Top Moments of Chopped After Hours: Mix and Mache

The Chopped judges take on an entree basket of daikon, squid, lobster bisque and baby leeks on Chopped After Hours: Mix and Mache.

Seafood and Vegetables

After watching three chefs tackle the entree round, Chopped judges Alex Alex Guarnaschelli, Aarón Sánchez and Marcus Samuelsson try their hands at the same ingredients with 30 minutes on the clock. "I think it's a booby trap perfect for a Chopped basket," Alex says of the combination.

Spotlight On: Sauce

Aarón wastes no time transforming these ingredients, his first step being to create a sauce that integrates the lobster bisque with fresh produce like tomatoes, onions and guajillo peppers. He plans to serve sausage-stuffed squid atop this smooth, rich mixture. "I think it's safe to say mine's going to be the most delicious," he jokingly tells guest judge Amanda.

Bisque, Reimagined

Marcus uses the prepared bisque in the basket to form the base of his remade bisque, boasting tangy yogurt and lime, plus potatoes, daikon and leeks. "I want to go completely, completely the other way around," he says of his plan compared to that of the other judges.

Known Risks

The judges are given two different parts of the squid — the tentacles and the rings. Alex sets off to feature both in her dish with grilled leeks and basil. "It's very fickle and it overcooks really quickly," she says of the squid, which will be rounded out with a simple marinara sauce of grilled tomatoes.

Moral Support

Amanda doesn't hesitate to lend a hand to her peers in the kitchen; she wipes Marcus' brow when he becomes overheated in the kitchen, and she even gathers plates for him and Aarón when time's ticking away in the competition.

French Fare

After tasting Aarón's entree, Alex is quick to tell him, "I just love how French this is in sensibility." She commends him on being able to discern "all of your different sides of your training," while Amanda notes that his lobster bisque-based sauce is "completely changing the ingredient" for the better.

Close Call

Although Alex admits to "completely freaking out," she indeed completes her dish successfully and presents the group with a rustic meal of crispy cumin-dusted squid. "I went for what I actually really wanted to eat," she says. Marcus tells her that he doesn't notice the lobster bisque in her dish and adds, "I think that's a good job of actually disguising this very difficult ingredient."

First Bites

"This broth will hopefully taste deeper and better as you get into it," Marcus tells the group as they taste his potato-studded bisque with daikon and grilled lime. He explains that the prepared lobster bisque was particularly challenging for him and that he added sourness to the creamy concoction in the form of yogurt and wine. Aarón deems the dish "completely complex" and "so intense" after tasting.

Safe From the Chopping Block

"I wouldn't know who to send home, so we're all going to stay," Amanda tells the judges as they raise a glass to the competition after another round of After Hours in the kitchen.

Watch More Chopped After Hours

Catch up on previous After Hours Web-exclusive videos, then visit Food Network's Chopped page for more insider coverage of the show.

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