Ted Allen’s Chopped: “Circus Spectacular” Recap 10-24-13

Chopped Season 17
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Ted Allen introduces the four chefs who are competing for $10,000 and the title of Chopped Champion. Tonight the theme is circus food and the chefs will be asked to use ingredients in all of the baskets that may be found at the circus. Mystery basket ingredients include cotton candy, candy apples and funnel cakes.

The judges for tonight’s competition are as follows;

  • Scott Conant
  • Chris Santos
  • Ron Ben Israel

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

  • Chef Steve Yen – N.Y.C., N.Y.
  • Chef Jesse Olson – Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Chef Claire Handleman – N.Y.C., N.Y.
  • Chef John Atkinson – Manhattan Beach, CA.

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;

  • cotton candy
  • peanuts in a shell
  • corn dogs
  • Tokyo scallions

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

Chef Steve prepared Pad Thai w/ Crushed Peanuts & Corn Dogs. The judges said noodles are really good but missing the texture of the peanuts. Pad Thai usually has many ingredients. Basket ingredients not highlighted and best part of the dish is not a basket ingredient. 

Chef John prepared Pork & Peanut Lettuce Cup w/ Drizzling Sauce. The judges said the dish needs salt. Sauce seems to be oily. Love the vegetables but did not get any peanuts on one dish.

Chef Jesse prepared a Coney Island Corn Dog w/ Smoked Peanuts. The judges said smoke flavor not really elevated on peanuts, presentation whimsical and happy. Ingredients elevated and balanced. Grilled hot dogs really good.

Chef Claire prepared Cotton Candied Peanuts w/ Sauteed Hot Dog & Scallions Pesto. The judges said pesto is really delicious and yogurt gives good acidity but ingredients needed a vessel. The dish is not anchored. Best use of the peanuts.

CQ_Chopped-Cloche_s4x3_smAfter careful deliberation the judges chopped Chef Steve 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;

  • nachos
  • chicken fingers
  • candy apples
  • baby corn

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

Chef John prepared Chicken Finger Cakes w/ Double Corn Gravy & Apple Hash. The judges said pink color of gravy is awful. Dish is moist and well seasoned. Hash is delicious and is very tasty and chicken cakes really good but presentation a disaster.

Chef Claire prepared Candy Apple Bacon Salad w/ Spiced Chicken Fingers & Spicy Creamed Corn. The judges said dish a bit too spicy, love the corn but chicken very dry.

Chef Jesse prepared Corn-Fried Chicken Fingers w/ Roasted Apples & Candied Apple Gastrique. The judges said gastrique a good idea and apples work well with chicken but coating over cooked. Corn egg thing is awful.

CQ_Chopped-Cloche_s4x3_smAfter careful deliberation the judges chopped Chef John for the above reasons.

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;

  • snow cones
  • funnel cakes
  • popcorn
  • sour cream

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

Chef Jesse prepared a Snow Cone w/ Lemongrass Granita w/ Smoked Ricotta & Funnel Cake Souffle. The judges said treatment of ricotta is delicious but most of the dessert is not on two plates. The souffle is not done inside. Popcorn crispy and pure.

Chef Claire prepared Vanilla Orange Cake & Berry Sauce w/ Funnel Cake Ice Cream & Caramel Popcorn. The judges said cake is amazing but caramel crystallized. Ice cream more like a soup.

CQ_Chopped-Cloche_s4x3_smAfter careful deliberation the judges chopped Chef Jesse for the above reasons. Chef Claire was awarded the title of Chopped Champion and $10,000 for her efforts.

image courtesy of foodnetwork.com

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