Tag: Chopped

Chopped All-Stars: The Final Battle

by in Shows, May 7th, 2012

Chopped Finale

Last night we watched four chefs, each with a win under his or her belt, face off in the finale of the Chopped All-Stars tournament. In the four previous rounds, Michael Symon reigned supreme among the Iron Chefs, Penny Davidi prevailed against her fellow Food Network Star alums, Jeffrey Saad bested three other globetrotting show hosts and Marcus Samuelsson out-cooked his Chopped judging cohorts. But it all came down to the final battle: Only one of these chefs would win $50,000 for their charity.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner. You can catch the full episode here.

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The Other Side of the Chopping Block: One Chopped Judge Moves On, Three Say Goodbye

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 30th, 2012

chopped judges
Last night we watched one of the most anticipated Chopped All-Stars episodes of the series. Four Chopped judges — Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy and Chris Santos — took their place on the Chopping Block to compete for the fourth and final spot in the finale and $50,000 for their charity.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode, divulge the winner and chat with the runner-up.

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Chopped All-Stars Caption It: What Did We Get Ourselves Into?

by in Shows, April 26th, 2012

alex guarnaschelli and chris santos
In possibly one of the most anticipated Chopped All-Stars episodes of the series, four Chopped judges — Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy and Chris Santos — will take their place on the Chopping Block to compete for the fourth and final spot in the finale. Pictured above, all-star chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Chis Santos look curiously at each other as they enter the kitchen. Will the judges be pleased with their colleagues efforts or will their dishes leave more to be desired?

The winner of this episode will join Iron Chef Michael Symon, Cooking Channel’s Jeffrey Saad and Food Network Star finalist Penny Davidi in the grand finale for a chance to win their charities $50,000.

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the action unfold, we’re challenging you, Chopped All-Stars fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

One Shining “Star” Joins the Chopped All-Stars Finale Lineup

by in Shows, April 23rd, 2012

chopped all stars food network stars
Vic “Vegas” Moea, Penny Davidi, Justin Balmes and Chris Nirschel know the pressures of competition cooking. They also know what it’s like to be in front of a camera. These four Food Network Star finalists gave it their all last season, but still came up short in the end. That wasn’t enough for them, though. They’re still out to prove that they’ve got what it takes and they’re still out to take down each other — they did just that on last night’s episode of Chopped All-Stars.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner.

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The Chopped Basket Revealed: The Masterminds Behind the Mystery Ingredients

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, April 20th, 2012

chopped basket rob bleifer
“Ugh! Who comes up with these crazy basket ingredients?” This is a statement that I commonly hear and read after watching an episode of Chopped. But the truth is, someone does have to research and choose what four ingredients will go into a Chopped basket — three different baskets per episode. Do the ingredients get tested first? Has there ever been a repeated ingredient? And why are four ingredients the magic number and not three or five? These are all questions I asked Food Network Executive Chef Rob Bleifer last week when I sat down with him in Food Network Kitchens.

How are the ingredients picked?
Sara Nahas, the culinary producer of the show, and myself sometimes work together, sometimes work apart, but then come together to compare each other’s work. We’ll sit across from each other weeks in advance and knock out themed shows or random baskets — potential flavor and color combinations that will end up on the plate and, of course, that one ingredient that will get people talking. We have a list of ingredients we’ve already used in front of us, which is around 15 pages long, so I cross-reference that. In the past, we may have used an ingredient twice, but sometimes it’s intentional.

Is there a secret to a good Chopped basket (one part this, two parts that, etc.)?
While we’re creating the baskets, if we have to think too long about the possibilities of dishes, the baskets go away. If it takes us more than 15 seconds for a solution, it’s out. The contestants don’t have that much time.

We’ll often try, certainly in an entrée, to have a grain or starch or one ingredient that is substantial, whether it’s a protein or produce. But there’s no hard and fast rule that there has to be this, there has to be that.

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POLL: Which Chopped All-Stars Ingredients Would You Actually Cook With?

by in Polls, Shows, April 18th, 2012

aarti sequeira and ted allen
Week two of Chopped All-Stars had gourmet globetrotting contestants Marcela Valladolid, Keegan Gerhard, Jeffrey Saad and Aarti Sequeira dealing with some offbeat ingredients. Some would even argue that the ingredients were more difficult than those dealt to the Iron Chefs the week before.

While we may not be running out to the market to pick up a pound of tripe, some of the ingredients are more commonly used, like chicken feet, which are great to flavor chicken broth.

This leads us to ask you:

 

Four Gourmet Globetrotters Take on Chopped and We Chat With the Winner

by in Shows, April 16th, 2012

gourmet globetrotters
What do Marcela Valladolid, Keegan Gerhard, Jeffrey Saad and Aarti Sequeira have in common? They are masters in global cuisine and they spent several nerve-wracking moments together on the Chopping Block last night during the second episode of Chopped All-Stars. Last week, Michael Symon advanced to the finale as he took on his fellow Iron Chefs. This week’s episode was just as competitive, and some would argue that the ingredients were more challenging. If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner.

The baskets:
Appetizer: pancake mix, strawberry papaya, blue foot mushrooms and precooked chicken feet
Entrée: maraschino cherries, peas in the pod, parsley root and tripe
Dessert: ostrich eggs, plantains, dried strawberries and galangal

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What Is Sour Trahana?

by in How-to, Shows, April 13th, 2012

sour trahanaLast Sunday night on the premiere episode of Chopped All-Stars, the Iron Chef contestants opened up their baskets to find sour trahana. I quickly found myself Googling the term, only to find out several minutes later from Ted Allen that it’s a traditional Greek pasta that is essentially flour kneaded with sour milk, buttermilk or yogurt and some salt.

 

 

I couldn’t get a good glimpse of the grain on TV, but imagine a substance similar to couscous.

According to The Food and Wine of Greece by Diane Kochilas, “Until a generation ago, sour trahana was the shepherd’s and farmer’s breakfast. It was made at the end of every summer all over Greece in preparation for the winter months.”

So what can you do with sour trahana? Try cooking it in a soup, like Cat Cora’s Chicken Soup. The longer you cook the grain, the thicker it becomes.

If you can’t find sour trahana in the international aisle of your local supermarket, try searching for it online at a Greek specialty store.

Tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c when four gourmet globetrotters — Keegan Gerhard, Marcela Valladolid, Jeffrey Saad and Aarti Sequeira — take their place on the Chopping Block.

Michael Symon Takes the First Round of Chopped All-Stars

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 10th, 2012

michael symon chopped all-stars
Yesterday on FN Dish, we broke down the first episode of Chopped All-Stars for you, including an interview with runner-up Marc Forgione.

Today, we’re chatting with the first-round winner and Iron Chef extraordinaire, Michael Symon.

What was it like  competing against your fellow Iron Chefs?
MS: It’s always flattering and an honor to compete against chefs that work at such a high level. It’s also so much fun.

Which basket did you have the most trouble with?
MS: Dessert. I’m not a huge fan of rum.

More from Michael after the jump

Chopped All-Stars Begins: One Iron Chef Moves On, Three Say Goodbye

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 9th, 2012

chopped all-stars iron chefs
What can you expect when you put 16 star chefs you know and love on the Chopping Block for charity? Inventive dishes, out-of-this-world ingredients, smack talk, laughs, sweat and a grand prize of $50,000 for the winner’s charity — you can expect it all on the newest season of Chopped All-Stars.

Here’s the breakdown. Each Sunday, a new group of All-Stars will compete for a spot in the finale. Last night, four Iron Chefs battled it out. In the coming weeks, you’ll see gourmet globetrotters, former Food Network Star contestants and Chopped judges. That’s right — the judges are coming out from behind their judges’ table to show the world they’ve got the chops to win the grand prize, too.

Last night, Michael Symon, Jose Garces, Cat Cora and Marc Forgione stepped out of the comfort zone of Kitchen Stadium to compete against each other. If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode, divulge the winner and chat with the runner-up.

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