Chopped Wiki
Champions' Tournament: Part 1
Season 9, Episode 1
CTR1 Chefs.png
Air date August 30, 2011
Winner Wade Burch
Episode Guide
A is for Apple. U is for Udon
Champions' Tournament: Part 2

Welcome back, champs! Four Chopped heroes return to action to see who can go up against the very best and win again. But this time, time becomes a very big challenge in the first round. Then with the sting of the judges' harsh criticisms fresh on their minds, the competitors face stinging nettles and antelope in the entrée round. And in the decisive last round, it is clear that both chefs are craving a chance to move on to the finale, but only one will prevail once the judges taste the pie crust desserts.


  • Wayne Lyons, Chef and Restaurateur, Soul Flavors, Jersey City, NJ, Saying Sayonara
  • Heather Priest, Personal Chef, Greenwich, CT, Get It Together
  • James Gillespie, Culinary Instructor, New York, NY, Doughs and Don'ts
  • Wade Burch, Executive Chef, South West NY, New York, NY, Yes, Virginia, There is a Chopping Block




Ingredients: Chinese Celery, Fresh Chickpeas, Preserved Lemons, Country Style Pâté

Wade made Pâté with Crostini and Chinese Celery Salad. Wade's dish has a strong French bistro feeling to it, with inclusion of sweet, sour, and bitter. Alex considers the use of pâté fat on the crostini and to sauté with transforms the pâté. The crostini is a little too done. Geoffrey finds the dish too safe.

James made Penne Pasta w/ Pâte and Lemon Butter Sauce. While the dish is well-made and delicious, it is something anyone could have made and the mystery ingredients are overshadowed and not highlighted. Alex describes what James did as making a dish and adding the basket ingredients later.

Heather prepared Pâté Dumplings with Roasted Chickpea & Celery Salad. Heather manipulates the ingredients and combines them nicely. The roasted chickpeas taste nutty. The problem is that the dumplings are a bit soggy and raw.

Wayne did Sautéed Chinese Celery with Onions & Lemon. Wayne failed to get his croquette of pâté and chickpeas onto the plate. The judges recognize the genius and the ambition of his idea, and what is on the plate is packed full of flavor that displays Wayne's talent.

The judges agree that Chef Wayne is a true champion and amazing chef. Unfortunately, his failure to plate two basket ingredients is too much to overcome.


Ingredients: Rack of Antelope, Stinging Nettles, Jicama, Port Wine Cheese

James made Pan-Seared Antelope w/ Jicama Potato Hash & Port Wine Cheese Sauce. James steps it up from the last round: his antelope has the best caramelization of the crust, the sauce is delicious, and the hash belongs where it is. The only complaint is that the nettles get lost in the wilted arugula.

Heather prepared Peruvian Antelope Chop w/ Cheese & Nettle Polenta and Jicama Slaw. Heather brings all of the flavors of the basket ingredients in the most cogent manner. The presentation is clean, the antelope is cooked well, and the pairing of the polenta with the antelope is very smart. Heather's dish is lacking a sauce.

Wade did Spiced Antelope Rack w/ Carrots & Raspberries. Wade's dish expresses himself in the elements given: The antelope is juicy and the best tasting of the day, the jus is elegant, the gratin has great flavors, and the nettles are beautiful with the carrots. Marcus doesn't understand the usage of carrots. The raspberries taste like melted sponge.

All three chefs brought a lot to the table, but in the end, Chef Heather created a dish that begged for a sauce and she was chopped.


Ingredients: Nopales, Sweet Potatoes, Pie Crust, Mezcal

James made Sweet Potato Tart w/ Nopales Crème Anglaise & Mezcal Raspberry Syrup. The tart filling is delicious, and the anglaise pairs well against the spicy syrup. The pie crust is absolutely unacceptable. They are also irritated with James's trash talking towards Wade when he should have focused on his dish.

Wade made Sweet Potato Custard with Cookies & Grilled Nopales. The custard is almost like sweet potato rice pudding, and the cookies are absolutely delicious. The nopales is very acrid and there is too much of it on the plate.

The judges look at all three courses to determine that Chef James did not earn the right to win a second victory because of serious errors in all three rounds. Wade is made Chopped Champion a second time and is rewarded the first spot in the finale.



Chopped Season 9
<< Season 8Season 10 >>
#01 Champions' Tournament: Part 1#09 Make A Splash!
#02 Champions' Tournament: Part 2#10 One in a Hundred
#03 Champions' Tournament: Part 3#11 Blood Orange Sorbet, Sweat, & Tears
#04 Champions' Tournament: Part 4#12 Give It Your All
#05 Champions' Tournament: Grand Finale#13 Class Acts
#06 Time & Space#14 Yakety Yak, Yak, Yak
#07 Everything's Rosy#15 Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Lobster!
#08 Trick or Treat, Chicken Feet!#16 Duck for Dinner