Chopped Wiki
Judge Knows Best
Season 3, Episode 3
Air date October 27, 2009
Winner Joe Dobias
Episode Guide
Oh My Goshy, Umeboshi
A Nori Story

In the Appetizer Round, when two of the chefs attempt to cook a fish that is traditionally used for sushi, the results are questionable. Then, after doing their best with an unfamiliar condiment in the Entree Basket, the contestants get an angry reception at the Chopping Block for not following the judges' advice. And the bubbly is flowing in the Dessert Round when the chefs must incorporate prosecco into their final dishes. But the celebratory mood is broken by a heart-stopping, emotional ending to the round.


  • Ayesha Nurdjaja, Executive Chef, Il Bordello, New York, NY
  • Joshua Whigham, Sous chef, Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, New York, NY
  • Fabian Ludwig, Executive Chef, Gramercy Park Hotel, New York, NY
  • Joe Dobias, Chef and Restaurateur, Joe Doe Restaurant, New York, NY




Ingredients: Hamachi, Quail Eggs, Dried Cherries

Ayesha prepared Spiced Hamachi Kebab with Arugula Salad. The dried cherries are perfect in the salad. The hamachi is overcooked, and Scott doesn't like the raw red onion in the salad.

Josh made Hamachi Crudo with Quail Yolk Vinaigrette. Josh deals with the fish beautifully, and the yolk vinaigrette is nice. However, it isn't necessary with the yogurt sauce he has. There are too many ingredients on the plate.

Fabian prepared Pan-Seared Hamachi with Cherry Chutney. The presentation is beautiful. There are too many cherries, which are overwhelming. The hamachi is definitely overcooked, although the quail egg on top makes up for it a bit.

Joe prepared Hamachi Crudo with Cherry Vinaigrette. Joe knocks it out of the park with his usage of bread in his cherry sauce, his quail egg is perfect, and his hamachi is nice. Their only complaint is that the dish is too small.

The judges identify Chef Fabian as the one chef who did not earn the right to move on due to his overcooked hamachi and overwhelming chutney.


Ingredients: Beef Tenderloin, Mango, Gruyère Cheese, Kochujang

Joshua's entrée is Beef Tenderloin w/ Potatoes and Gruyère Arugula Salad. Joshua's beef is well-done and the potatoes are perfectly crispy. Scott is angry that Josh used red onion again, which they argue over. The cocoa in his kochujang sauce isn't needed.

Ayesha prepared Kochujang Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Mango Lentil Salad. The judges like her idea of crusting the beef with the kochujang, although it is overcooked. Ayesha makes the same mistake as Joshua by using raw red onions, although her salad is still refreshing. Her gruyère kochujang sauce is gritty.

Joe prepared Gruyère & Panko Crusted Tenderloin with Latke & Mango Sauce. The latke is a bit soggy and salty, and the beef isn't cooked through. The sauce of mango, kochujang, and bacon is spectacular and a hit with the judges.

After deliberating, the judges chop Chef Ayesha for multiple errors in her dish.


Ingredients: Ripened Plantains, Prosecco, Crystallized Ginger, Bacon

Joe's dessert proves too ambitious, and he is unable to finish his Plantain Quick Bread, although he manages to get all four ingredients on his plate with a Bacon Plantain Mousse and Prosecco Ginger Sauce. At best the presentation is a disaster, and the judges are disappointed that he didn't finish. However, they do like his flavors in the mousse and sauce.

Joshua's dessert is Seared Plantain with Prosecco Sabayaon. His presentation is beautiful, and the sabayon is still frothy. The judges do feel that the dessert is quite savory.

The judges are very unsure on what to decide, but in the end, Chef Joshua is chopped because Joe's first two courses where just enough to overcome not finishing his dessert. Joe is made Chopped Champion.



  • Chef Joe is the first chef to win after not finishing one of his dishes.
Chopped Season 3
<< Season 2Season 4 >>
#01 When Chefs Collide#08 Sweet Redemption
#02 Oh My Goshy, Umeboshi#09 Winging It
#03 Judge Knows Best#10 In A Pinch
#04 A Nori Story#11 Raw Enthusiasm
#05 Sticking To It#12 Against the Tide
#06 Season's Choppings#13 Chopped Liver
#07 Flower Power