Chopped Teen Tournament: Part 2 Highlights

Browse behind-the-scenes moments from Part 2 of the Chopped Teen Tournament and find out who will advance to the finale.
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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.

It's On to Round 2

In this second preliminary round of the Teen Tournament, Lucy, Eyan, Mikayla and Dante 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 jumbo shrimp, chunky peanut butter, jalapenos and sticky rice.

Getting Out of a Sticky Situation

At first, Dante is flummoxed by the sticky rice, but he decides on making shrimp curry risotto. "A good curry needs a good, thick stock," he says, so he uses the peanut butter as a thickener. He surprises the judges by plating his dish with tweezer tongs, as precision is something his mentor instilled in him.

Working Outside of Her Comfort Zone

Mikayla feels most comfortable in the kitchen, but the one thing she doesn't like is seafood, because "it tastes like the sea." She's going to have to face her aversion when it comes to shrimp, which she decides to saute. She blends peanut butter, jalapenos and chipotles for her dipping sauce.

Overexcited and Overachieving

In his own words, Eyan is "geeking out," excited to cook for the judges, but it might be distracting him from the task at hand. He doesn't clean all the shrimp and initially forgets to use a binder in his rice cakes. "Trying to bring in my robotics background," he says, he tries to plate the shrimp upright, but it falls flat.

Heating Up the Kitchen

Originally from New Mexico, Lucy isn't afraid of heat, proclaiming "spicy food runs in my veins." She turns the jalapenos into poppers and serves them with grilled shrimp, peanut butter rice balls and jalapeno sauce. But she may have left the shrimp on the grill for far too long, as Geoffrey points out.

Blown Away in a Bad Way

All four teens had issues with cleaning their shrimp — only Geoffrey received properly deveined ones in Eyan's dish. But the deciding factor came to be the level of heat: The judges decide to chop Mikayla's dish, which "just blew away your palate," said Amanda of Mikayla's use of both jalapeno and chipotle.

Entree Basket

The dishes must include frog's legs, mafaldine, bok choy and lobster mushrooms.

Leg Up on the Competition

Luckily, Dante has practiced cooking frog's legs before, so he's excited to show off his skills and make his mentor proud. He decides to debone them for his pasta dish, which will include all the basket ingredients, plus bacon for added flavor. "I know I have to kill it and add as much flavor as I can," he says.

Technically Challenged

Eyan decides to show off by risking using three of the basket ingredients (bok choy, lobster mushrooms and mafaldine) to make one component: gnocchi. Taking an even bigger risk, he wants to use the smoking gun, he says "to transport the person eating the dish into the forest," but he can't get it to light.

At Least One Leg to Stand On

Even though she's never cooked frog's legs, Lucy isn't scared to "stand out," she says, and so she decides to make them two ways to cover all bases. But the batch she's searing sticks to the pan, so she pours her blender tomato sauce over them, not realizing bone-in frog's legs might be hazardous to eat in a pasta dish.

Learn to Always Put the Cooking First

Though all the dishes impressed the judges, some were more successful than others. Unfortunately, Eyan took so much time making gnocchi that he burned his frog's legs. "I love the way Eyan put his neck out there creativity-wise," says Marc. But in the end,  Eyan's chopped because he neglected the cooking.

Dessert Basket

The dishes must include black-and-white cookies, fruit leather strips, cashews and agave nectar.

Lucy's "Molecular Playground"

Lucy is looking forward to showing off her molecular side in the final round. "Desserts definitely allow me to have fun," she says. Using agar-agar, she transforms the fruit leathers into a gel. Next, she blends the black-and-white cookies with milk and tapioca maltodextrin to create a pudding-like sauce.

Knowing When to Turn to Plan B

Dante's strategy, he says, is to "try something new" to push himself "over the edge." He starts by cooking the fruit leather into a compote with fresh fruit, to fill spring rolls. Unfortunately they explode in the fryer, so he switches gears and makes fritters, served with cashew-and-cookie crumbs and agave caramel sauce.

The Definition of Dessert

Even though Lucy showed creative confidence in her dessert, it lacked a center, consisting of just two sauces and a brittle. "I didn't feel like I was eating a dessert," says Marc. Dante's fritter, on the other hand, proved he could come up with a successful dish halfway through the round after his first attempt failed.

And the Winner of Round 2 Is ...

Dante secures the second spot in the grand finale, where he'll compete with the winners of the three other rounds for the title of champion, $25,000 in prize money and a $40,000 culinary school scholarship. "I've been waiting for this all my life," he says overjoyed with excitement, "and I'm bringing it all to the finale."

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