Season 14, Episode 4

Chopped Champions: Part 4

Four new returning winners battle for the single place remaining in the $50,000 Chopped Champions grand finale. In the first round, the chefs must shake things up with sour apple martini mix in the basket. Then with an imposing cut of meat and a sweet wine in the entree round, the champions aim to keep the creativity level high. And after the judges taste two very different desserts made from corn nut and Marashino cherry desserts, which champion will you be cheering for?
See Tune-In Times

Previous Episode

Chopped Champions: Part 3

Next Episode

Chopped Champions: Finale

Photos of the Episode

See All Photos

Early Out

At the start of the battle, Chef Kris Wessel and his competitors open their appetizer-round baskets to find sour apple martini mix, fennel, mortadella and white asparagus. With these, Chef Kris makes poached eggs with steamed asparagus and rendered mortadella, although he's ultimately chopped after the first round, on account of flavors that Judge Amanda Freitag deems "not enough."

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

The First of Many Machines

Just moments into the battle, Chef Rob Evans begins work with a machine — this time a juicer — which will come to define his second appearance on Chopped. Here he juices tart green apples to infuse freshness into the sour apple martini mix, which will be featured in a deconstructed vinaigrette atop blanched asparagus and pickled fennel.

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

Expecting More

Despite the stellar presentation of Chef Helen's asparagus and fennel salad, Judge Alex Guarnaschelli questions whether it's worthy of a Champions battle, and Chef Helen tells her, "Do I think it's a $50,000 dish? No, but I think it's the beginning of a $50,000 meal."

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

Embracing Fennel

For his appetizer, Chef Jean-Louis prepares a coulis made with both the bulb and greens of the fennel, plus grilled asparagus and sauteed mortadella. Although Chef Amanda calls the meat "a little clunky," she says that the coulis "just screamed classical," and he ultimately advances to the entree round with Chefs Rob and Helen.

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

Entree Ingredients Revealed

In their entree baskets, the remaining champions meet their first mandatory raw protein, this time calves' liver, which is paired with fava greens, honey wine and halloumi cheese.

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

Liver 2.0

After working with chicken liver in his previous Chopped competition, Chef Jean-Louis is surprised to find something similar this round. Here he sears the liver without breading and serves it with sauteed greens and a mushroom-honey wine sauce that Judge Aarón Sanchez says "really keeps the liver moist."

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

New Approach

"This dish is going to be more based on building the flavors as opposed to an architectural structure," Chef Helen says of her entree, fideo — a Mediterranean noodle dish — with a caramel-honey wine sauce and sauteed calves' liver.

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

Side Dish Successes

Although the judges aren't wowed by Chef Rob's overcooked liver, the flavors of his chili-honey wine gastrique, fried halloumi and onion-rice fritters impress the panel. "The combination of the rosemary and the honey with the fried cheese and the fava greens is great," Judge Alex tells Chef Rob, who ultimately survives to cook in the third and final round.

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

Still Not Enough

After tasting Chef Helen's dish, the judges agree that her entree is indeed riskier than her appetizer, but they question the flavor of the sauce. She's ultimately chopped just one course before dessert given that "some elements didn't really come together" and that her sauce is "too sweet," according to Judge Aarón.

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

Special Equipment

With such mandatory basket ingredients as maraschino cherries, Greek yogurt, canned espresso and corn nuts, Chef Rob starts prepping an espresso trifle topped with a corn-nut crumble and yogurt mousse which he smokes with a smoking gun. "My goal is to stun the judges and give myself a creative edge, which has helped me through this whole competition," he explains.

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

Chocolate Indulgence

"I'm doing a crumble because I can bring a whole bunch of tastes together," Chef Jean-Louis explains of his dessert, a cherry-corn nut crumble made with lady finger cookies, breadcrumbs and chocolate and served with chocolate sauce and fresh oranges.

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

Decision Time

The judges agree that both chefs brought their "A" games to the dessert round with top-notch dishes. "If this were a contest based solely on taste, it was a tie," Judge Alex explains. In the end, the panel decides that Chef Rob's creativity throughout the competition earned him the opportunity to compete in the Grand Finale battle.

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

On To the Finale

Outcooking another competition's worth of Chopped competitors, Chef Rob Evans has scored the fourth and final spot in the Grand Finale battle, where he will compete for $50,000 and the title of Chopped Grand Champion. "I'm ready to take it," he says of the upcoming showdown. "I'm not going to let anyone get in my way."

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

Find Out More About Chopped

Visit Food Network's Chopped headquarters for more insider coverage of the show.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30pm | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

8pm | 7c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Chopped

3am | 2c

Mystery Diners

4:30am | 3:30c

Iron Chef Showdown