TV Episodes The Best Chopped Episodes  

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List Rules Vote for your favorite Chopped episodes, no matter how popular they are.

List of the best Chopped episodes, as determined by voters like you. Chopped is a reality cooking competition hosted by Ted Allen. With all the amazing episodes of the show that exist, it's hard to trust just one person's opinion of what the top Chopped episodes of all time are. Featuring many entertaining celebrity chefs, Chopped ranks number one on best cooking competition shows. Fans of Chopped are very passionate about the show, and there are often debates over which episodes are the greatest. That's why this list exists- so you can vote for your favorites and we can find out once and for all what everyone thinks the best episode is.

Examples of episodes on this list include "Mussels Mastery & Cotton Candy Can Do" and "Sweet Second Chance!" What is the best Chopped episode of all time? Look below and find out.

list ordered by

313 17
Chopped: Season 8, Episode 3 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Sweet Second Chance! Jul 26 2011 One of the most intensely emotional Chopped episodes with a great champion and a heartwarming and inspirational finish. There is also a nasty accident that befalls one of the contestants as she is dashing around during an ultra intense dessert round.  This episode also features some of the most innovative and daring cooking ever seen on the show.  In addition this episode featured two chefs returning to a rivalry from the (great and sometimes nasty) Rattle and Roll episode.   Great stuff!  Featured contestants were Chefs Chris Coombs, Yoanne Magris, Lance Nitahara and Siggy Sollitto.  Chopped, no more! Four previously-defeated chefs get a second chance at the $10,000 prize! Coming into this competition they could not have wanted a victory more, but will they want to call it ...more

135 6
Chopped: Season 9, Episode 13 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Class Acts Nov 22 2011 The first episode to feature cafeteria workers competing in this culinary contest.  The episode goes into some detail about  the heroic work that each of these women does everyday to feed schoolchildren nutritious food in the face of difficult circumstances.  A heartening episode full of good feeling.  White House chef Sam Kass joins Amanda Freitag and Marc Murphy as a judges for this episode.   The chefs featured in this episode were Cheryl Barbara, Rhonda Deloach, Dianne Houlihan and Arlene Leggio. Class is in session in the Chopped kitchen! Four school cafeteria chefs compete to raise awareness about the importance of good meals for kids. With White House chef Sam Kass as a guest judge, ...more

170 9
Class Acts, Too is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added September 25, 2012

The second of the two cafeteria episodes.  Sam Kass of the White House staff returns as a judge joining Scott Conant and Alex Guarneschelli.  This episode might beat the original.  All the contestants are vivid personalities who cook up a storm.  None of them seem to deserve chopping so when the finale comes and the 2,3,4 places receive $5,000 each as well as a trip to the White House garden (along with the contestants from Class Acts) it seems truly fitting for these heroic women who make a difference in children's lives.  A real winner all around!! The contestants in this episode (in alphabetical order) are: Terry Accaira, Shannon Solomon, Lynnette Thomas, Cindy Tinnel.

97 4
Sunny Side Apps is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added June 5, 2012 In a Chopped rarity, all four contestants are men and a real bromance starts brewing between two of the chefs.  Add to that the delightful Chef Tony Kang who openly admits to attempting to woo judge Amanda Freitag because of a crush he has on her.  Also there is some terrific cooking as some dazzling food is served utilizing the candy that is in each round's baskets  Participating are Chefs Cory Bahr, Brian Howard, Jesse Kramer and Tony Kang.

80 3
Chopped: Season 10, Episode 5 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Redemption Competition Jan 24 2012 As always the stakes in a redemption competition are high.  No one wants to get chopped twice although that's exactly what has to happen to three of the competitors.  The rivalry between Chefs Sammy Davis Jr. and Tryg Siverson fuels a showdown that results in what some fans have called the best Chopped reaction of all time.   Chef Tryg has a big personality, arrogance and talent and he likes to flaunt all these attributes.  This rubs Chef Sammy the wrong way, so he tries to sabotage Chef Tryg and openly declares his hostility.  Meanwhile, the colorful and fiery Chef Anna Maria Santorelli who had a horrible knife accident in her initial episode, is back for vindication.  Finally the likable Michelle Firlit-Garcia manages to buffer the clash between the other chefs.  In addition to the personality wars, there are interesting baskets,  Sweetbreads and strawberry popsicles show up in the opening round and plum tomatoes, pasta sheets, white chocolate and basil make for a very tough dessert basket. Back to take it! Four previous Chopped runners-up compete to see which one can finally walk away the winner. The competition gets off to a sweet start, with sweetbreads. But in the entrée ...more

96 4
Chopped: Season 9, Episode 14 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Yakety, Yak, Yak, Yak Nov 29 2011 The great Kate Squibb makes the first of two Chopped appearances which is enough to merit this episode for inclusion.  Kate is great throughout, enjoying every element of the show, turning out great food and being amazing to watch.  Add to that the slow transformation of Vinson Petrillo from shy chef to cooking powerhouse and this is one great episode. Featured Chefs were Jill Nicolson, Vinson Petrillo, Nicholas Porcelli and Kate Squibb. The appetizer basket is packed with sardines, rice cakes and an unusual fruit, but self-confidence may prove to be the most valuable ingredient for the chefs. In the entrée round the ...more

173 10
Jitters is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes

215 14
Crunch Time is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes

121 6
Pride of New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes

107 5
Chopped: Season 1, Episode 3 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Avocado, Tahini, Bran Flakes Jan 27 2009 An unusually intense early Chopped episode.  Chefs Chris Burke and Andre Marrero worked together at an earlier job and there is very little respect between them.  The fact that they end up battling out in the final round adds to the tension and the stakes.  There is also an early tense exchange between Chef Chris and Judge Alex Guarneschelli about gender perceptions and food.  Also, as in many good Chopped episodes, it is fascinating to see awesome chefs, which includes pretty much all the contestants here, tripped up by a homely ingredient.  In this case no one quite works out what to do with the bran cereal that they receive.   While the central feud is fascinating, an early dust up occurs in the appetizer round between Chef Rachelle Rodwell and Chris Burke when he mistakenly accuses her of stealing one of his secret ingredients and then helps himself to a portion of her prepared ingredient to complete his plates.   With all the drama, Chef Margaritte Malfy distinguishes herself by not getting into a fight with Chef Chris Burke although she is partially undone by the bran flake cereal. The chefs must work with avocado, cantaloupe, pecans, bran flakes and brioche bread.

76 3
Chopped: Season 3, Episode 5 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Sticking to It Nov 10 2009

Two of the most interesting characters in Chopped history square off in this extremely entertaining episode. 

 In one corner is Chef Luisa Fernandes, an executive chef originally from Portugal who spent the first part of her professional life as an assistant nurse and actually spent a couple of years as a parachute nurse, parachuting into difficult to reach areas to help people.  Along with her charming accent, she has the unflappable command of the kitchen of a seasoned veteran but also is in constant good humor.

In the opposite corner is Dominick Feragola, a sous chef with enormous creativity hoping to prove himself against more seasoned chefs.  Along with his great talent, is a quirky personality and the need to slam his competitors in the interviews.  He faces a series of mishaps in the kitchen and amazingly keeps rolling along turning out delicious dishes.  He's both obnoxious and endearing at the same time. 

Private chef Melinda Beaulieu and executive chef David Amorelli both have strong personalities and cooking styles but are not quite as distinctive.  Strong judging and sharp commentary from judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli and Chris Santos along with curve ball ingredients like graham crackers, rose water and black cod further enhance one of the great Chopped contests.
The chefs must use graham crackers in their appetizers; puffed-rice cereal and chorizo in their entrées; and coffee beans in their desserts.

59 2
Chopped: Season 8, Episode 1 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Easy Peasy? Jul 12 2011

This episode has a lot going for it.  All the chefs have been flown in from Great Britain. The British theme is well worked out both in the representation of the chefs, who are all fantastic in that they are both vivid personalities and amazing chefs, and the nature of the baskets which throws American junk food into the mix to trip them up.   This episode introduced phenomenon Chef Jun Tanaka, whose laser like focus and amazing technique and care carry the day.  But it is clear that despite his excellence that this is a close battle and that all the chefs are bringing top notch skills to the battle, forcing the judges to really nitpick their way through the contest.  This makes for an incredibly fun episode.    

Chef Lotte Duncan is a delightful presence throughout, she has a warm personality but it is fiercely competitve with Chef Jun all the way to the end.  Chef Andy Bates' passion for London street food is evident in every platter and he actually cooks his pork better than either Chef Jun or Chef Lotte in the entree round before he is chopped.   

Finally, the clearly refined and talented Chef Tristan Welch shows how tough this competition truly is by creating an incredibly creative and ambitious appetizer only to be chopped because of the smallest of errors.   
British invasion! Four English chefs face off to see who will be headed back over the big pond with the big money. In the first basket, an American staple and a Japanese snack get the food ...more

75 3
Wild Ride is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added September 3, 2015 A Wild Ride indeed.   The brave chefs in this episode of Chopped deal with carnival food which to the Chopped people means lots of fried food.  Corn dogs, deep fried ravioli, deep fried butter balls and deep fried tequila are featured in some of the most challenging baskets in the history of the show.   Chefs Eileen Andrade, Kris Edelen, Derrick Prince and Brian Riggenbach cook with good humor and creativity to meet the challenge.  Chef Derrick in particular plays an interesting part both because he works for Chopped judge Chris Santos and because of difficulties he faces through this episode.

58 2
Tapas Time is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Dec 17 2013 One of the most grueling episodes of Chopped ever!  Chefs Andres Figueroa, Gemma Gray, Alex Moreno and David Viana are required to create a certain number of individual tapas style dishes for each round.  This effectively doubles the already formidable challenge of Chopped.  During the course of the episode one chef literally ends up carrying a pan full of fire through the studio.  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 ...more

186 13
Rattle is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes

72 3
Teen Redeem is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added September 24, 2015 The first redemption episode for the teen competitors.  Teen chefs Max Aronson Jay Ureña, and Morgan Goldstein all lost in the final round of their episodes of the first Teen Tournament in 2014.  Teen chef Dante Foggy won his episode but lost in the final round of the grand prize round making him the only Chopped champion competing and the odds on favorite.  However, despite Dante's enormous focus and calm, things go awry in one round leaving him chopped with heartbreaking results.  This is both an amazing and tough episode in that to see the dedication and skill of these teen chefs is completely inspiring and yet the difficulty that they are all facing is also a big factor.

86 4
Chopped: Season 3, Episode 3 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
dhandler19 added Judge Knows Best Oct 27 2009 This has Scott Conant's most famous meltdown over red onions, which show up TWICE from the same two chefs!  Add to that several combustible personalities and a nervous breakdown during the desert round and you have a Chopped episode for the ages!! The chefs must work with a fish that's traditionally used for sushi in the appetizer round. Then, they find an unfamiliar condiment in the entrée basket and prosecco is used to make

20 0
Chopped: Season 11, Episode 2 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Chewing the Caul Fat Feb 14 2012 Great competition with the personality of Chef Lester Walker dominating the show.  Highlights include the invention of the word "quickle" by Chef Lester.  The contestants are Chefs Danni Bleil, Nancy Caballes, Rene Stein, and Lester Walker. As the clock ticks down on the first round, one chef gets into a pickle with the pickle juice. Then in the entrée round the chefs must figure out something savvy to do with Savoy cabbage ...more

74 4
Sweet Surprises is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes

49 2
Chopped: Season 4, Episode 10 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Keep On Cook'n On Jun 22 2010 A great line up of chefs.  Super competitive Chris Jaeckle works a sous chef for Iron Chef Morimoto and is sent to the Chopped kitchen with the advice, "You cannot lose,"  This intimidates everyone, including the chef himself.  Chef Sachem "Son" Allison survived a stroke and more than one heart attack and proves himself able to still compete and serve delicious food.  Chef Carrie Weiss brings her favorite provencal region of France to the plate but forgets a vital element.   Finally, Chef Paul "Poppy" Yeaple is the underdog from a burger and fries restaurant.  He shows himself to be surprisingly creative in round after round.   A great match up of titanic talents.   
Mint liqueur and canned fish make an odd combination for the first course.

59 3
Twins for the Win is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Twins for the Win September 8, 2016

Four sets of identical twins working in teams fight it out for the Chopped Championship in this delightful episode.   All the twins have fairly memorable personalities.  Pam and Wendy Michaelson from South Africa have the most colorful interactions both getting into a pretty heated argument and then later singing with each other.  Their food which is inspired by their South African roots is innovative and spicy.  Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos-Shames are twins who cook healthy and write cookbooks together.  They also show an interesting hierarchy.  Twin chefs Charlie and Michael Kalish's low key humor and adventurous spirit show why they've shown up on both Chopped and The Great Food Truck Race.  They're breaking out of their cheese business to show their versatility in the kitchen and to have adventures.  Finally, Matt and Mike Romine bring almost seamless teamwork and beautiful technique to their plates making them very tough competition for the others.

In addition, Aaron Sanchez discusses his twin brother Rodrigo Sanchez who, delightfully, puts in appearance on the show.  Additionally, the basket ingredients often play on the twin theme with double yolked eggs and peas in a pod making appearances throughout.  Judges Alex Guarneschelli and Marc Murphy also add to the fun of this wonderful Chopped episode.

59 3
Beer Here! is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Feb 23 2014 Things that make a great Chopped episode.  Talented chefs taking impossible ingredients and then twisting them up into a great dish with virtuosity and panache.  Ingredients that are intriguing and chefs with diverse enough personalities to clash a bit.   All that is in this episode.  While the battle becomes a duel between the talented and arrogant Chef Bradley Stellings and the equally talented but down to earth Chef Lauren Kyles, all the chefs have great moments.  Chef Hiep Le is especially intriguing having not only survived the Vietnam war but starred in the Oliver Stone movie Heaven and Earth and then transitioned into a successful chef.  Chef Larry Monaco not only has the misfortune of being first chopped but he loses to Chef Lauren despite her leaving a basked ingredient off the plate.   This episode is heartily recommended.
Chopped is brewing up some serious competition, as all three rounds are devoted to beer. For their appetizers, the four chefs must make sausages work with toasted lager. A tasty tripel ale is ...more

47 2
Chopped: Season 4, Episode 5 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Mussels Mastery & Cotton Candy Can Do May 04 2010 The first episode to feature Marcus Samuelsson as a judge.  He quickly makes his presence felt with a particularly vivid Alex Guarneschelli and Aaron Sanchez.  Add to that a cactus pear meltdown that takes out an acclaimed chef while a super down to earth chef shines.  A great episode.  The contestants are Chefs Berthsy Ayide, Jeremy Hanlon, Sean Mell, and Christian Petroni. The chefs have to come up with tasty mussel appetizers in just 20 minutes.

58 3
Cool, Palm and Perfected is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Cool, Palm and Perfected May 27, 2014 All the competitors have survived near death experiences and find themselves competing against each other.   The vivid personalities and sometimes moving stories of the contestants make this a memorable Chopped episode.  Chef David Robinson survived as a witness to the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11 and also represents a charity to help military service people learn to cook.  Chef Ariane Resnick is the most vivid personality of the chefs with a fascinating story of using food to survive Lyme's Disease.  She has big reactions to events in the kitchen, especially when the ignition on her stove keeps clicking and reminds her of a traumatic event.   Chefs Peter Lee and Rose Ludwig have fought back from cancer and find themselves facing each other in the desert round.   This is one of those episodes that had me hoping for a tie because both of the contestants are so talented and so likable.   

45 2
Chopped: Season 10, Episode 3 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Far Far Out Jan 10 2012 A likable group of chefs tackle an interesting group of foodstuffs.   One chef comes prepared with his own timing system to challenge the Chopped gauntlet.  Featured chefs are: Faye Hess, Giorgio Rapicavoli, David Seigal and Joe Simon. A very lively group of competitors go after the $10,000 prize with gusto. In the appetizer round, distaste for a processed food in the basket inspires some creativity and some defiance. In the ...more

32 1
Chopped Again is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Chopped Again January 27, 2015

Another great redemption episode with some of the most oustanding chefs never to claim the Chopped champion title vying for that honor.  The cooking in this episode is at a very high level and it is only the smallest of errors that end a chef's chances.  All these chefs deserve credit for returning and cooking at such a high level.  Chef Angela Majko, an outstanding sushi chef who was chopped originally when she lost a piece of fish while fileting under enormous time pressure returns with a vengeance bringing all her finessed knife skills to bear.  Chef Han Li Hwang who lost his food truck in a fire and is restarting his career brings his formidable skills and passion to create beautiful dishes.  Chef Brandon Frohne, who in his original episode suffered a horrible cut which required stitches, shows up full of quiet intensity and builds a series of impeccably plated dishes in hopes of redeeming himself.  Finally, Chef Bradley Stellings a chef with an enormous background of cooking techniques and high end experience who was surprised by his close loss originally, risks redeeming himself with some similar dishes to his original episode choices; with mixed results.    It is a high wire of suspense which is enhanced by difficult baskets containing: candied sardines, spotted dick pudding, skate wings, pomegranate molasses and tortenboden.  Judges Maneet Chauhan, Marc Murphy and Chris Santos admirably split the hairs required to declare a winner among these worthy contestants.

17 0
Viewer's Choice! is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Viewer's Choice! April 3, 2012 While the judges spend too much time both praising the viewers for coming up with these baskets and criticizing the competitors for letting down the viewers, this is still a terrific and suspenseful episode with interesting, talented chefs who bring intriguing perspectives to their cooking.   Chef Ivan Dorvil cooks with flare and an eye for traditional preparations while Chef Ian Muntzert brings a more cerebral approach to his food with ambitious and creative ideas.  Their contrasting styles along with the very challenging baskets create a lot of tension.  Chef Virginia Monaco comes from a charcuterie background and brings lots of great ideas and is probably the most likable chef on the episode.  Finally, Chef Amy Johnson has a moving story about her life struggles.   When the chef finally wins it is nail biting moment and ultimately very moving.

42 2
Liver and Learn is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Oct 01 2013 Chef Teah Evans is the center of the show with her harrowing tales of her life in the Republic of Georgia and her amazing ability to create flatbreads and pastry on the fly, she attracts the most attention.  However the other chefs, Shaquay Peacock (sister of Chopped Champion Darius Peacock), athlete chef Jared Braithwaite and hyper confident Chef Seth Gordon all add interest to this episode.   There are a lot of challenging baskets and the chefs rise to the occasion, making for some tough judging and some great television. The chefs receive calves' livers and ranch dressing in the first round, and the judges watch as four appetizers come together in 20 minutes. Then in the entree round, a small bird and a citrusy ...more

30 1
Bird in the Pan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Nov 27 2012 A great episode with four talented chefs with engaging personalities.  Add in a nail biter of a dessert finale where nothing goes right for either chef as they move from plan A to B to C, and manage to just barely pull off something.  The blandness of guest judge Marco Canora is offset by Marcus Samuelsson's always engaging personality and amazing bow tie.  Scott Conant is generally affable this time around as well.  Chef Virginia Willis is the most vivid chef, she is not only the only woman on the episode but has a background of working with both Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart and despite those high tension jobs seems to have a very positive way to deal with stress.   She also brings a love of Southern cooking into her work.   Chef Tabb Singleton brings his Oklahoma roots to the kitchen via New Orleans and working in an Emeril restaurant and is good naturedly impressed by the exposure the Chopped kitchen will give him.  Chef Brack May, also from New Orleans, brings a healthy competitive spirit (his sister is an Olympic athlete) and refined plating to the task and finally Chef Giancarlo Autenzio comes straight out of culinary school and in the first round goes a completely different direction from the rest of the chefs on the notoriously difficult and intimidating lamb fries. In the appetizer round, three out of the four chefs make a similar choice with a tricky basket ingredient: Will the fourth chef's different approach work in his favor? Then for the entrees, the ...more

59 4
We Love Leftovers! is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Sep 17 2013 A group of talented chefs take on the leftovers theme in an artful way.  Chefs Jason Stude and Aatul Jain attack the leftovers with particular creativity.  Chef Aatul's stories of his family and work in the hospital are particularly compelling. Chef Josh Watkins is flummoxed by the theme and private plane Chef Krissy Kerwin manages to navigate through the bumps in the challenge to create some appealing dishes. All leftovers in the baskets today, and some of the chefs are not happy to hear the news. In the first round the competitors must work with what is left in a casserole dish and at the bottom of ...more

29 1
Chopped: Season 6, Episode 12 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Chefs on a Mission Apr 26 2011 Sometimes what makes a Chopped episode great is a chance to see a truly great chef compete.  Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Tora and Coppa has gone on from this episode to being nationally recognized with a James Beard Award and a great cookbook on charcuterie.   He has a rugged punk exterior with lots of tattoos and his intro sequence features him chopping a whole pig but despite his rough exterior his work is surprisingly subtle and beautifully composed.  Other highlights of this episode is Chef Jamie's and Chef Steven Brand's rivalry as both coming from the Boston area and wanting winning bragging rights.  The competition is intense between them.   Chef Ulli Stachi who is a food stylist who brings a vivid presence and food philosophy to her food.  Finally Chef Joel Javier is a whirlwind of energy in the kitchen, working hard to prove that sous chef can compete with executive chefs.    Rivals face off! Four solid competitors from rival cities enthusiastically jump into the first round. But will they be able to settle on a firm idea of what to do with firm tofu and recover from ...more

29 1
Chopped Catwalk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Chopped Catwalk October 15, 2015 While Chopped has featured former models turned chefs before, this episode features this unusual brand of chef exclusively and the results are not just about physical and culinary perfection but about the various chefs' humanity in the face of a dehumanizing industry.  This is especially true for both the women chefs Danika Brysha and Ashley Holt who both movingly describe the unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies that they had while they were modeling.  However, this episode is not just about overcoming hard times, there is some intense and innovative cooking as all the chefs deal with the usual time constraints and weird Chopped ingredients which include tuna in a bag, chia seeds, finger limes and coconut fruit pops.  Male chefs Din Yates and Crosby Tailor may have a less emotional journey here but both men have fascinating food philosophies that are on full display.  Rounding this out are the Chopped judges Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelsson and Maneet Chauhan.

25 1
Chopped: Season 4, Episode 3 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added My Froggy Clementine Apr 20 2010 This episode is literally incendiary.  First, one chef repeatedly threatens to do violence to Judge Scott Conant (once while menacingly pounding tortilla chips with his fists), Second, there is a literally a chef who calls herself Chef Smarty Pants, who knows EVERYTHING and proceeds to tell everyone about it.  Finally both the chefs in the dessert round end up with items bursting into flames at their stations.  While this is not the best episode for cooking, the ingredients are very challenging and all the chefs have very distinctive personalities making for an episode that is a winner.  The contestants are Chefs Sunshine Best, Warren Schierenbeck, Mario Tolentino and Erica Wides. The chefs find frog legs in the first basket for the Appetizer Round.

33 2
Chopped: Season 12, Episode 15 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Oui, Oui Confit Aug 14 2012 Big personalities and sharp knives make for a rousing episode of Chopped.  Most fascinating is multiple cooking reality show contestant/guest Maria Velez (she is also featured on Kitchen Nightmares and Cutthroat Kitchen).  She flirts with Chef Franco Barrio, borrows one of his knives and then proceeds to cut herself.   Chef Bryon Peck brings a New Orleans presence and the need to put his Elizabeth's Restaurant on the culinary map.  Chef John Simmons hails from Las Vegas and wants to prove that independent chefs can compete with the big corporate chefs from that area.  He also brings a steely resolve.   Finally, Chef Franco Barrio brings an elegant sense of sophistication to every round but is criticized for lacking the passion of the other chefs.   Judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli and Marc Murphy are in particularly fine form in figuring out who the ultimate Chopped champion ultimately must be. The judges are pleased to see duck confit in the first basket. But when it comes time to taste, they're disappointed that they must consider a competitor's very minimal use of one of the other ...more

33 2
Extreme Halloween is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Oct 06 2013 Some really extreme baskets which include coagulated pig's blood and eel (in an especially brutal appetizer round) gummy skull, ant eggs and sweetbreads challenge in the dinner round and finally in the dessert round there are candy blood and buffalo chestnuts.  In addition, Chef Terri Wahl has suffered losses on both Cupcake Wars and Throwdown with Bobby Flay and is looking for vindication and has a very careful battle plan that takes her to the dessert round.   However, other chefs including Marilyn Manson look alike chef John Creger (whose creativity gets the best of him, Chef Isaiah Frizzell who is looking to use the show to connect with his parents and Chef Sharon Singleton who hates Halloween but loves cooking and her husband have compelling and sometimes very moving stories to tell. Halloween means very frightening suprises in the baskets for the chefs. In the first round, they encounter a very troublesome, bloody protein and a can of chips that's more than meets the eye. ...more

20 1
The Bold and the Baconful is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added The Bold and the Baconful March 17, 2016 All the chefs on this episode hail from Houston and run food trucks.  It's clear right from the beginning that all four chefs are imaginative and capable of creating a wide range of foods making for a great competition with lots of friendly rivalry.   The judges, Chris Santos, Marcus Samuelsson and, guest judge, Nick Anderer possess a great knowledge for the kind of elevated street food the chefs are capable of.   The baskets include bacon wrapped grilled cheese, pork shoulder, baby eggplant, tea noodles and spicy cheese puffs and are generally challenging but not impossible, allowing the chefs to show off technique.   Chef Sean Carroll shows off his artistic flair.  Chef Angela Rowley makes beautifully complex sauces and wows the judges with her command of flavor.  Chef Martin Horsey is the most playful and inventive chef managing to combine great flavors in whimsical presentations that delight the judges.  Finally, chef Justin Turner shows solid technique throughout the episode and manages to nail difficult ingredients in ways that the other chefs can't quite manage.   A fun episode with lots of good cooking and good natured competition.

20 1
Chopped: Season 9, Episode 6 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Time & Space Oct 04 2011

"I don't know what to do with it!" says Chef Ryan Goergen and becomes an instant Chopped immortal by summing up the feeling of many Chopped contestants AND viewers.  Ironically, he doesn't say it at the debut of one of Chopped's most iconic ingredients---the canned chicken, which says something about the difficulty of this episode.  The Chopped basked ingredients are among the toughest in a single episode and they include izote flowers, smoked butter, astronaut ice cream and mountain yam (which is the cause of Chef Ryan's consternation).  There are some other inspired responses to these ingredients.  Chef Helen Park comes in confidently declaring she hopes to be underestimated "so that my victory is that much greater."  She finds ways to take these unlikely ingredients and integrate them seamlessly and impresses the judges in the way she dispatches with a fire that flares up on her station.  Chef Van Dao, distinctively wears a twig in wire on his hat and brings his Vietnamese background to bear on the difficult ingredients.  Finally Chef Ronnie Vincent dares to serve judge Scott Conant raw red onions in the appetizer round and manages to survive the experience and then deals with his own stove fire in the next round.   Even the judges, including Amanda Freitas and Chris Santos are surprised by the ingredients in this challenging episode.

Can openers are in order for the opening round, when the chefs find a shocker of a protein in the basket. Then the remaining competitors blast into the entrée round to find astronaut ice ...more

19 1
Mac & Cheese, Cola, Bacon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
Mac & Cheese, Cola, Bacon

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Peri Peri Determined is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Peri Peri Determined April 22, 2014 A likable group of contestants and a down to the wire finish make this a memorable Chopped episode.  Chef Eric Buss has such a great smile and a warm personality and so much confidence from being an executive chef at a fairly early age, he draws attention.  Chef Georgeann Learning is quietly confident and has years of experience and conviction that fuel her cooking.   With chicken wings in the first round there is a fight to get to the fryer and Chef Melissa Torre loses that fight, which ends up hurting her dish.  However, drawing from her background of making unconventional and savory cookies, she manages to make an incredible tasting appetizer anyway.   Chef Auria Abraham really brings a lot of her mother's Malaysian cooking to her work which makes for a surprising interpretation of the basket ingredients.    Judges Maneet Chauhan, Marc Murphy and Geoffrey Zakarian inform us all on the various exotic  basket ingredients like peri peri, stroopwafles, and nordic honey wine while judging with their usual panache.

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Chopped: Season 6, Episode 11 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
dhandler19 added A Cornish Mess Apr 10 2011 A true mess of an episode.  Lots of weirdness in this episode.  A crazed chef with a British accent and a woman who blames everything on a recent death in her family when she makes a mistake.  Besides that two of the chefs create inedible entrees.  The final champion basically won by being the sanest chef in the room. Peking duck, a seemingly simple protein, and an unusual fruit are among the featured ingredients.

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Chopped: Season 12, Episode 11 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Belly Dance Jul 31 2012 Great personalities and great cooking are the ingredients that make this Chopped episode memorable.  Future Food Network Star competitor, Chef Danushka Lysek's personality dominates the early portions of this episode.  She has a remarkable attitude that is either off putting or intriguing and a somewhat surprisingly warm style of cooking.  Guest judge, Claudia Fleming gets into a few tense exchanges with Danushka.  Chef Matt Murphy, who survived a rare blood disease and is playing for his five daughters and brings an incredible energy to the kitchen, accomplishing an incredible amount of work in each round.  Chef Michael Chen, brings finessed technique and skill and a likable personality to his work.  Finally, Chef Ryan Bartlow brings his fine dining and inventively ambitious techniques to the competition.  Judges Chris Santos and Maneet Chauhan ably assist Claudia Fleming in sorting it all out in this entertaining episode. When the chefs confront the first basket, their degrees of expertise with tuna belly come into play. Lamb top round is round two's mystery protein, and it's a mystery whose dish the judge like ...more

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Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner! is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner! May 21 2013 While there are a colorful array of chefs in this episode, it is the concept that is king. Instead of the usual appetizer, entree and dessert, we have three complete meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner.   Some of the chefs are frustrated as they may have been practicing pastry or other specific skills for the usual Chopped competition.  Chef Fred Eric creates a beautiful appetizer but ruins it when a pan full of bacon tips over and he scoops the ingredients off the paper and, unfortunately, the floor.  Chef Natalie Cain works for judge Marcus Samuelsson and so is carrying her boss' reputation.  Chef Chris Leahy and Chef Brandon Boudet (pictured) are the finally competitors with a fierce battle between two varied styles of cooking that is riveting to see. The usual rounds of appetizer, entree and dessert are replaced with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the judges are hoping for pure decadence! In the first round, black forest bacon and prune ...more

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Chopped: Season 4, Episode 4 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Dr. Deckle & Mr. Fried Apr 27 2010 Chef John Greco's reaction shots are almost enough by themselves to merit a place on the all time best Chopped episode list.  The editors went on to use his expressions for several seasons of Chopped openers.  Beyond that and the great title, there are a great combination of challenging ingredients, intense personalities and little oddities that make this episode stand out.  Chef Abigail Hitchcock hails from her restaurant Camaje Bistro which features blindfolded dining.   She gets into an altercation with the judges over shrimp deveining, which all the chefs but Chef Michael Siry have issues with.  Chef Shanna Pacifico is probably the most creative competitor but ends up not executing well and going down vowing she is the best chef of all.  Additionally these are very tough baskets the deckle of beef in round 2 is a challenge as well as the dessert basket  which is comprised of avocados, oyster sauce, tofu skins and star fruit, one of the toughest dessert baskets in Chopped history.  Sadly even though Michael Siry won this episode and would go on to compete again on Chopped, he did pass away in 2013.  He had an effusive likable personality as well as awesome cooking skills.     Three of the four chefs make a huge mistake with the jumbo shrimp.

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Chopped: Season 9, Episode 11 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Blood Orange Sorbet, Sweat and Tears Nov 08 2011

Some bigger than life personalities make for an interesting mix.  Accomplished and classicly French trained sous chef, Charles Lopez shows an exceptional ability to finesse beautiful plates out of the difficult Chopped ingredients.  Equally accomplished and more experienced Chef Consultant Sonia El-Nawal shows her deep knowledge of food making for a very formidable opponent.  Executive Chef Arthur Saks has an amazing story of leaving home and how his cooking reunited him with his father.  He is the most intense chef of the episode and sometimes takes some verbal potshots at his competitors.  Private Chef Shawn Fralin boldy spices his appetizer dish which leads to some problems for some judges.  Judges Scott Conant, Alex Guarneschelli and Chris Santos admire the boldness and high level of cooking that these competitors pull off with a result that is suspenseful and unexpected.

The chefs hope that their breakfast sausage appetizer will awaken the judges' senses. And as he explains why he loves to cook, one competitor breaks down. Then in the second round, a frozen ...more

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Cloche Call is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Nov 19 2013 The Brothers Greenfield take on a chef caterer instructor and a C-Cap graduate.  It's a Chopped first to have brothers competing and having two other entertaining Chefs livens up the whole episode.  The featured chefs were: Emilie Friedman, Josh Greenfield, Mike Greenfield and Sean Quinn. Two cultures collide in the first round, when the chefs must combine kimchi and gefilte fish. The second round has the chefs working with uniquely flavored vodka and a green snack. And when the ...more

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Hoofin' It! is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Hoofin' It! Jan 21 2014

An episode with great personalities, challenging ingredients, a close finish and some heartbreak in the first round.  Guest judge Alex Stupak livens things up along with regular judges Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Samuelsson.  Chef Ashley Fahr a very likable chef who is on the road to justifying her career choice to her parents deals innovatively with the first round ingredients of pickled pigs feet, butter beans, coleslaw mix  and sweet potato chips but an unfortunate cut ends up dashing her hopes for victory.  The energetic and thoughtful Nashville Chef Laurie Potts (her "Bring It On" graces the Chopped opening credits) is a joy to watch cook.  Both Chef Maxcel Hardy and Joe Youkhan are giants compared to the other chefs on this episode and both come from surprising backgrounds.  Joe Youkhan is a food truck chef who is competing to prove himself and Chef Maxcel Hardy is a private chef proving he can compete with restaurant chefs.  He also has an amazing personal story of moving from sports to cooking and great success and philanthropy with his One Chef Can 86 Hunger Foundation.A thoroughly enjoyable episode.

Appetizer: pickled pigs' feet and sweet potato chips. Entrée: pie and venison. And the two finalists come up with similar ideas for their desserts.

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Chopped: Season 2, Episode 8 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added A Wish Upon a Starfruit Aug 11 2009 Several extraordinary chefs pulling out all the stops to win and coming in on nail biting finish.  This is a great episode.   Chef Cody Utzman is organized and seems to be in sync with the baskets and comes up with very focused and detailed entries.  Chef Lisa Schoen shows off her ability to bring flavors from disparate places.  Chef Ming Lu seems the most technique driven of all.  He opens the competition by making crepes on the back of a fry pan striking fear into the hearts of his competitors with his finesse and ambition.  Chef Pedro Diáz also is able to create rich and appealing meals All the chefs do amazing things making this a feast of cooking excellence.   Part 1 of 4. Past "Chopped" winners return to compete in a champions round. Some chefs have an edge when a Southern specialty shows up in the appetizer basket. Then Japanese noodles ...more

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No Kidding! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added October 2, 2012 The first ever Chopped episode to feature teens as the only competitors.  In a very close competition for the $10,000 first prize all the chefs performed well.  All the chefs ended up receiving at least $1,000 credit for competing.  The first chefs were (in alphabetical order) Joel Allette, Noah Museles, Romilly Newman and Shania Thomas.  A great episode!

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Momumental is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes

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Family Food Fight is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added December 23, 2014 Brother vs. Sister, Father vs. Mother, the Martone family are the contestants in this very unique Chopped episode.  There are surprises throughout and a truly suspenseful final round.  The ultimate decision is both interesting and ultimately, moving.  The contestants were: Geraldine Martone (mother), John Martone (son), Raphael Martone (father) and Rosie Martone (daughter).