For the fourth battle of Alton's Challenge, Alton Brown demonstrates the mad science of champagne, and the competitors embrace a fermentation theme. A strange, stringy Japanese specialty is the talk of the entree round, then an unusual cake inspires some unusual choices in the dessert round.
Alton Brown is taking over the Chopped Kitchen for an epic five-part tournament! With $50,000 on the line, the first four chefs bravely take on his challenge. For this first battle, Alton demonstrates the science behind smoking foods, and the chefs are encouraged to infuse every dish with smoky flavor. Tiny radishes and a strangely savory cookie are in the mix for round one. Alton whips up a signature smoked item for the second basket, then an exotic drink is the smoky component in basket number three.
In the second Alton's Challenge battle, there's a dehydration theme for the baskets, and Alton Brown demonstrates a home hack that makes removing moisture from food a breeze. The first round has the chefs making quick use of instant mashed potatoes, then an Alton specialty is one of the mandatory ingredients for the entree round. A diabolical dessert basket has the chefs scrambling to make dehydrated eggs work in their final plates.
The chefs explore the wonders of molecular gastronomy in the third Alton's Challenge battle. Making a powder from a fat and clearing up the problem with transparent ravioli are some of the struggles in round one. In the entree round, the chefs get lamb cooked with a modernist method and some new age noodles. Then, a cake that looks and tastes like a drop of water gives the last pair of chefs a perplexing puzzle to solve for dessert.
Expect the ultimate in brainy, zany baskets from Alton Brown, as four Challenge champions return to fight for $50,000! Ingredients harken back to the themes of the preliminary battles: molecular gastronomy, smoke, dehydration and fermentation. In the first round, a small fish and a strange condiment puzzle the champs. A stunningly-presented protein and a jar of something stinky are in the entree basket. Finally, Alton makes a grand entrance in the dessert round to demonstrate the science of one of the ingredients, before an unprecedented turn of events.
To honor the wonderful women who raised them right, four famous Food Network cooks -- Ted Allen, Jeff Mauro, Jet Tila and Chris Santos -- compete with their moms! In the first round, the mother/son teams strive to manage their time and to carefully crack quail eggs. A large fish and some lovely lemons make up part of the second basket. Then, the final two family duos must find sweet ways to use blood oranges and walnuts.
Four bold female bakers attempt to rise to the challenge and clinch a $10,000 victory. A dough typically used for flatbreads and a strong-tasting melon are two of the mystery basket items in round one. A different dough is at the center of the second basket, prompting the competitors to bake again. Then, the two women who make it to the dessert round jump at the chance to show off their pastry skills in final dishes featuring a marshmallow spread and lemon balm.
In the first round, the chefs must make lamb appetizers that include a trendy toast, and one competitor gets a little overzealous trying to make his plates pretty. Poultry and snap peas are part of the round two challenge, then the competitors do their best with fruits and a fermented beverage in the dessert round.
No ovens? No problem! The chefs give the grill pans a major workout in this special competition, where they must get grillin' from the get-go. The group makes sausage appetizers that must also include a fruity beverage. A beautiful open-faced sandwich meets a diminutive veggie in the entree basket, then the two competitors left to grill dessert face a basket that includes a boozy marshmallow and a bag of nuts.
Who could ask for a better teammate in the Chopped Kitchen than good ol' Dad? Four fathers join forces with their grown-up kids to make collaborative dishes and to make their families proud. A thematic cookie in the first basket gets a laugh, then the salmon in the second basket seems simple but creates some problems. In the dessert round, an unusual flavor of gelato presents the final father/kid pairs with a challenge.
The chefs race to figure out what to do with a seafood product and some boozy veggies in the first round. Then, the judges must decide who's got the chops to get goat chops just right in the second round. Finally, a tough dessert basket, which includes a cheese and a vegetable, keeps the finalists scrambling to the end.
The chefs imagine they're making a memorable meal for a backyard party in this cookout competition. A wacky hybrid protein and a ketchup stand-in are two of the ingredients the competitors must work into appetizers. Burger fixings but no beef in the second basket force the chefs to get creative, then a clever edible centerpiece meets a crunchy snack in the dessert basket.
The chefs learn that their competition has a potato theme, with spuds of some kind in every basket! The chefs must incorporate two tater products into their Canadian bacon appetizers. In a wild round two, chili fries find their way to a blender and a whole potato finds its way to the deep fryer. Then, sweet potato pie meets toffee in the dessert basket.