One-on-One With the Chopped All-Stars Season 3 Champion

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 5th, 2013

Chopped All-Stars FinaleEarlier on FN Dish, we broke down the final round of All-Stars, including an interview with the runner-up (spoiler alert).

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — FN Dish is about to break down the episode and chat with the grand champion.

The Baskets:
Appetizer: Soft-shell crabs, crunchy peanut butter, sake and sea beans
Entree: Suckling goat, broccoli rabe, farro and cheddar-filled pretzels
Dessert: Freeze-dried grapes, marrow bones, Marcona almonds and cannoli cream

Elimination Details:
Appetizer: Sunny Anderson
Entree: Laila Ali
Dessert: Gavin Kaysen
Winner: Scott Conant

Judges: Aarón Sánchez, Geoffrey Zakarian and Marcus Samuelsson

Scott ConantScott Conant is the Season 3 Chopped All-Stars Champion! The Chopped judge and Scarpetta chef/owner admitted he was hesitant to put himself at the mercy of the Chopping Block, but after two seasons of watching his fellow judges in the ring, he went for it and prevailed. The road wasn’t easy. Scott bested his pals Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Amanda Freitag in a heated judges’ round; then he moved on to face fierce celebrity home cook Laila Ali, Food Network mainstay Sunny Anderson and Bocuse d’Or prodigy Gavin Kaysen in the finale. After his victory, Scott chatted with FN Dish about moving from the judges’ table into the Chopped Kitchen, his charity and who really finally convinced him to compete.

Ted at one point said that your wife convinced you to do Chopped All-Stars. What was her winning argument?
SC: Her winning argument was pretty much, ‘What are you afraid of?’ It’s a challenge and it’s outside my comfort zone. I’m happy I did it, of course. Seeing my daughter and wife out there after I won, I felt especially appreciative.

Did you feel confident going into your second battle, having prevailed in the judges’ round?
SC: In the appetizer round, I finished that dish in the first round with about eight minutes left. I was feeling really good at that point, thinking to myself: ‘I’m ahead of the clock. I have time to go. I’m good.’ I was really pleased with that course. The problem was that I burned my tongue early on, so I couldn’t taste. I was driving blind! I had to rely on instinct and touch and feel and sight. I wasn’t sure about the salt content. The good news is that I was able to throw in those sea beans, and those have so much salt that I didn’t have to worry about it that much.

Marcus said your first two plates were flawless. He said it was the best-tasting goat he ever had in his life. Safe to say that dessert was your weak point today?
SC: Absolutely. I was so upset with that course. It’s not that it was bad; it just wasn’t as nuanced as the other dishes I cooked today. I was upset with myself. I walk away from this thinking about that dessert course and how I could have made it better.

Were you still feeling confident after that round, or did you expect to see your dish on the Chopping Block?
SC: I was not feeling confident. I expected that, if things were somewhat equal moving into the dessert round, that dessert pushed me over the edge and Gavin would be the last man standing, so to speak.

What’s it like to be judged by your peers, your friends?
SC: I love those guys. It’s great because I know they were going to be honest with me. If I made a mistake, they were going to say it. I’m really proud that I did them proud, and I’m proud to align myself with such a great organization, Keep Memory Alive — and then on top of it, to be able to pull out the win and bring them a check for $50,000. It’s amazing when things all line up. I feel really blessed.

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Comments (39)

  1. Babs says:

    That's it for me. I'm done watching this show. First, women are generally the losers and now Scott, wins. Really? Except for dessert, Scott's dishes ( according to Aaron and Geoffrey) were exceptional while Gavin's food always had something wrong. The judges on this show are egotistical snobs who used favortism so as not to hurt Scott's fragile ego.

  2. Margaret says:

    Shame on you Food network for choosing a suckling goat as an ingredient for the entree round. Shame on you! There's not enough adult animals to go around, you have to resort to nursing babies? Their mothers never get over the loss, did you know that or is it just that you don't give a damn? I was horrified and disgusted at your choice. You have been going right down the drain for years now with your boring DDD reruns, now this! Enough! I'm done with you and your pathetic shows. I see the NFNS is coming up. Anything like last years? Probably, you've lost your touch, your sense of decency and your common sense at the back door. Front door is too good for the likes of you. Oh, and I'm still trying to explain to my granddaughter why they had a "little doggie" to eat. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!

  3. Docknock says:

    Ok, every one is so upset that Scott is a judge and Scott won. Apparently no one believes him with he said repeatedly that his fellow judges would not hesitate to bring the hammer down on him if he screwed up. If you look at past All Star competitions this is the first time that a Judge actually won. If this is such an issue for people, then they should be also complaining that the judges are competing as well. As mentioned before, we cannot taste the food, so we can only judge at home from the comments and the presentation. Gavin showed such grace about his loss that I think we could follow suite.
    (I also think Gavin would be a great judge himself and could fill in for Zacharian)

  4. Usetobeafan says:

    Ahh Yeah, The Bull Sh!t vote… let us justify why one of us inner circle should win…
    Scott's desert looked like what my dog leaves on the lawn.
    Hold your head high Gavin, coz you won the people's vote

  5. B. SUNSHINE says:


    • ANGELA says:


  6. dldrrt says:

    Is "Chopped" the only prime time program on the food network?

    I'm sick of the show! Can't you do better?

  7. Dylan says:

    I was absolutely shocked when they lifted that cloche and there
    was Gavin's exquisite dessert. The decision had been made long
    before they had even opened the first basket that Scottie Boy would win.
    It has been hard to watch Chopped since. They have lost my respect
    and my viewership.

  8. Dylan says:

    I was absolutely shocked when they lifted that cloche and there
    was Gavin's exquisite dessert. The decision had been made long
    before they had even opened the first basket that Scottie Boy would win.
    It has been hard to watch Chopped since. They have lost my respect
    and my viewership.

  9. EiEi says:

    So much negativity. Did we all watch the same show? Clearly Scott won the Appetizer & Main course, but lost the dessert. He was ahead of Gavin. People STOP complaining since it's already over. Instead of being upset, just simply find another show to fill your time.
    CONGRATS CHEF SCOTT! You deserved the WIN and NOT this negativity! Brush off the HATERS

  10. Marlene says:

    I was turned on to Chop by a relative months ago and have watched even the reruns. I was totally shocked when Scott won the competition over Gavin. I like Scott and wanted him to win; however, he did not do his best cooking. In the past the judges have been critical of dishes that mimicked the ones that Scott cooked. It is a shame that the judges unable to keep their personal relationship with Scott out of the competition. The program has lost credibility in that friendship more important than skill and fairness. Shame on you all for wasting our time. Why not just pick Scott and tell us he won instead an hour of down right bias. I hope the food network take these comments serious and "stop" playing the competition over and over. It just makes matters worst.

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