Ready? Go! Confidence abounds in the first round when four determined chefs try to get a leg up on the competition through their smoked turkey leg dishes. Then when the chefs are challenged to use beef and chocolate frosting in the entrée round, one competitor makes a big splash, but not intentionally. And after the two finalists present battling banana desserts, it is up to the judges to decide which chef will not survive the third chop.
Ah, shucks! Oysters in the first basket cause some problems, leading up to an emotional ending to the round. Then the competitors gain momentum in the entrée round when they're challenged to work with two Japanese ingredients. And the judges have to say sayonara to one last chef, after tasting the finalists' passionately prepared passion fruit desserts.
Say canned cheese! The chefs are not all smiles when they see the first-round basket. Can canned cheese make for delicious appetizers? Then the competitors who move on to the entrée round must figure out how to work with two ingredients that are entirely new to them. And when a crunchy vegetable and a frozen treat meet in the dessert basket, will the finalists be able to push their creative limits to make some great dishes?
It is a Chopping Block block party! The chefs are surprised to learn they must grill as part of this special competition. With a classic condiment in each round's basket, it should be easy to get into the cookout spirit. Yet, which competitor will be fired up enough to make it all the way to the final round and win the $10,000 prize?
Have a heart! Duck-heart starters are the chefs' ticket to the second round. But will every competitor know how to make this organ meat delicious? Will anyone just give up? Then a super slimy surprise awaits the chefs in the entrée basket, but it may not end up being the most challenging ingredient of the round. And when the finalists find an English tea treat and gelatin candy in the dessert basket, they push themselves to create final dishes sweet enough to propel them to victory.
With canned fruit and a seafood delicacy in the appetizer basket, the chefs have to get it together fast, to get a cohesive dish made. Then in the entrée round, when the chefs set out to make snapper dishes in a snap, two of the competitors run out of time to do exactly what they planned. Will it hurt their chances? Then, after two very driven finalists tackle the dessert round, the judges face a difficult choice.
With tongue in the first basket, the chefs attempt to lick their competition. Sadly, proper cleaning technique, creativity, and the 20-minute timeframe pose problems. Then in a highly competitive second round, the chefs must take a colorful vegetable and a lean meat and make hearty main dishes. And when the two finalists move on to the dessert round, the judges are on pins and needles, wondering which chef will edge ahead.
With a Frenchman and an Irishman in the mix, the competition could take on a European edge. When one of the chefs goes for plates with less than two minutes left on the clock in the appetizer round, the judges urge him to get all of the ingredients onto the dishes. The competitors are given tequila to give their entree dishes a kick, and another ingredient could make them scream. Then second thoughts on what to do with the corn tortillas in the dessert basket cause some problems for one of the finalists.
Double trouble! With two proteins in the appetizer basket, the chefs struggle to marry flavors, and the judges caution competitors against cooking to please instead of cooking from their hearts. Then, as the clock ticks down on the entree round, the chaos in the kitchen ramps up: Will the chefs be able to get out of the woods in time to make their hen-of-the-woods mushroom dishes delicious? With cookie dough in the final basket, it seems like the chefs have a head start with dessert. The judges wonder if the competitors will take advantage of the opportunity to create some exceptional dessert surprise.
Cooking with Cacti! The chefs must stay sharp as they carefully navigate a first basket that includes prickly nopales; and in talking about the texture of the food, the judges must consider the slime factor. Then in the entrée round, a colorful Chinese ingredient and a less popular pork product make for an intense challenge. Finally, in the last round when things suddenly go all wrong for one of the competitors, the judges watch breathlessly to see if the chocolate dessert can be salvaged.