Jokes First, Cooking a Close Second — Chopped After Hours by Maria Russo in Shows, September 17th, 2013
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Chris Santos, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant may be revered judges on Chopped and three of the most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in New York City, but when they come together in the Chopped kitchen for a friendly face-off, they don’t hesitate to let their sillier sides show. On tonight’s all-new Chopped After Hours, the guys, led by host Ted Allen, were greeted with leftover ingredients — lasagna, a hamburger, a fortune cookie and steamed broccoli — and only 20 minutes on the clock to give these precooked dishes a second chance on a plate. While Chris, Geoffrey and Scott surely let their culinary chops shine in making such inspired dishes as a breaded lasagna bite, an Italian-focused sandwich and a family-friendly frittata, respectively, they weren’t shy about having fun with each other.
Just minutes into cooking, Ted and Chris took advantage of the opportunity when Scott was away from his station to playfully mess with the chef, hiding from him his chopped burger patty. “Someone stole my hamburger!” he exclaimed later, before Ted advised him to check beneath his station to find his missing ingredient.
Geoffrey, too, became the focus of a well-meaning joke after serving a controversial sandwich. Instead of incorporating the cookie portion of the fortune cookie into his Philly cheese steak-inspired sandwich, he simply stuck the dish with the paper fortune and claimed to have indeed used a portion of the mandatory ingredient. “I think if it were a normal round, we’d be like, ‘Dude, come on,’” Scott said before explaining to Geoffrey, “But since it’s you, obviously you’re an Iron Chef and you tell us that all the time ….”
Click the play button on the video above to watch the entire episode of Chopped After Hours, then browse photos of the top moments from the guys’ time in the kitchen. Then chat about the show with fans in the comments below: Do you like seeing the more playful side of the chefs? What’s your favorite way to utilize leftover ingredients at home?