Last night we watched four chefs, each with a win under his or her belt, face off in the finale of the Chopped All-Stars tournament. In the four previous rounds, Michael Symon reigned supreme among the Iron Chefs, Penny Davidi prevailed against her fellow Food Network Star alums, Jeffrey Saad bested three other globetrotting show hosts and Marcus Samuelsson out-cooked his Chopped judging cohorts. But it all came down to the final battle: Only one of these chefs would win $50,000 for their charity.
If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner. You can catch the full episode here.
Appetizer: Chinese okra, Galia melon, pistachios, beef heart
Entree: rainbow chard, bonito, hard cider, couscous
Dessert: panforte, pancetta, pink currants, crème fraiche
First Round: Michael Symon
Second Round: Penny Davidi
Final Round: Jeffrey Saad
Winner: Marcus Samuelsson
So there you have it: Marcus Samuelsson did his fellow Chopped judges proud and took home $50,000 for C-CAP, a nonprofit organization that prepares high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
“While I really enjoy judging, competing is where my heart is,” Marcus explained after his victory. “It’s exciting and I love how we challenge one another. It’s always fun to be in the action.”
We asked Marcus, who said this win was “one of the proudest moments in my life,” to share his top 5 experiences from Chopped All-Stars.
5. The best dishes came together for appetizers in the first round of the finals. That was a great feeling.
4. I really loved the experience of competing against Alex Guarnaschelli in the dessert round (of the Chopped judges competition).
3. I like going up against my fellow judges because I think we become better judges by seeing the other side of the competition.
2. It’s always fun to hang out with Marc Murphy. Whether he’s judging or competing, Marc is always the same — fun and making everyone laugh.
1. I really enjoy the camaraderie with the whole staff and crew of a hundred or so people. They’re rooting for you. You can’t really show that on camera, but they’re great memories to take away.