The judges have high hopes for this group of up-and-coming chefs, but there is some sloppy work in the appetizer round when the contestants must work with whole calamari. In the entree round, the three remaining chefs have various degrees of success with bison meat. And in the last round, the two finalists make ambitious plans to create difficult ancho chili desserts within the 30-minute time limit.
Pride is on the plate as the chefs seek to represent their cultural heritage through distinctive duck appetizers. Then in the entree round, when one chef invents a very creative use for Serrano ham, will it be outstanding enough to get the judges to forgive a serious mistake?
In the appetizer round the chefs are challenged by edamame, shrimp, and problems with time management. Then, when the three remaining chefs put their signature styles into flank steak entrees, the judges have a difficult choice to make.
The judges are impressed when one of the contestants falters in the appetizer round but, nonetheless, sticks to a bold plan for a Merquez sausage dish. With liquor in the entree basket, the flames fly high, but when the adrenaline rush is over, it's the artful presentations that garner attention. Then in the final round, finding a way to make a dessert with honeydew would be no problem, except that the three other items in the mystery basket make it one of the most difficult challenges in Chopped history.
New Season Premieres Mon., Dec. 11 8|7c