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 (22)

  1. Myra Pierce says:

    I am incensed that you can reward a chef that put ghost peppers on the plate doing nothing at all to them and admitting that eating them would be dangerous and putting a slab of cheese on a piece of bread. That is two ingredients that he did not transform at all! For goodness sake I can do better and I am a 76 year old retired woman who never was in a competition of any kind. However I would know better than to do that and would not expect to be rewarded for doing so.

  2. Lyn says:

    Okay so a chef doesn't do anything with 2 of the ingredients, just put them on the plate. How does he continue? Then in final round he doesn't do anything with the pudding, just put it on the plate. Wow maybe that's the new strategy, just put the ingredients on the plate in their original form. How creative. I think the judges really missed n this one.

  3. David says:

    I want to say I was very excited to see chopped doing another firefighters episode. My dad was a firefighter when I was growing up and I admire anything that spotlights those heros. That being said I was so disappointed that they gave the prize to a guy that to me copped out on two basket ingredients in both the second and third round. First in round two he basically slices his cheese and plates it as well as slicing a ghost pepper and putting it on the plate something that could make someone very sick. Then in round three he dusts wafers with sugar and fires a store bought pudding? How is that transforming anything at all? Truly disapointing.

  4. Ellen says:

    This was the most disappointing outcome We have witnessed on Chopped. We are trying understand how this is justified. Sorry judges…you are losing credibility.

  5. Jill says:

    So disappointed with this show's outcome. It was clearly the wrong decision and wondered why. The guy that won, did win. I agree with Cheryl, I was a Chopped fan, but not anymore. Seemed like a fixed show to me. So disappointed with the judges, they went against all rules they go by in other episodes. Chef Robert Corbin should have won hands down.

  6. Cheryl says:

    This was my last chopped epidosed . These exact same judges on so many occasions have chopped people for not transforming basket iingrediants. But today they are blind to to a pepper ( not just any pepper the hottest of them all) not being used. NO it might as well not have been on the plate it was inedible. Then cheese thrown on the plate not transformed. Nope not enough next pudding thrown on in the next round along with over churned ice cream and again wafers not transformed. REALLY are you kidding me? You chopped and your pathetic judges cheated that lady out of her 3rd round then cheated that old man out of his win and honeymoon. This show has become a joke. I hope others voice their disgust by tuning out too.

    • wabina says:

      I agree totally…..the judges are ruining a great show…..they are so pretentious and judge
      so unfairly… night someone gets chopped for something and the next night for same thing a person wins it all….won't be watching anymore unless I hear they change the judges….

  7. Judy says:

    I am also very disappointed in the final judgment, Not only the hot pepper, but the cheese on the entrée dish were not transformed, even dangerous just putting the pepper on the plate. Then on the dessert, sprinkling sugar and cinnamon over the wafer, and firing the pudding, were also two ingredients that were not transformed in his dessert basket. Very, very disappointed.

  8. tina stitt says:

    I agree with most of the comments on here! I do NOT think that he should have won! He didn't transform 3 ingredients, how is that okay? He laid a piece of cheese on bread,put a piece of ghost pepper on the plate and put a spoonful of pudding on a plate!! Hands down he should have been chopped!!! I'm so upset about their decision!! I feel like if he would have taken the time to transform the ingredients,
    would he have finished on time, or maybe miss putting something on the plate or maybe his pork chop would have been over cooked!!! I feel like he cheated!

  9. Matt says:

    Terrible episode! Way to reward the guy for copping out on:
    -ghost peppers
    -blow torch

    All I have to say is that the guy who lost in the final round must have made some pretty terrible food, if his opponent could win without utilizing half of the basket ingredients in rounds 2 and 3. Get it together, Chopped; this outcome was a travesty.

  10. paul says:

    I'm going to pile on and agree with all those that know the judges got it wrong. as long time viewers my wife and I have a good track record predicting who will get chopped. with the seeming disregard of the rules the show has lost its validity.

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