Lessons from the Teens — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, July 2nd, 2013

The beauty of After Hours competitions is that by the time the judges try their hands at four mystery ingredients, they are, in fact, not mysteries at all, having been revealed to the panel during the show when the competitors opened their baskets. The judges saw what the chefs did to transform the disparate ingredients into one cohesive dish and often recognize where they made missteps in their executions and where there is potential for improvement. After watching the entree round in tonight’s all-new episode of Chopped, judges Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Marcus Samuelsson took what the young competitors did with goat leg, rhubarb, frisee and hummus and used their successes, not failures, to motivate their own cooking.

Aarón Sánchez was on hand to guest judge this round, and he encouraged the panel to elevate the teens’ already stellar dishes into something even more worthy of the Chopped Kitchen. “The flavors that they were able to get onto these dishes were absolutely amazing,” Marcus said of the teens’ offerings while cooking his own plate. “It actually inspired me to a do a really good job right now.” He set off to prepare grilled goat leg with a potato salad and bacon-studded red wine-rhubarb sauce, while Amanda and Marc prepared meatballs with rhubarb-tomato sauce and roasted goat with potato salad and grilled lettuce, respectively. After a quick 30 minutes of cooking, the panel came together to taste each other’s dishes, and Aarón admitted to his peers, “You guys did almost as good as the teenagers.” They agreed that their offerings were inspired examples of how to integrate dissimilar ingredients. “I love the way they cooked, and I hope we made them proud and gave them some new ideas,” Amanda ssaid at the end of the competition about the teenagers.

Want to see the judges in action in the Chopped Kitchen? Click the play button on the video above to see them tackle goat leg, rhubarb, frisee and hummus, then chat with fans in the comments section below about what went down. Plus, browse behind-the-scenes photos from the battle to get an insider’s look at the competition.

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Comments (14)

  1. Double D says:

    Chopped is my favorite show. I'm currently a college student, with a TV that currently has no cable because I'm not a subscriber…just saving money. No Roku, no streaming gadget, except a laptop. Kudos to Food Network for uploading episodes of Chopped and other shows.

    First off, Mikey was a great contestant, but should not have won. Here is something to consider…the potatoes were burned, but that was not one of the main ingredients. Maybe that could've been the reason why they kept him in…I don't know. If I was one of the judges, I would've sent him home. I do admit…that dessert he comprised looked killer. You may have noticed that Sam shook his head when Mikey was declared the winner. Maybe he picked Emma to win, while the others picked Mikey. If that was the case, I'm with Sam.

    Second, I was hoping a faceoff in the dessert round between Emma and Molly. I think it would've been close. I would've favored Emma for the win, just because of her experience.

    If you were to ask what my favorite all-time episode of Chopped was, it would be the all-stars Grillmaster episode between Kent and Ernest. Just by one ingredient…sardines. As for my favorite judge…it would be Marc Murphy. He seems like someone who I would have drinks all night with and chat about stories, women and other topics as the world goes by.

  2. It seems that the judges had the winner

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