Chopped's Most Dramatic Wins and Losses

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2013,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

International Victory

Chef Luisa Fernandes moved from Portugal to the Unites States with no friends, no money, and no English. Now, as the executive chef of a New York City restaurant, Luisa is out to prove that regardless of the hardship she may have encountered earlier in life, she has the culinary capability to win Chopped. When she succeeds, she couldn’t be happier.

After competing in a tournament of 16 phenomenal chefs, Madison Cowen and Jason Zukas battle it out in the dessert round for the title of Chopped Champion and a prize of $50,000. Both chefs, and the judges, are understandably emotional at the final chopping, and even more so when the winning competitor’s daughter makes a surprise appearance.

Were she to win this episode of Chopped Redemption, Chef Yoanne Magris has a specific use in mind for her potential Chopped winnings: she wants to fly home to France to visit her ill grandmother. After already losing Chopped once, this may be her last chance to earn the money, and Yoanna powers through severe burns in order to win. Sadly, Yoanne is chopped in the final round, but winner Lance Nitahara is so moved by her story that he offers to use his own winnings to buy her plane ticket home.

Shania Thomas enters the first-ever teenage-edition of Chopped to honor her late brother, who always encouraged her to follow her dreams of becoming a chef, and prove that she has what it takes to stand on her own two feet. After battling three other talented teenagers, she does just that, taking home the win to make her brother proud.

Chef Chris Burke is confident in his dessert and ready to beat out his competitor to take home the $10,000. When the judges aren’t as pleased as he expects, however, Chris gets chopped, and doesn’t react well. His response? To throw his apron in a dumpster on his way out.

As all Chopped chefs know, hearing harsh criticism from the judges is hard – and being Chopped is even harder. While most competitors take it in stride, Chef Malik Fall doesn’t take his chopping lying down. He’s livid when the judges tell him to be more humble, curses, and storms off the set.

Both Chefs Ernest Servantes and Kent Rollins come from humble beginnings, so the possibility of winning $50,000 in the Chopped Grill Masters Tournament makes this finale a pressure-filled fight to the finish. As the judges have grown close to both competitors, the final chopping comes with a tear-jerking goodbye for one Chef, and an equally emotional win for the other.

Keith Young’s late wife always encouraged him to cook, so when he competes among four dads on this amateur-chef episode of Chopped, he wants to win for her and to show his kids that he’s getting his footing back after her passing. When he finally makes it to the final round and wins the title of Chopped champion, Keith is understandably emotional and expresses how lucky he is to be a dad.

Want More of Chopped?

Check out Food Network’s Chopped headquarters for full episodes, plus the insider scoop on Chopped judges.