Playing with Fire — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, January 12th, 2014

When it comes to chefs working with mystery basket ingredients, the Chopped judges look for creativity and, above all, an expert incorporation of all the ingredients into one harmonious dish. And sometimes it takes a bit of playing with one’s food to achieve that, or in this case playing with fire. Facing the same dessert basket as the contestants from Chopped: Firefighter Chefs, the judges accomplished exactly that. Alex, Scott and Amanda took up spots in the Chopped Kitchen for an After Hours competition where they cooked with wafer sheets, lemon soda, vanilla pudding cups and a blowtorch.

On the show, the final two competitors were able to make great strides with the ingredients, but neither of them truly created a unified dish. The one whose dish was found to be the most disjointed was ultimately chopped. Alex, Scott and Amanda looked at the ingredients as an opportunity to create unique desserts and the blowtorch as an enhancer of flavor. Alex went the extra mile in using it to char a savory ingredient for her dessert, which impressed her fellow judges the most.

Alex used the wafer sheets to create a Napoleon, drizzling the sheets with white chocolate and layering them with lemon soda sorbet and charred yellow bell pepper, which Scott and Amanda found amazing. Scott made a chocolate basil mousse with lemon sorbet, mascarpone, caramelized sugar and wafer layers. Alex loved the chocolate and basil pairing. Amanda did something very unique with the wafer sheets, forming them into bowls to be filled with lemon curd and topped with toasted meringue. The play on textures excited Scott. In the end after all the dishes had been tasted, Scott underlined what each one of them accomplished: “I don’t see the basket ingredients in any of these dishes. Talk about transformation.”

Click the play button on the video above to watch the entire After Hours episode and to see the dishes Alex, Scott and Amanda created. Then browse behind-the-scenes images for an insider’s look at the cooking.

Start a conversation with fellow fans and tell FN Dish in the comments below how you would have approached this basket: What would you make out of wafer sheets, lemon soda, vanilla pudding cups and a blowtorch?

Catch up on past Chopped After Hours episodes by watching all the Web-exclusive battles online.

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Comments (18)

  1. robert says:

    This guy cook one good bore chop and won with a desert that the judge couldn't even tell what to call it. It dam sure wasn't ice cream. I guess just like every other contest in this country, whoever looks this best wins. Man this pisses me off !!!

  2. Maureen says:

    The worse ever from the judge's. Need new judge's on the show. They just cheated with thy guy Richard not having to use each ingredient in the food and not just putting them on the plate. BAD! BAD! BAD!

  3. Beth says:

    My husband and I are long term fans of Chopped. We have never felt compelled to make a comment before. All the firefighters were very likeable and we respect what they do. With that said, we are shocked at the outcome of this episode. This is a clear departure from the previous four years of feedback. Earn back your credibility and chop Alex, Scott (that arrogant SOB…these are firefighters not professional chefs) and Marcus.

  4. Richard says:

    We are all tired of The Host making comments and giving input…you are the "host" Ted Allen, NOT a judge, nor a chef for that matter…come on Chopped, get it together…Also, have a little respect for those who are actually trying, you talk down to so many.

  5. Mary says:

    As an avid Chopped watcher and Food Network fan, I am highly disappointed with the results of this episode. This show has lost its credibility in terms of defining what a "Chopped Champion" should look like. With all do respect, Richard may as well left out the cheese, peppers and pudding in the dessert round because they were not transformed by any means – not to mention the ghost peppers were entirely inedible and dangerous. Even his use of the blow torch was lacking. In my eyes, Robert could have given the judges an empty plate for dessert and still should have won! This show has lost its credibility in terms of defining and deciding what a "Chopped Champion" should look like. I hope these results do not set the stage for coming episodes and that sweet Robert gets to take his wife on the honeymoon they deserve. Actually, Food Network, you should be treating them for cheating them!

  6. Kevin says:

    Food Network – we need a response to this. How in the world did this person win? We need to understand why.

  7. brenda says:

    just watched this episode. i have used ghost peppers extensively and serving them raw, inexcusible! and he won. why? he did not deserve it. what's up with this? do i stop watching like iron chef america when it was so very obvious Cady was, shall we say, enamored with flay?

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