Season 14, Episode 11

Chopped All-Stars: Judges

What will happen when the tables are turned and four friends and colleagues compete in the Chopped Kitchen? In the first round, the judges-turned-competitors must crack the code of the basket after cracking open diver scallops. Then in the entree round, can the chefs make a beautiful bird fly with canned pizza sauce? And with bragging rights and a shot at making it to the $50,000 finale on the line, the last two chefs bravely tackle the dessert basket.
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Round 3: Judges

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.

Puckering Punch of Flavor

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.

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

Scott Confronts the Onion Rumors

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.

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

Speck Slick on the Plate

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.

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

On the One Hand ...

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.

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

Where's the Sauce?

In the end the judges chop Chef Marc, because they think his dish lacked a sauce that could have brought all the ingredients together, creating a more harmonious dish.

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

First-Timer's Luck in the Second Round

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."

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

Clucking Clunker

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.

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

Poultry Problem

Chef Alex makes roasted capon breast and serves it with grilled tomato pizza sauce and a balsamic and burrata dressing. On the side she has grilled ramps and radicchio. Marcus especially loves the individual components of the dish, but unfortunately, the bird is undercooked.

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

What Matters in Judging

Ted points out it must be difficult for the judges to be judging their colleagues. But, Geoffrey says, "We've just got to talk about the food." And for Alex in the entree round, undercooked capon just doesn't cut it, so she is chopped.

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

Reaching to Germany for Inspiration

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.

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

Failed French Confections

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.

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

Round 3 Champion

His creativity with the basket ingredients and his expert execution in all three rounds sealed Scott's fate as the winner of the judges' round, and the win guaranteed him the third spot in the All-Stars finale for a chance at winning $50,000 for charity.

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

Still Friends

Find out more about what it was like competing for these two fellow judges. Read the interviews from both Chef Scott and Chef Amanda on FN dish.

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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