Better Saffron Than Sorry
Season 15, Episode 10
BSTS Chefs
Air date June 4, 2013
Winner Martha Esquivel
Episode Guide
Cook Your Butt Off!
Take Heart
The chefs show off in the appetizer round by creating four unique interpretations of mussels with saffron. In the entree round, the baskets contain a particularly daunting protein: Will the competitors have the knowledge or experience to treat it correctly and make it work with blackberries? And pasta sheets make for a good blank canvas for dessert.


  • Christian Dolias, Chef, Cutthroat Culinary, Las Vegas, NV
  • Martha Esquivel, Executive Chef, Luminarias Restaurant, Monterey Park, CA
  • David Fuñe, Executive Chef, Vizzi Truck / Temecula Creek Inn, Los Angeles, CA / Temecula, CA
  • Kurt Ramborger, Caterer, Austin, TX




Ingredients: Mussels, Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Saffron, Añejo Tequila

Christian made Blue Cheese Olive Baked Mussels with Saffron Brown Butter. The judges love his creativity and the crispiness of the mussels. The sesame oil and blue cheese are way too strong, and the mussel flavor is a bit lost. Marcus feels two mussels is too small for an appetizer, which Elizabeth disagrees with.

Martha made Warm Mussel Salad with Tequila & Saffron Sauce. The presentation is beautiful, and the flavors of the mussels and saffron come through and mix with the bitter greens. The sauce is delicious, although there should be more of it. Maneet doesn't get the tequila, although Elizabeth tastes it.

David made Mussel Sauté with Olive Tequila Saffron Broth & Pine Nut Praline. The mussels are cooked perfectly. The praline makes the dish taste like dessert, and Marcus can barely taste the mystery ingredients. The portion is too big.

Kurt cooked Mussels with Tequila & Saffron Sauce & Saffron Crostini over Rice Noodles. Marcus's crostini fell on the floor, although Elizabeth shared hers. The mussels are cooked perfectly, and the flavor on the crostini is the single best of the round. The dish needs more broth and less noodles.

The judges decide that Chef Christian will not be one of the three moving on because the overuse of sesame oil took away from the mussels, tequila, and saffron.


Ingredients: Amaranth Leaves, Blackberries, Lamb Fries, Curd Chile

Martha made Pan-Seared Lamb Fries with Sautéed Amaranth Leaves & Blackberry Curd Chile Gastrique. The presentation is gorgeous, and the lamb fries are cooked perfectly. The gastrique is the star of the dish. The additions of the asparagus and fried potatoes are unneeded and make the dish disjointed.

David made Lamb Fry Cutlet with Blackberry "Risotto" & Garlic Polenta. David's treatment of the mystery ingredients is masterful, and the addition of the garlic polenta was a wise choice with the lamb fries. His mistake is the large chunks of lemon peel in the amaranth salad.

Kurt cooked Braised Lamb Fries w/ Red Wine Blackberry Sauce and Mozzerella. The addition of the mozzerella is both surprising and delicious when marinated with the sauce. The amaranth leaves go well with the mushrooms. The lamb fries are tough both from overcooking and because Kurt didn't know the membrane on them had to be removed.

Looking at the three entrées, the judges chop Chef Kurt for not removing the membrane from the lamb fries.


Ingredients: Argan Oil, Apricots, Fresh Pasta Sheets, Cheese Spread

David made Deconstructed "Cheese Ravioli" with Apricot Gel & Cherry Gastrique. The apricot gel is extremely flavorful, the cheese was tempered and light. and the presentation is lovely and abstract. The gastrique isn't nessecary, and the judges aren't really sure if its a ravioli.

Martha made Buttermilk Argan Cake with Apricot Citrus Salad & Cheese Sauce. The cake is moist, and the pairing with the citrus and herb is brilliant. The cheese sauce is too heavy and doesn't work.

The two chefs are neck-and-neck in the competition. Ultimately, the judges find the dessert made by Chef David confusing and award Chef Martha with the position of Chopped Champion.


  • The chefs for the episode. From left to right: Christian, Martha, David, and Kurt
  • Christian's Appetizer
  • Martha's Appetizer
  • David's Appetizer
  • Kurt's Appetizer
  • Martha's Entrée
  • David's Entrée
  • Kurt's Entrée
  • David's Dessert
  • Martha's Dessert


  • Kurt Ramborger is the first deaf chef to compete on the show. He was even accompanied by sign-language interpreter named Lydia Callis.
    • Although Chef Kurt was kind of bummed that he lost, he was glad to have raised awareness for not only deaf chefs but deaf people in general.
Chopped Season 15
<< Season 14Season 16 >>
#01 Heads Up!#08 Military Salute
#02 Viewers Choice Baskets#09 Cook Your Butt Off!
#03 Aussie Awesome#10 Better Saffron Than Sorry
#04 Without Missing a Beet#11 Take Heart
#05 Momumental#12 Wheatgrass Roots
#06 Amazing Amateurs#13 Wurst Case Scenario
#07 Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!