The chefs get a special tool in the basket to help them bust apart a challenging ingredient: a giant jawbreaker. The judges hope the shards-of-candy appetizers do not cause them any harm! Then a trendy pastry meets a North African stew in the second basket. And rosemary and ginger must be combined in the desserts.
With chocolate in every basket of this themed competition, the chefs must figure out how to make this perennial dessert favorite work in the first two, savory, courses. Then the two competitors who make it to the end must find a way to combine two chocolate ingredients with cherries and a German layer cake.
Four talented teenaged chefs bring their energy and ambition to the Chopped Kitchen! With a $40,000 scholarship on the line, the young competitors open up the first basket and find a sweet drink and a juicy fruit. Then in the entree round, the teen chefs are given some super sophisticated ingredients. And breakfast-like ingredients give the final two teens a rude awakening in the dessert round.
The firefighter competitors get the meal started with some hearty meat-and-cheese appetizers that would be a hit back at their firehouses, but will the judges enjoy them? Then in the entree round, some big errors with a non-basket-ingredient gets one of the judges inordinately upset. And playing with fire is part of the challenge in the final round.
When the clock starts ticking down from 20 minutes, the chefs must rush to make appetizers with pickled pigs' feet and sweet potato chips. And one chef doesn't realize they've made a potentially costly mistake until it's too late. Then in the entree round, the competitors must try to make pie work with venison. And the two finalists come up with similar ideas for their desserts, but which dish will the judges prefer?
Time to shake things up in a big/small way as the chefs find out that this competition has a tapas theme. In the first round, the baskets contain some beautiful Spanish ingredients, including gazpacho. In the entree round, one chef makes an alarming choice after accidentally starting a small fire. And the two competitors who move on to the dessert round, featuring catalan creme, try to make mini creations bursting with flavor.
The chefs must make use of ingredients that are usually thrown out, for being imperfect, overripe or stale. For example, the first basket includes juicer pulp and tea bags. Then in the second round, the competitors have to get creative with a little bit of salad dressing and some paltry scraps of poultry. And the finalists get some often-tossed portions of a fruit and the peels of a veggie to work into their desserts.
The chefs learn that they will be making hamburgers, in some shape or form, for every round, starting with veal burgers for appetizers. Then in the entree round a little quail egg causes a big headache for some of the competitors. And who's ever heard of a dessert burger?
The chefs learn they will be expected to make a pizza perfect meal. In the first round one of the competitors takes a loose interpretation of the theme: How will the judges react? Then some unusual toppings must make their way onto the entree pizzas. And the finalists must make pizza for dessert, with candied mushrooms and salted caramel sauce.
The chefs get some great news before the cooking begins: bacon will be in every basket! In the first one, they find Mangalista bacon and apple chips. Then in the second round, the judges watch to see if the competitors will be able to make dried cherries work with their pork entrees. French toast and bacon are a breakfast classic, but can the final two chefs manage to transform these mystery ingredients into dessert?
The chefs battle for the lead in the first round, as they try to figure out what to do with a potent ingredient: so-called 100-year-old eggs! Then in the second round, mango pudding must make its way into the competitors' main course dishes. And with waffle cones in the final basket, will either chef make ice cream for dessert?