Chopped Grill Masters, Season 2: Finale in Review

See highlights from the finale of the Grill Masters tournament, and find out which competitor won $50,000 and the title of Grand Champion.
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Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Winning Is So Close, But Still So Far Away

In this final round, the winners of the four preliminary Grill Masters rounds — Leslie Roark Scott, Stan Hays, Chris Hart and Angie Mar — are taking on the baskets for a chance to win $50,000. In the appetizer round they'll have to cook with rattlesnake, lemonade iced tea, Japanese eggplants and hushpuppies.

Switching Up Perceptions

"I have never competed before," Angie says, surprised to have gotten this far in the competition. The judges assume she'll be smoking her protein like last time, but Angie decides to instead smoke the eggplant over cherrywood chips. "I'm very straightforward," she says of her style of cooking, doing as little as possible to allow the food to speak for itself.

Creative Solutions at Every Turn

"I'm anxious, but I'm going to stay true to who I am," says Stan, grilling the rattlesnake in a foil packet with BBQ sauce he made using the iced tea and pureed hushpuppies. "I have more skills than just BBQ. I've got creativity and versatility," he says, also using the iced tea to make a vinaigrette with Asian hot sauce, molasses and rice wine vinegar.

Forget Me Not

"I'm going to kill it today," says Chris, concentrating on the protein at hand, which has been his strong suit so far. But this time he's making sure not to forget an ingredient, which was his only fault last time. "My BBQ sauce, I think, will do the trick," Chris says of his odds of winning. He starts with a gastrique base and combines it with the iced tea to make the sauce.

Rattled by a Realization

"If I can conquer rattlesnake, I can win this," says Leslie. But she soon realizes she has no idea how it's supposed to be when it's cooked through; in case it's dry, she uses the iced tea to lend some moisture. "I'll be damned if rattlesnake will cost me $50,000," she says. She plates it over her bed of grilled hushpuppy croutons and eggplant.

Four Very Different Takes on Hushpuppies

"It blows my mind," Scott Conant says of Angie's transformation of the hushpuppies into something like bulgur. Conversely, judge Chris Santos compares competitor Chris' dish to "a wet sponge." Stan had a unique take on the ingredient, using it to thicken his barbecue sauce, which Scott called "really smart." Leslie, though, did the least, presenting them as croutons. "They just kind of are neglected," Alex Guarnaschelli tells her. Leslie is chopped.

Curry in a Hurry

For their entrees, the grillers must use goat, rainbow carrots, watermelon and kokoretsi, with 40 minutes to cook. "The Chopped kitchen feels laser-focused," says Chris, who knows he has to give the judges an innovative dish. He decides on a curry, which he has cooking on the gas grill under the reheating kokoretsi, so that all the drippings are captured.

Bestial Reactions 

"I want to make sure that goat leg is perfect," Stan says, leaving it to cook until the last minute. Once again he makes a BBQ sauce, this time using ketchup, whole-grain mustard and balsamic vinegar to go on the meat. "This is so good ... I want to, like, kiss you, throw you down, kick you, and then make love to you," Scott exclaims after tasting Stan's goat.

Animalistic Intentions

"This is what I do: whole animal cooking," says Angie of her restaurant experience. She smokes the goat legs over applewood chips and grills the cavity stuffed with lemon and oregano. She transforms the kokoretsi into a condiment using mascarpone. "Come hell or high water, I'm getting the loin off this goat," she says when plating the meat.

Creativity Doesn't Always Cut It

"By far the most-creative thing anybody's done in this round," Alex says of Angie's kokoretsi pate. And despite Scott's love for Stan's lamb, Alex finds Stan's taco has no place on the plate. And although Chris is praised for his creative way of making the curry, Scott finds "there's just too much coconut milk." It's the reason why the judges decide to chop him.

Whose Advantage Outweighs the Other's?

Stan and Angie advance to the dessert round, facing baskets containing dragon fruit, pancakes, lemon meringue pie and jalapenos. "Stan's jam is the grill, but on the other hand, Angie may have a big bag of tricks, because she's a restaurant chef," Alex says, analyzing the remaining competitors and weighing each's advantages.

Whipped by Dessert

"I want to make a pudding out of the lemon meringue," says Stan, adding cream and hoping it whips up in the food processor. But even after two tries he still doesn't get the desired consistency. "I can make it work," he says, admitting he's not usually the one to cook desserts — his wife generally does that in the barbecue competition circuit.

Bringing the Heat

"But it's a grilling competition, not a barbecuing competition," says Angie. "I'm ready to beat Stan." She's grilling the dragon fruit and smoking honey with mesquite chips and flavoring it with the jalapeno. "I love a little bit of heat," she says. "I love the dish that I put out," she says, believing her grilled dragon fruit with lemon ricotta puree is more refined.

Expectations and Emotions Run High

"The bottom of these pancakes are, like, crispy," Chris comments on Stan's pancake cookie with pudding sauce dessert. Scott disagrees, saying, "There was an opportunity to do something else." Considering Angie's dish, Alex thinks "the black pepper eclipses the jalapeno" and finds the ricotta is misplaced. The two finalists share an emotional moment before they find out Stan is chopped.

The Chopped Grill Masters Grand Champion

"That means, Chef Angie Mar, that you have won our Grill Masters tournament," Ted Allen announces. "You are now a Chopped Grand Champion. The prize, $50,000." Angie tells the judges, "I was really determined." She adds, "I feel like I really earned it."

More Grill Masters

Browse photos of the competition, catch up on the previous rounds and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the set.

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