Returning Chopped Champions Compete in First-Ever Ultimate Champions Tournament

Show: Chopped

An all-new tournament comes to Chopped, which will test a group of top former champions in a high-stakes battle. What makes this competition so interesting is that groups of professional chefs, amateur home cooks, heroes and celebrities will be competing. But the playing field is completely leveled when it comes to the Chopped kitchen, where anything can come out of those mystery baskets, oftentimes confounding the most-consummate professional. The winners of the four preliminary rounds will go on to the grand finale, where only one competitor will walk away as the grand champion and the winner of the biggest prize in Chopped history, $50,000 and a brand-new car.

Ultimate Champions: Pros — Tuesday, August 26 at 10|9c

In this initial battle, four stellar professionals, Tom McKenna, Fatima Ali, Giorgio Rapicavoli and Lauren Kyles (first photo row) fight to see who will represent the pros in the finale. They have to wrangle and cook eels and figure out what to do with a super-salty veggie for their appetizers. Then, in the entree round, the champs have to work with a bird and a soda. And a special cheese and a creepy chocolate item appear in the dessert basket.

Ultimate Champions: Amateur Champs — Tuesday, September 2 at 10|9c

Beloved amateur winners Dinah Surh, Keith Young, Marisa Biaggi and Elda Bielanski (second photo row) return to the Chopped Kitchen for a shot to compete in the finale. In the appetizer round the competitors must use salsa and cheese blintzes in their culinary masterpieces. Then, as the entree round gets started, an off-balance tug-of-war over a piece of equipment has everybody laughing, except for the chef who loses the fight. And grapefruit is among the loot the last two champs find in the dessert basket.

Ultimate Champions: Heroes — Tuesday, September 9 at 10|9c

The Chopped Kitchen welcomes back four incredible cooking heroes: Army vet Robbie Myers, firefighter Paul Rut, police officer Diana Sabater and firefighter Richard Fields (third photo row). In the appetizer round, the hero champs must get creative in order to make savory dishes with pineapple and fruit-and-nut bars. Then, in the entree round, the champs find some lovely stalks of spring garlic in the basket, as well as some beautiful lamb chops. And an unpleasantly purple ingredient that the cooks must work into a dessert makes for a challenging last round.

Ultimate Champions: Celebrities — Tuesday, September 16 at 10|9c

Laila Ali, Brandi Chastain, Carnie Wilson and Gillian Vigman (fourth photo row), four Chopped Champions from the world of sports and entertainment, compete for the last spot in the finale. In the appetizer round, the celebrity champs find a peculiar type of flour and sweet tea in the baskets. Then, a can of soup in the entree round causes various issues for the competitors. And the judges taste desserts made with banana paste before deciding on the last finalist.

Tune in for the Ultimate Champions: Grand Finale on Tuesday, September 23 at 10|9c.

Visit Chopped headquarters for more on the tournament, including photo galleries, video highlights and interviews with the winners.

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