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 (40)

  1. Nancy says:

    I have watched Chopped since it's inception and I rarely miss a show. I love Scott even with his snarky comments about red onions but in my estimation, this decision was a travesty. Clearly Gavin was the winner and Scott knew it as well-and as for you Marcus, please, not the correct plate? Your comment was childish.

  2. FAN says:

    I am a fan of the show, who just got done watching the show in Seoul, Korea. My family and I are stationed here and unfortunately we get to see the show a week later. I was absolutely certain that Gavin was the winner. I am gravely disappointed in the judges decision. It was not fair for the contestants to under go such scrutiny, while Scott was praised on all his dishes.
    To top it off, Scott's dessert was unattractive, his cakes were not done, and he had the nerve to fabricate the truth stating that his he did not make a mistake, he made a cake crumble. That was unbelievable to hear him say that. He said plainly on T.V that my cakes are not done. I do not feel that judges should participate in competitions of this sort, especially on the show they work on as judges, and their best friends judging them. This is unfair and highly favoritism. I am also done with chopped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. ANGELA says:


    • Amber says:

      I agree completely! And do they ever wash their hands? I think Gavin would have won if he would have done something else with the pastry filling other than dabbing it on the side of the plate. I didn't get to see the end of the show so don't known what the judges said.

  4. Chef Gavin was clearly the winner! Shame on the judges

  5. Dan says:

    What a bunch of crap. Scott Conant basically admitted he lost to Gavin when they were alone in the final minutes. Oh, Scott really stepped outside his comfort zone with pasta in the appetizer round. Are you kidding me? They also didn't nail him on portion size which was clearly like an entree. For the main course I'll give him the edge only because Gavin's farro was slightly undercooked. However, for the dessert round Scott Conant shoudl have been crushed by the judges. Are you kidding me? That didn' look edible.

    Hey EiEi we are not HATERS, we just don't look favorably on nepotism. SHAME ON THE JUDGES – I HELD IN HIGH REGARD PREVIOUSLY BUT NOT ANYMORE!!!

  6. products plated before them? I knew that Gavin had won as soon as Scott took the "Screw it" my cake's not done additude

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