Big Fish, Small Basket
Season 16, Episode 5
BFSB Chefs
Air date June 27, 2013
Winner Palak Patel
Episode Guide
Gyro We Go Again
Teen Invasion
The competitors leap into action and come out strong with four impressive appetizers, made with seitan and mezcal. In the second round, pre-made sauce and a sizable fish are in the basket. When the two finalists proceed to dessert, they must make a pastry and a pork product play nicely on their plates.


  • Salvatore "Sal" Lima, Executive Chef, Giovanna's, Little Italy, New York City, NY
  • Palak Patel, Culinary Instructor, Ger-Nis, Brooklyn, NY
  • Paul Joseph, Executive Chef, FireBird, New York, NY
  • Steve Eakins, Executive Chef, Ditch Plains, New York, NY




Ingredients: Seitan, Purple Radishes, Mezcal, Canned Chili

Sal made Sautéed Seitan w/ Mushrooms and Peppers and Chili Sauce. The judges like his simple and easy-to-eat dish that has great layering of flavor, particularly Scott, who is reminded of dishes his family would make. Sal didn't integrate the Mezcal, having nearly forgotten it and simply drizzling it over his dish to get it on.

Palak made Indian Seitan Curry with Apples & Onions. The judges love the amount of flavor that she concentrates into her dish. Her dish is one note, and needs texture to give contrast.

Paul's dish is Braised Seitan with Mezcal Reduction, Radish Purée. The presentation is very pedestrian, and the chili is underdeveloped. Otherwise, Paul has great flavors and development in his purée and seitan, especially the gorgonzola on top of the seitan.

Steve made Beef Chili Quesadilla with Mezcal Seitan Crema and Purple Radish Salsa. Steve is the most creative in his appetizer, and has great flavor in the quesadilla and salsa. His crema is too alcoholic, and the texture of the puréed seitan is unpleasant.

The decision made by the judges is to send Chef Paul to the Chopping Block for his unappealing presentation and lack of success with the chili.


Ingredients: Liquid Aminos, Beet Greens, Alfredo Sauce, Fluke

Palak prepared Seared Fluke with Toasted Coriander Seeds and Creamy Beet Greens. Palak's dish is a hit with the judges with her perfectly cooked fish, greens, and lemongrass coconut sauce. The only complaint is her superfluous garnish of fried vermicelli, although it doesn't distract from the dish.

Steve prepared Cornmeal Crusted Fluke w/ Beet Greens Two Ways & Black Pepper Creamed Asparagus. Steve nuances really big flavors in his dish, and the judges like the creativity of his creamed asparagus. The beet greens are a bit overcooked, and the cornmeal crust is a bit inedible.

Sal made Linguine Mare e Monti with Sautéed Beet Greens. Sal cooked his pasta expertly, with the perfect amount of ingredients and integration of them in his dish. Scott considers it the best pasta ever made on the show. Sal's dish is the least creative.

Chef Sal is chopped for lack of creativity, but the judges tell him that they'll be seeing him soon at his restaurant.


Ingredients: Speck, Sfogliatelle, Crabapples, Brewer's Yeast

Steve made Crabapple & Dried Cherry Fritter with Speck-Infused Ice Cream and Sfogliatelle Crumble. The judges like his ice cream and crumble, but his fritters lack moisture and are not sweet enough.

Palak made Sfogliatelle Sandwich with Cardamom Pastry Cream & Crabapple Compote. The judges like her flavors, although her proportions of ingredients are off, and the sfogliatelle isn't really transformed. However, she executed her dessert better than Steve did.

Looking at the whole meal, the judges chop Chef Steve for errors in his appetizer and entrée. Palak is made the Chopped Champion.


  • The chefs for the episode. From left to right: Steve, Paul, Palak, and Sal
  • Sal's Appetizer
  • Palak's Appetizer
  • Paul's Appetizer
  • Steve's Appetizer
  • Palak's Entrée
  • Steve's Entrée
  • Sal's Entrée
  • Steve's Dessert
  • Palak's Dessert


  • While Sal's appetizer is being tasted by the judges, there is mistakenly a clip of them eating Sal's entrée instead of his appetizer.
  • Steve works at Ditch Plains, which is owned by Chopped judge Marc Murphy.
Chopped Season 16
<< Season 15Season 17 >>
#01 Fry, Fry Again#08 Sweet Surprises
#02 Cleaver Fever#09 Break a Crab Leg!
#03 Mix and Mache#10 Walk on the Whelk Side
#04 Gyro We Go Again#11 Chopped Family Feud
#05 Big Fish, Small Basket#12 Extreme Halloween
#06 Teen Invasion#13 A Chopped Thanksgiving
#07 Mochi Obliged