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

by in Shows, March 13th, 2011
Ted weighs in on Round Two's star-studded lineup.

Now that’s competitive cooking! There’s a reason Anne Burrell, Robert Irvine, Claire Robinson and Duff Goldman are long-standing Food Network stars— these chefs accomplished more in 20 minutes than most people could do with an entire day.

The competition between Worst Cooks in America co-hosts Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine was neck-and-neck throughout the three rounds, and Anne just barely nosed out ahead of Robert in a photo finish to win a spot in the April 3 finale, where she’ll continue her fight for $50,000 for the charity of her choice, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

There’s no time for a warm-up on Chopped All-Stars, and right out of the gate, the contestants were presented with a basket that judge Alex Guarnaschelli aptly labeled “a total act of cruelty.” Notable culprit, of course: that canned haggis (collective shudder), which chefs and judges agreed had an aroma vaguely reminiscent of dog food. But somehow, all four All-Stars managed to use the stuff to create something that, judging from the empty plates on the judges’ table, was actually tasty. Unfortunately for all of us, who naturally wanted to see what pyrotechnics Duff might come up with in the dessert round, his flavors and technique weren’t enough to get him past round one.

The chefs were less than thrilled to find canned haggis in their baskets.

In round two, the entrée course, everyone was delighted to see a familiar and succulent protein, venison, in the basket. Not so much the red seaweed known as dulse. And if you thought Robert looked a little frazzled by the unfamiliar ocean vegetable, it was Chopped’s cramped quarters and tiny counter space that threw Food Network’s most muscular star for a loop. That difficulty cost Robert the carrot component when he knocked it onto the floor, but somehow he was still able to pull out an entrée that so wowed the judges they had nothing bad to say about it. And when Claire found herself returning her venison to the pan with only a minute left on the clock, it was clear she wasn’t going to get her plates done.

And then there were two.

Robert and Anne came at it like like gladiators in the dessert round. They both turned out desserts with lots of components and the sheer number of ingredients and techniques used in their dishes had to have been a Chopped record. After the judges tasted, deliberation got a bit heated; with contestants of this caliber, every little detail counts even more than usual. And so, while both chefs turned out great contenders, the judges felt that Robert’s was a little too rich and didn’t highlight the basket ingredients as well as Anne’s. Back on set at Worst Cooks, she’ll never let him hear the end of it!

Chopped All-Stars continues next Sunday at 9pm/8c with a third-round match-up of celebrity chefs from all over: Iron Chef veterans Nate Appleman and Beau MacMillan, renowned chef Anita Lo, and lovable chocolatier Jacques Torres. Don’t miss it!

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

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Comments (174)

  1. Patty says:

    I think Chef Anne deserves her win although I feel bad for Chef Irvine because I think he's talented. To be honest though, I'm so happy Chef Anne did win because her charity is near and dear to my heart. My daughter was diagnosed almost two years ago with Type 1 diabetes at the tender age of 11. At 5'3" she had dwindled down to 79 lbs. and was constantly fatigued, thirsty, and peeing all the time. She is now doing quite well using the Omnipod insulin pump. She's 5'6" and weighs 135 lbs. ! She's an avid softball player and a straight A student. We have no family history of Type 1 diabetes, but I am so thankful that there is a treatment because not long ago she wouldn't have survived. I'm hoping with funding, JDRF will find a cure!

  2. Becky says:

    I know this much: I would be incapable of doing ANYTHING with boiling Haggis oil in my eye!

  3. Private Chef Reid says:

    Did Chef Claire cut herself? I saw alot of blood via the see through glove on her left hand. Lots of mention went to Chef Anne getting splattered in her eye but I think to cut yourself badly as I am assuming Chef Claire did, it is much harder to concentrate and continue.

    • Anne says:

      Yes, you're right, she did cut herself. I thought her work was amazing.

    • gypsycook says:

      I saw that too and I think equal attention should have been paid for whoever was injured and not one more then another, that of course was some producer who chose to ignore one over the other right?

  4. tad says:

    Robert should have won!!!! His entree was more creative and there is no excuse for the chop job
    that Anne did on her entree chops. She should know better to get all of the skin.
    I am very disappointed in the judges decision and Anne was rude when Robert gave her a hug of
    congratulations. I don't like her!!!

    • Guest says:

      She wasn't rude. If you listened to the tone of her voice, she talked to him with affection. Not liking a person doesn't justify you being blind to the truth. Grow up!

    • Katherine says:

      I do like Chef Anne but I still think that Robert should have won! I am glad that Anne's charity got the money, but it was about the food, and all the charities are good!! Robert was creative and Anne should know better to get all of the skin.

    • Pamelas50 says:

      I totally agree!

    • Kim says:

      Totally agree. Anne makes such a big deal about a 'win'. But her titles don't make her a better chef than Robert. I love Restaurant Impossible.

  5. Guest says:

    Did I miss Robert Irvine's statement about the name of his charity? I really tried to listen, but I didn't hear it.

  6. Lakesia Franklin says:

    I am absolutely annoyed and disappointed that Chef Anne beat Robert Irvine. Creativity , skill, and overall looks, he wins hands down!I am an avid chopped viewer, and if any other chef had made the mistake of not thoroughly cleaning or removing portions of their proteins they would have been said to have made an amatuer mistake or lacking basic skills. I do not take away from chef Anne's skill set or ability but fair is fair and she shuld not have won! So sorry Robert! Still your biggest fan!

  7. opal says:

    I wish it was a tie, it was that close. so there would be a drink round in the finals

  8. gypsycook says:

    I agree with the fan facs comment their are alot of other food network stars they could round up for this kind of show! Bobby, Alton, Mario, and soo many more.

  9. gypsycook says:

    Wow I felt the compition was tight and Chefs Anne and Robert seemed to enjoy themselves, and really I think that is the whole point when it is an all-star compition. Robert seemed less upset about losing then half the people who are commenting here, if he isn't bothered why are you? The judges are the ones who tasted the food and who get to decide, I think saying it was riged is just petty. Especially since most comments seem to have alot more to do with attitudes and hair then with the cooking. If bad attitudes cost people this comition I know way more episodes that someone esle would have won. But it is about the food and we don't get to taste that so we really can't say who's was better!

  10. Kreamyjade says:

    I'm soooo glad Anne won. I love her show and her food is amazing. I was wondering if anyone figured out what she did with the teething cookies in the appetizer, I missed it. Duff looked like a jerk, he should have been more serious.

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