Here, Fishy Fishy: The Judges' Take on the All-Stars' Appetizer Basket — Chopped After Hours
David Lang, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Four celebrated chefs made it into tonight's Chopped All-Stars finale, taking on the mystery baskets for a chance to win $75,000 for charity. The appetizer round presented them with fish carcass, tasso ham, Calabrian chiles and purple potatoes. And after the episode, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant decided to take on those same baskets. "It's always a blast when you all leave the judging table," Ted tells the judges. "It's a blast for you, because you get to point and laugh at us," Scott replies. "I think after all this time these might be my two favorite boyfriends that I have," Alex says playfully, situated between Geoffrey and Scott. "You guys are our original gangsters," Ted adds.
"A lot of Americans would look at this as garbage," Ted says, pointing to the fish carcass, which includes a fish head. "This particular fish carcass is cod and a catfish head," says Geoffrey. "I love how you say that," says Scott, poking fun at how Geoffrey pronounces "cod." He points out that most people would probably want to turn the bones into a broth, but with the time constraints it may not be the right choice. "I am dying to cook this," adds Scott as Ted gives them 20 minutes to create a dish.
"Whoa, there's fish shrapnel going on here," says Ted as all three judges get going on breaking down the carcass into more-manageable pieces and picking it for any remnants of meat. "I am going to make a soup of spring onions and ramps," says Scott, deciding to not necessarily heed his own advice, but he's adding shrimp to fortify the amount of seafood.
"I am trying to think about presentation," Alex tells Ted about the vol-au-vent, or puff pastry cups, she's preparing for the oven. In making them she's got a particular plan of action: "Whatever's on the plate, if it looks good I can just judge myself and say that it was really good." Scott interjects, "By the way, she's been wrong before."
Geoffrey describes his dish to Ted by saying, "I'm just making [something] between a fish stew and a ratatouille in soup form." However, there was one ingredient he didn't utilize to its full extent. "I didn't use the tasso ham, I just used the fat," he says, explaining that he didn't want the "dry and chewy" bits of the ham. "I think you're Chopped," Alex pointedly tells him as Geoffrey throws down his spoon and walks out.
Watch the video above and then browse behind-the-scenes images for an insider's look at the cooking.
Start a conversation with fellow fans and tell FN Dish in the comments below how you would have approached this basket: What would you make out of fish carcass, tasso ham, Calabrian chiles and purple potatoes?
Catch up on past Chopped After Hours episodes by watching all the Web-exclusive battles online.