Ted Allen’s Chopped: Better Saffron Than Sorry Recap 6-4-13

Chopped Season 14
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Ted AllenTed Allen introduces the four Chefs that will be competing for the $10,000 and title of Chopped Champion. One of the contestants tonight is hearing impaired. Tonight the contestants have will be asked to use ingredients in the mystery baskets that include mussels, saffron and pasta sheets.

The judges for tonight’s competition are as follows;

  • Elizabeth Karmel
  • Maneet Chauhan
  • Marcus Samuelsson

The Chefs competing for the title and $10,000 tonight are as follows;

  • Chef Christian Dolias
  • Chef Kurt Ramborger
  • Chef Martha Esquval
  • Chef David Fune

Ted Allen told the Chefs that they will be judged on Creativity, Taste, and Presentation and they must use all of the ingredients in the basket in some way.

APPETIZER ROUND  
He tells them that they have 20 minutes to complete the round and has them open their baskets which includes the following ingredients;

  • mussels
  • bleu cheese stuffed olives
  • saffron
  • tequila

After the Chefs completed their dishes they were presented to the Judges and given the following critiques;

Chef Christian prepared Bleu Cheese Stuffed Mussels. The judges said it was a nice appetizer but a bit small and they wished he highlighted the basket ingredients better.

Chef Martha prepared Mussels w/ Saffron Sauce and Salad. The judges said it was a beautiful presentation and the saffron was well represented. The sage and parsley introduced really brought a lot to the dish but the olives and bleu cheese was lost.

Chef David prepared Mussel Saute w/ Bleu Cheese & Saffron Sauce. The judges said the mussels were cooked perfectly but over all the dish was too sweet and felt like a dessert.

Chef Kurt prepared Tequila Mussels w/ Rice Noodles & Saffron Cristini. The judges said one cristini was missing. The mussels were cooked perfectly but too many noodles on the plate and not enough broth.

After careful deliberation Chef Christian was chopped for the above reasons.

ENTREE ROUND 
Ted Allen told the Chefs they have 30 minutes to complete the round and has them open their baskets which includes the following ingredients;

  • amaranth leaves
  • curd chilies
  • lamb fries
  • blackberries

After the Cooks completed their dishes they were presented to the Judges and given the following critiques;

Chef Martha prepared Pan Seared Lamb Fries w/ Fried Potatoes & Asparagus & Blackberries Gastrique. The judges said her dish was beautiful and delicious but there were far too many ingredients on her dish.

Chef Kurt prepared Braised Lamb Fries & Amaranth Leaves w/ Blackberry Sauce. The judges said his dish worked and all came together but unfortunately he did not remove the membrane on the lamb fries which left them tough.

Chef David prepared Lamb Fries Cutlets w/ Garlic Polenta & Blueberry Rissoto. The judges said he did a masterful job with the ingredients and the whole dish worked well together.

After careful deliberation Chef Kurt was chopped for the reasons above. Chef Kurt was deaf and came equipped with an interpreter. He is the first deaf contestant on the show though you could not tell by the way he performed on the show. He was at an advantage and was inspiring to watch.

DESSERT ROUND 
Ted Allen told the Chefs they have 30 minutes to complete the round and has them open their baskets which includes the following ingredients;

  • argan oil
  • apricots
  • fresh pasta sheets
  • cheese spread

After the Chefs completed their dishes they were presented to the Judges and given the following critiques;

Chef David prepared a Deconstructed Ravioli w/ Apricot Gel & Strawberry. The judges said his dish was whimsical and had really intense flavors but his gastrique was not necessary. 

Chef Martha prepared Buttermilk Argan Cake w/ Citrus Salad & Cheese Sauce. The judges said the cake was delicious and the introduction of herbs was great and it was visually appealing but the cheese sauce did not work.

After careful deliberation of all the courses the judges chopped Chef David and awarded the $10,000 and title to Chef Martha.

images courtesy of foodnetwork.com

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4 Responses to Ted Allen’s Chopped: Better Saffron Than Sorry Recap 6-4-13


  1. Chef Kurt Ramborger is not “hearing impaired,” he’s Deaf. It’s time to chop this tiresome euphemism. And I don’t think he sees being Deaf as having an “affliction.”


  2. Thanks for the input Linda as I did not mean to offend anyone. It is hard to say anything anymore without someone taking offense. I have made the necessary corrections to appease you though others may be offended by the new verbiage.


  3. Thanks, Michael, but the point is not to “appease” a bunch of easily-offended folks, but to use language that’s neutral and non-judgmental. “Hearing-challenged” is negative and patronizing; “Deaf and hard-of-hearing” is nonjudgmental.

    FYI, most Deaf people don’t see themselves as afflicted or handicapped,but as members of an ethnic-linguistic minority. It’s hard to explain in the compass of a sound bite, but it makes sense.

    We think it’s great that “Chopped” had a Deaf chef participating in the competition, and he did a fine job.


  4. Thanks Linda, like I said I did not mean to offend and changed as you advised and have no problem with doing so. I loved watching him work and shows need more of the same and no one should be isolated.

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