Tonight the Season 5 Chopped Champions tournament came to a conclusion with the four winners of the preliminary rounds getting one more chance with the baskets. Whoever reached the end without getting chopped would earn the $50,000 prize. In this last battle, all four chefs — Meny, Deborah, Andre and Adam — brought their best, which made the judges’ decision come down to the details. Literally one olive out of place sent home a front-runner in the appetizer round. A mishandling of meat sent home another in the entree round. And dessert came down to who had the better balance of flavors. In the end one chef’s three courses set him apart from his competitors and earned him the prestigious title of Chopped Grand Champion. Find out who won the tournament.
Tag: chopped champions
Tonight the Season 5 Champions tournament continued with the final preliminary round, where four previous Chopped champs battled it out to earn the last spot in the grand finale. There the winners of all four preliminary rounds will compete for a chance to walk away with $50,000. In the last round of this fourth battle, one young chef went up against one experienced chef, who also happens to be an expert in pastry. The dessert round looked like it would be an easy win, but when it came to considering all three rounds, the judges chose the competitor who presented the best three courses overall. Find out who won this fourth preliminary battle and earned the last finale spot.
Tonight the Season 5 Champions tournament continued with four more previous Chopped champs battling it out for a coveted spot in the finale. There the winners of all four preliminary rounds will compete one last time for a chance to walk away with $50,000. In this third battle, the dessert round became the determining factor: The final two chefs battled neck and neck throughout the competition, which meant the judges would be looking at even the slightest slip-up to make their decision. After taking into consideration all three courses, the judges chose the chef who did the best job transforming the baskets. Find out who won this preliminary battle and earned the third finale spot.
Tonight the Season 5 Champions tournament continued with four more previous Chopped champs battling it out for a coveted spot in the finale. There the winners of all four preliminary rounds will compete one last time for a chance to walk away with $50,000. In this second battle, two strong opponents made it to the dessert round: one with great skills at executing, and another with confident creativity. If the win had been based on just the dessert, the champion would have been obvious. But taking into consideration all three courses, the judges chose the chef who did the best overall. Find out who won this preliminary battle and earned the second finale spot.
Tonight the Champions tournament returned for Season 5 with four previous Chopped champs battling it out for a coveted spot in the finale. There the winners of all four preliminary rounds will compete one last time for a chance to walk away with $50,000. In Battle 1, two very worthy chefs made it to the dessert round, and both put out strong desserts, but it was the sum of all three courses — appetizer, entree and dessert — that would determine who’d take the first finale spot. Find out who managed to sweep this preliminary battle with the best dishes.
Chopped Champions returns on Tuesday, March 29 at 10|9c for Season 5 as 16 returning champions battle it out for a chance to earn the Ultimate Champion title and $50,000 in prize money. Four preliminary rounds will determine who gets a spot in the finale. But only one chef from among the four finalists will be named the winner. Who will rule the mystery baskets? Tune in to watch the competition unfold.
So often on Chopped we see chef contestants open their mystery baskets to find such odd, uncommon and downright scary ingredients — precooked pig snout, pickled beef tongue or grasshoppers, anyone? — that it can seem nearly impossible for home cooks to put them to work in everyday meals. On other episodes, however, the ingredients are far less intimidating yet not quite familiar. That’s where we come in. Each week during the brand-new season of Chopped Champions, FN Dish will break down the whats, hows and whens of an approachable, family-friendly ingredient and share deliciously simple recipes for using it, so that you can show off your best culinary chops at home. Following last Tuesday’s Grand Finale competition, the focus is now on pine nuts, which made an appearance in the appetizer basket alongside pig ears, ramps and apple strudel.
As you may have guessed, pine nuts do in fact come from pine trees, as they’re the tiny (think pinky-nail size) seeds that grow inside pinecones. Untoasted pine nuts are a light yellow-cream color and boast a buttery, slightly chewy texture. After warming in a pan, however, pine nuts become a golden hue and offer a crunchy bite to greens, grains, pasta and more. Given their small size, pine nuts are often left whole when mixed in salads or served atop vegetables, but they can also be ground into sauces or vinaigrettes. Read on below to find traditional and creative ways to cook with this must-try ingredient, then browse these insider photos from the Champions finale to relive each course of the battle.
Food Network Magazine‘s simple Roasted Asparagus (pictured above) turns out deliciously tender every time, but thanks to a topping of pine nuts, parsley and lemon juice, this top-rated recipe features a crunchy texture and fresh, vibrant taste as well. Serve this in-season vegetable with light fish, hearty meat and more to complete your meal in only 20 quick minutes.
It’s the finale, so I’m tempted to give myself longer than 30 seconds to pick my menu. But I won’t. So here go the final Chopped Champions baskets:
Appetizer basket: pig ears, ramps, pine nuts and apple strudel
Two tricky ingredients in this one – pig ears and ramps. Just kidding. Apple strudel? Yikes. My mind races first to April Bloomfield’s gorgeous cookbook A Girl and Her Pig, and I am inspired to fry up the pig ears. How will they get tender so quickly? By boiling, slicing very thinly, dipping in batter and frying. I get the ears into the boiling water, which I salt. And then I turn my attention to the strudel. I make a quick decision to separate the phyllo from the apple filling and turn it into two ingredients. I crisp up the phyllo in the oven and make strips for a panzanella (bread salad). I caramelize the ramps, toast the pine nuts and blend up the apple filling with apple cider vinegar and olive oil for a vinaigrette. Chop up bitter greens, toss with the pine nuts, ramps, dressing and maybe some sweet yellow tomato if available. Top with my strudel strips and fried ear “cracklings.” Simple.
Every Wednesday, Justin Warner, winner of Food Network Star, Season 8, has been remixing the Chopped Champion baskets as seen in the episode the night before in pure Justin Warner style: edgy, intense, passionate and full of wit. If you’ve ever watched an episode and found yourself yelling at the TV that you would have made this or that instead, then these are the posts for you.
by Justin Warner
Congratulations blog viewer, you’ve made it to the finale! If you’ve made it this far, I’m not going to bore you with the details of making a mother sauce.
Appetizer basket: pig ears, ramps, pine nuts and apple strudel
The appetizer round is really getting me ramped up. I feel like I’m on a rampage. Want to hear something my gramps told me? He taught me that allium tricoccum (say it out loud three times and you’ll remember easily), aka ramps, are delicious wild onions from all of Appalachia. They are the most wonderful, glorious and wildest of leeks. Like a leafy spring onion, it’s entirely edible, although its flavor is a bit more pronounced. In the good old days in Terra Alta, West Virginia (where I spent time with Gramps and ramps), folks celebrated the ramp by cooking it in a multitude of ways. These “ramp festivals” are a great event for couples because if you eat ramps and your partner doesn’t, you’ll be asked to sleep outside, lest your glorious oniony eau de parfum permeate the house for a bit. So sayeth my gramps.
In an all-new season of Chopped Champions, 16 chefs, each with a previous Chopped win under his or her belt, are returning to the kitchen to face off for a second time in the ultimate multicourse cook-off. Although they’re no strangers to mystery baskets, these chefs are under more pressure than ever, as they’re competing not just for Chopped glory but also a spot in the finale where they can ultimately claim a $50,000 prize and the coveted title of Grand Champion.
Each week, four chefs will take their places in the kitchen and battle it out in the hopes of outlasting the chopping block once again. While three will crumble beneath the demands of Champions cooking, one will prove his or her culinary chops for a second time. Check in with FN Dish every Tuesday night after the episode to hear from the latest winner.