The competition starts off strongly with four chefs, cooking with gusto, as they attempt to make delicious jumbo shrimp appetizers. Then, in the entree round, with less than a minute remaining, one of the chefs has yet to get one of the mystery ingredients on the plates! The judges watch on the edge of their seats to see if the competitor will remember before time runs out. When the two finalists find frozen pancakes in the final basket, whose dessert will stack up to a $10,000 victory?
The chefs learn that they have come to the Chopped Kitchen for a special competition where they will be cooking with unusual cuts of meat, embracing the philosophy that almost every part of an animal can be considered food. The big surprise for the competitors in the first basket, a whole pig's head! The chefs who make it to the second round open the basket to find out how the nose-to-tail theme will play out, and the task looks three-times more difficult than imagined. When the last basket is opened, the competitors' faces say it all: it's going to be a very tough round.
Four culinary heroes, who use their talents to do good in their communities, arrive at the Chopped Kitchen to compete. In an impressive first round, the chefs pull from their varied skill sets to create four beautiful plates of food. Then in the entree round, something gamey and something fizzy make for an interesting mix of mystery ingredients. And when the final two chefs advance to the last round, they make desserts layered with sugary surprises. Which chef's final dish will complete the winning meal?
Teenagers are taking over the Chopped Kitchen! Four talented young cooks bravely attempt a challenge that often throws off trained professionals. Watching the first round, featuring fish filets and a sugary frozen treat, the judges are amazed by the level of maturity, poise and skill: And it's a very difficult choice deciding which rising culinary star will not get a chance to move on. There are some fun items in the second round baskets: cotton candy and French-fried onions. Then the two terrific teens who make it to the dessert round, and find movie-theater popcorn in the basket, put on a great show.
In the appetizer round, three out of the four chefs make a similar choice with a tricky basket ingredient: Will the fourth chef's different approach work in his favor? Then for the entrees, the competitors attempt to make delicious Cornish hen dishes, knowing that a nicely cooked bird in the pan could be worth a trip to the final round. And in the dessert round, neither the judges nor the chefs have any idea what to expect on the plates after a wild fiasco with the ice cream machine.
The chefs start off moving very fast in the appetizer round, trying to make stellar dishes from lump crabmeat and ice cream cones. But in the rush, one competitor forgets something important in the oven. Then thirsty for victory, the chefs find a sports drink in the basket in the entree round. And with carob syrup and spaghetti squash, what unusual dessert recipes will the final two competitors create on the fly?
With brook trout in the first basket, the chefs try to reel the judges in with some amazing appetizers. Then candy and kale in the entree round keep the chefs' creativity on overdrive. And as the finalists attempt to make sesame seed buns into tasty desserts, they make some intriguing choices.
The chefs open the appetizer basket and find exciting ingredients from Mexico, including pigs' feet and tres leches cake. Then the chefs are presented with a second basket of surprises from South of the Border, including goat chops. And one chef sees the chance of a carefree round literally go up in flames when a pan gets much too hot. Nothing is yucky about yucca and coconuts. But when one of the finalists runs into all sorts of trouble getting through the round, will the judges like the end results?
The chefs must combine cocoa mix with Japanese peppers in challenging fish-course round. Then in the entree round -- a big, big, oops! -- one chef accidentally drops pork belly onto the floor! But it's what happens when the chef picks the meat up off the floor that shocks the judges most. Then can an ice-cream-truck treat go well with wheat grass? The two finalists attempt to make great, green desserts.
Four amateur cooks step into the Chopped Kitchen, believing that they can show the pros how it's done. First, the cooks' raw talent is put to the test with a sushi platter in the appetizer basket. Then in the entree round, do the home chefs have what it takes to take ostrich fillets and blueberry wine and create remarkable dishes? Lastly, after the dessert round, the judges are left to compare two very similar plates.
Four returning losers -- chefs who made big mistakes in their first competition -- are dead set on not repeating history in the Chopped Kitchen. Having practiced and prepared to do better, the chefs open up the appetizer basket and fight to stay in it: but one pulpo and fava bean appetizer will not be good enough. Then, in the entree round, the chefs have to stay sharp to cook with cactus and manage their time well. And when the two finalists find a classic cookie and a tangy fruit in the dessert basket, make no mistake both of these former losers really want to win it!
Class is once again in session in the Chopped Kitchen, with ladies from America's school cafeterias competing and sharing their stories. In the first round, ground turkey and frozen yogurt test the chefs' skills. Then the ladies must sweat out a 30-minute entree round with sweet potatoes and hoisin sauce as ingredients. The final two competitors advance to dessert round to find a basket of healthy items. And when one chef's plans literally fall apart, she must decide whether to rethink her idea or try, try again.