some perspective. I watched her bio and she did make a statement that being a home cook is hard (having to do everything and clean up.) I would think she would learn some humility if she'd compete.

  6. Kathy says:

    I love this show. As others stated, I wish ALL of the judges would compete to let them know how it feels to prepare a recipe from bizarre ingredients in such a short period of time. Sometimes they are extremely critical of the chefs competing and should be a little more understanding, rather than get downright nasty at times.

    • jjs_angel says:

      I agree Kathy… how can you judge something you have never experienced yourself? I thought it was funny that the three that I think are the "meanest" sometimes are the ones NOT competing..

      • Edge says:

        Totally agree that the meanest aren't competing! I really wanted to see the tables turned on Scott and Alex.

        • Janet says:

          Run, Alex, run! I'm telling you ~ no amount of pleasant "Day Off" shows or comfort food Tweets can offset the image of you as a mean, scowling wench. Make them change the judging to FRIENDLY or bail! The nasty judging is the huge turn-off with this show and completely unnessessary for it to succeed. Ted's a witty guy ~ why can't we see that instead?

          • Janet says:

            Oooh, my mother, the Chief of Spelling Police, would kill me for that "unnessessary" above. Oops. Anyway, re this humiliating judging ~ I guess Reality TV took its cue from Simon Cowell but fails to realize that very, very few can pull that off without offending the audience. Bourdain comes close, but still is overall unlikeable.

          • tail11 says:

            I agree Janet. Alex needs to have a weird basket thrown at her with a few minutes to make something wonderful out of it. I really think all of the judges should have to be a contestant of at least one show. I wonder how critical they would be on themselves?

            Alex is obviously a great chef, but she certainly portrays herself as a mean schoolmarm on the show.

  7. SHIRLEY says:


  8. Janet says:

    It's so unnecessary that the judges be so critical (and often inexcusably rude). I've quit watching the regular series because of it. As if these chefs need to be spanked so they won't screw up their next Fruit Loops, canned tuna, yellow beet and endive soup. The contestants are nervous and stressed enough without then having to face that prolonged stare-down from the judges ~ hell, it makes ME squirm! Why can't it be relaxed and fun?

    • Pete says:

      I lost my respect for the "judges" the first time they let a chef get away with picking up dropped food from the floor and using it in the recipe. This is not an accident, this is a HABIT! Every chef that does that should be escorted from the kitchen and terminated immediately.

      • Janet says:

        Ugh! I haven't seen that, but a couple of times saw people booted for mishandling poultry. I'm also grossed out by the obvious sweating into the food though, and please, Food Gods, keep Guy Fieri's greasy dipping fingers far, far away from the Chopped kitchen.

        Wouldn't it be great to see the contestants be able to take a breath after a challenge, and have the judges commiserate rather play the scolding stern parent before the line-up? Chefs know when they screw up, but do the best they can w/ the ingredients and time. Focus on the positive, applaud the successes, and gently point out improvements in technique. Then we all learn.

        I think Alex should drop out as a judge rather than continue as the staring, scowling b*tch. Just like Kerry Vincent on the cake challenges ~ Alex is supremely competent in her craft, and by all accounts fun, friendly, and extremely helpful in "real life". The demand that they be critical unsmiling hard-asses for TV ratings will hurt their future book sales or gigs. And it's all sooo unnecessary for good TV!

  9. Noneofurbusinees says:

    This competition is racist. I am watching part4 of this and Maneet Chauhan was eliminated in the first round while her dish was the most creative usage of ingredients. All the three competitiors were judges and if one of them was kicked out in first round, viewers would have questioned their ability to judge the program. Two JUDGES had bones for gods sake in their appetizer. Neither of them was eliminated in first round and Maneet was made a scape goat. This is totally racist goes on to show that in America its still hard for colored skin folks to rise.

  10. was this line-up fair? Putting a Chocolatier against 3 culinary experts?

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