The tables are turned on these four Chopped judges. Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag and Scott Conant must battle one another and face the unexpected challenges of working with the mystery basket ingredients. The champion of this round will represent the judges in the All-Stars finale, in which the winner will leave with a $50,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. Click through to the end to get interviews with the winner and the runner-up.
The appetizer basket consists of diver scallops, harissa, pink grapefruit and speck. Chef Alex has no problem diving right in to get at the shellfish meat and roe. To highlight the scallops, she makes citrus vinaigrette, blending in the harissa to tone down its heat. Unfortunately the judges find that the harissa gets lost and the citrus vinaigrette was too tart.
It's his first time cooking on Chopped, and Chef Scott thinks it's time to put the myth of his hating red onions to rest. He decides to pickle them for topping his dish, but when it gets down to the wire, the onions don't make the plate. The judges think his dish has the best cooked scallops but could have benefited from the red onion.
With just 20 seconds remaining on the clock, Chef Amanda supremes her grapefruit and rushes to finish her dish of pan-seared scallops with harissa buerre blanc, crispy speck and grapefruit. The judges all love the flavors, but Marcus finds the pool of fat on the plate from the speck to be off-putting. Amanda regrets not serving it with a crouton.
With a fractured bone in his left hand, Chef Marc has to rely on his nondominant hand to prepare his dish. He soldiers on, even if he's not as swift as normal. He makes a potato hash with preserved grapefruit rind and seared scallops. The judges appreciate the flavors but find the potatoes to be dry and undercooked.
The entree basket consists of capon, ramps, canned pizza sauce and burrata. Chef Scott decides to poach the breast and roast the leg, but the time constraints have him cutting out the bones from the legs to speed up the cooking time. The judges commend him for doing better this round. Aarón and Marcus think a starch is missing from the dish, but Geoffrey calls it a "knockout in sophistication."
Amanda desperately wants to go beyond the entree round, so she's making sure her capon is perfectly cooked. She serves the poultry with a liver-infused pizza sauce and makes a pesto out of the ramps and burrata, which she spreads on crostini. Marcus calls it a "childish nod to pizza" that's still very sophisticated. But the others think it comes off clunky and the capon is slightly overcooked.
The dessert basket consists of ruby port, olive oil gelato, dried apricots and French toast sticks. Scott has no intention of baking. Instead he makes topfenknodel, which are German dessert dumplings. He serves the dessert with apricot puree, port-marinated berries and a cream sauce made from the gelato. The judges commend him for his dessert, but find the gelato disappears a bit.
Chef Amanda takes a risk and decides to bake profiteroles and make apricot ice cream using the gelato as a base. She serves the dessert with ruby port sauce and caramelized French toast. For Aarón, the dessert reminds him of an ice cream sandwich, but unfortunately the profiteroles are underbaked, and for that reason, Amanda is chopped.