Season 14, Episode 12

Chopped All-Stars: Celebrities

Four celebrities with different backgrounds, and a shared love of cooking, charge into the Chopped Kitchen. Plain vanilla is something that none of the competitors can relate to, but can they skillfully use vanilla cupcakes to create appetizers as one-of-a-kind as they are? Then something crispy and something jiggly make the main course a study in contrasts. And when two entertaining cooks proceed to the final round, they put on a performance with circus peanuts and curry powder.
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Round 4: Celebrities

In this celebrity round of Chopped All-Stars, musician Joey Fatone, boxer Laila Ali, comedian Judy Gold and figure skater Johnny Weir are under the spotlight. They must face the unexpected challenges of working with the mystery basket ingredients. The winner of this round will move on to the finale to join the winners of the three previous rounds to battle it out for a $50,000 donation to charity. Click through to the end to get interviews with the winner and the runner-up.

Performance Anxiety

The appetizer basket consists of vanilla cupcakes, chicken tenders, avocados and kochujang. Judy is really nervous and finds the cupcakes intimidating, but she's comfortable working with the familiar ingredient of chicken, which she grills. She utilizes the kochujang in two ways: brushed onto the chicken and made into a spicy guacamole. Nearing the end she makes a quick decision to mash up the cupcakes for coating the grilled chicken.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Chicken Tender Contender

Laila decides to make chicken fingers crusted with crumbled cupcakes and kochujang, but they end up frying faster than expected. She makes guacamole using the kochujang and toasts up crostini to serve alongside the finished dish. Maneet Chauhan thinks Laila's dish has the "best utilization of the cupcakes," and Marcus Samuelsson appreciates the elegant presentation.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Dabbing on the Flavor

Johnny coats the chicken tenders with crumbled cupcakes and kochujang before cooking them, and he makes guacamole with Dijon mustard. He plates up the dish with sliced yellow bell peppers dabbed with white truffle oil. Even though the dish looks great, the judges think Johnny's dish needs more seasoning.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Ready for His Chopped Close-Up

Joey is more than ready to take on the basket ingredients. He makes sweet and spicy chicken with avocado salad, which differentiates his dish from all the others who have made guacamole. But he's stumped on the cupcakes — he ends up topping the chicken with the frosting and crumbling the cakes into the salad. Geoffrey Zakarian finds Joey's chicken the moistest out of everyone's, but he doesn't care for the salad.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tastes Better Than It Looks

The judges think Judy served perfectly cooked chicken but that the cupcake coating is overly sweet. Her guacamole is very flavorful but unappealing. In the end Judy is chopped due to her presentation and plating.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Entree Round

The ingredients consist of skirt steak, matzo crackers, sweet orange gelatin cups and collard greens.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Defending Her Decision

Laila immediately starts making a steak marinade that includes garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika and soy sauce. She uses the orange gelatin to make a sauce with red wine and broth. And on the side she has simple sauteed greens and matzo mashed potatoes. The judges agree that the steak is flavorful but overcooked. Laila jumps in to defend her preference for well-done meat.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Seeking Meaty Perfection

Joey makes it a priority to create the perfect steak using a marinade of the orange gelatin and red wine. He turns the collard greens into a colorful side dish with chopped vegetables. Not to forget the matzo, he uses the crumbs to coat the steak for added texture. Maneet commends Joey's use of color in the side dish, but Marcus finds the garlic undercooked; Geoffrey thinks the steak was underseasoned.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Portion-Controlled Plating

Being that he's always watching his food intake, Johnny decides to cut up the skirt steak to create small portions. He quickly sautes the collard greens and coats them with a sauce made from orange juice, orange gelatin and red pepper flakes. At the last minute, he decides to fry up bread to serve on the side, but then he remembers he almost forgot the matzo, so he crumbles it onto the greens.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Outcooked by His Competitors

Even though the steak was well-seasoned, Johnny's "athlete's meal," as Marcus calls it, is not to the same level of cooking that the judges find in the other competitors' dishes. Johnny is chopped at the end of the entree round.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Dessert Basket

The ingredients consist of circus peanuts, passion fruit puree, graham cracker cereal and curry powder.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Laila's Sweet Plan for Success

Laila makes ice cream with the passion fruit and circus peanuts, and she turns the graham cracker cereal and curry powder into a crumble, which she serves over berries. Her decision to use the ice cream maker for the first time pays off, because the dessert really impresses the judges. Geoffrey finds the dish has a special verve. The only negative comment is from Marcus, who doesn't care for the dusting of confectioners' sugar on the plate.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Floored by the Competition

The judges are really impressed with how competitive both Joey and Laila are, especially in the dessert round. The two celebrity competitors are taking the challenge very seriously and are utilizing professional kitchen equipment they've never used before.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Joey's Creative Concoction

Joey makes custard with the passion fruit puree and processes the graham cracker cereal with the curry powder to create a coating for the circus peanuts. He tops the individual custards with fresh raspberry puree. The judges like the coated circus peanuts, but the custard didn't set up properly. Taking into account all of Joey's dishes, the judges decide to chop him. Read Joey's interview on FN Dish.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Round 4 Champion

Impressing the judges with the most-creative execution of the basket ingredients among her celebrity competitors, Laila scores the fourth and final spot in the All-Stars finale for a chance at winning $50,000 for charity. Read Laila's interview on FN Dish.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

More Chopped All-Stars

Read more about the competition, watch exclusive videos and keep up with the show on the blog.

Visit the Chopped All-Stars Page

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