Chopped Teen Tournament: Part 1 Highlights

Browse behind-the-scenes moments from Part 1 of the Chopped Teen Tournament and find out who will advance to the finale.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Round 1 Begins

In this first preliminary round of the Teen Tournament, Alexandria, Jason, Jay and Ashley are battling for a place in the finale, where they'll have a chance to win $25,000 in prize money, a coveted culinary school scholarship worth $40,000 and the title of champion.

Appetizer Basket

The dishes must include cherry drink-soaked pickles, lamb loin chops, kale chips and ricotta salata.

Proving He's Got the Chops

As the youngest of the group, Jason feels the pressure to prove he's not intimidated. He seasons the loin chops before grilling them and decides to make a bitter green salad on the side along with a dressing using the pickle brine. "This is a lot harder than I thought," he says as he realizes his lamb isn't cooking through.

With a Spring in Her Step

Ashley picks a spring theme for her dish, deciding to make lamb spring rolls. She softens the rice wrappers in water, and she surprises herself at how well the rolls are turning out for her first time attempting them. But she realizes too late something is missing: "I have spring rolls with no sauce," she says.

Nothing's Going to Stop Her

Alexandria accidentally cuts herself at the beginning of the round but doesn't let it get her down: "I just need to focus and keep on cooking," she says. Concentrating on her plating, she tops the seared lamb with a kale and pickle salad, as well as a gremolata she made out of the ricotta salata and citrus zest.

Lamb. Pork. Close Enough

Jay has never worked with lamb, so he says, "I'm gonna treat it like pork." He decides to sear it and serve it with kale and ricotta salata hash. He turns the pickle brine into a sauce by reducing it and blending it with rum, Worcestershire and peanut butter.

Outcooked by Her Competition

In the end, overcooked lamb was the deciding factor. Jason's last-minute effort to get his lamb cooked through in the oven gave him perfectly cooked lamb. And Jay cooked his well too. But, despite her elegant plating, which Amanda praised, Alexandria's lamb is overcooked and she's chopped.

Entree Basket

The dishes must include mahi mahi, cookie snack chips, green beans and french fries.

Taking Precautions, But Not So Seriously

Ashley immediately dives into removing the pin bones from the fish to ensure the judges don't choke on any. She jokes: "I admire these people. Let's not send them to the ER." She decides to make cookie-crusted mahi mahi with a hash. For a side, she starts a rice pilaf, but there's no time to get it cooked.

Crumbling Under Pressure — Or Not

Jason is also pairing his mahi mahi with a hash, which includes the french fries, green beans and cookies he's pulverized. But he feels it's lacking. "I'm worried that my dish is incomplete," he says, "so I just throw cookies on the plate." But it's a decision that will come back to bite him.

Not Every Invention Is a Good Invention

Like in the previous round, Jay decides to make another hash, but seeing that his competitors are going that route also, he decides to turn his green beans and cookie chips into a sauce. "Wow, that really works together," he says when he tastes his concoction, but he may be alone on that assessment.

A Few Crumbs of Wisdom

The judges find Jay's sauces don't work in this instance. Marc explains, "They have to be able to dance the same dance." Jason's cookie garnish doesn't go over well, and Geoffrey thinks a sauce would have been a better use for them. But in the end, it's Ashley's burnt hash that puts her dish on the Chopping Block.

Dessert Basket

The dishes must include a gourmet frozen yogurt sundae, white balsamic vinegar, puffed rice cereal bars and dulce de leche.

Smart Move or Misstep

Jason feels extra confident this round; he says, "I think the judges can actually see that I can cook." He chooses to make a sundae and macerates berries in the balsamic vinegar. He turns the cereal bars and dulce de leche into a cake. But he does not transform the frozen yogurt.

Making Mom Proud

Jay is excited to see dulce de leche, a familiar ingredient, in the basket. He transforms it and the frozen yogurt into a caramel sauce that he dips the cereal bars into. He whips the frozen yogurt into a cream. "This is a dessert I would make my mom," he says. "I can sense her feeling happy for me."

It All Comes Down to One Ingredient

The judges really like Jason's dish, but the fact that he didn't transform the frozen yogurt doesn't go unnoticed: "I would have liked to have seen a bit more effort," says Geoffrey. Jay's use of the frozen yogurt as a whipped cream unfortunately turned out "jarring," says Geoffrey, because of too much salt.

Round 1 Goes To ...

Jason secures the first spot in the grand finale, where he'll compete with the winners of the next three rounds for the title of champion, $25,000 in prize money and a $40,000 culinary school scholarship. "I thought I was gonna go home the first round," Jason says. "I learned I'm good at being under pressure."

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