The first round has the competitors combining a sweet bread and a scrumptious melon. And the chefs tell the judges about their very different reasons for wanting to win. Then in the entrée round, not used to working with almonds in their unripened, fuzzy form, the remaining chefs struggle to make that mystery ingredient tasty, while also filleting and cooking fish. And after dealing with French donut dough in the dessert round, it will be "au revoir" for one finalist.
Ingredients: Duck Prosciutto, Purple Asparagus, Korean Melon, Greek Easter Bread
Chef Jackie: Grilled Asparagus with Prosciutto and MelonEdit
Jackie made grilled asparagus with duck prosciutto, Korean melon, and toasted Easter bread. Chris found the presentation to be very nice and the dish was appropriately sized. He also loved that Jackie toasted the bread in the duck. Maneet did love the combinations of flavors. Marc loved that the asparagus was grilled, which gave it a charred flavor. He was unhappy that there was white truffle oil, but it was somehow okay in the dish. He also had an issue that the duck prosciutto and melon were simply sliced and put on the plate. Chris did feel that the truffle oil did overpower a bit.
Chef Matt: Warm Asparagus Salad with Caramelized MelonEdit
Matt's dish was a salad of warm asparagus, duck prosciutto, Easter bread with the egg, and caramelized Korean melon. Marc complimented the treatment of the melon, which really brought out some flavors. Maneet enjoyed that Matt did this without causing the melon to lose its texture. Chris liked the addition of the arugula, which balanced out all of the sweetness. The judges found the problem to be with the asparagus, which was under-seasoned and a bit tough.
Chef Tiffany: Sweet Potato and Duck Salad on Easter BreadEdit
Tiffany made citrus-braised asparagus with a warm sweet potato, melon, and duck prosciutto salad on top of the Easter bread. Chris thought that the presentation was very nice. Marc loved that the asparagus was cooked perfectly, and all of the judges appreciated how she used the duck prosciutto, which was like crispy chunks of bacon. However, they felt that the dish was otherwise overly sweet. Chris pointed out that because of the way the sweet potatoes were cooked, some were perfectly cooked, some were raw, and others were burnt.
Chef Dave: Easter Bread Toast with Duck Ragu & AsparagusEdit
Dave made an Easter bread toast with a warm ragu of duck prosciutto, Korean melon, and wilted arugula, with poached asparagus. Chris thought that it was very well-composed and liked that the egg yolk was crumbled as a garnish. His problem was that the bread was cut too thick: the outside had a nice char on it, but the center was kind of gummy. Maneet felt that the sweetness of the bread overtook the entire bite, and that the melon was cooked too much, losing its texture and becoming mushy. Marc's only complaint was that it wasn't salted enough, but he felt that Dave made the best use of the egg in the Easter bread.
Chopped: Chef Tiffany was chopped. The judges loved the way she treated the duck prosciutto. Unfortunately, the sweet potatoes were inconsistently cooked, and she added more sweetness, which made the dish a little too sweet. For that reason, she was chopped.
Ingredients: Barramundi, Ramps, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Unripened Green Almonds
Chef Matt: Pan-Seared Barramundi w/ Ramps & Beurre BlancEdit
Matt's entrée was a pan-seared barramundi, sautéed ramps, a sun dried tomato beurre blanc, and fried fresh almonds. The judges loved the crispiness of the dish and the well-seasoning of the fish, although Marc and Chris felt that it was very slightly overcooked. Marc enjoyed the flavors in the beurre blanc, and because of all the ramps, a starch wasn't needed. He found it well-balanced and nicely done. Chris and Maneet thought that Matt had the best presentation out of the three dishes. Marc and Maneet both pointed out that there wasn't much flavor in the almonds, and Maneet felt that the beurre blanc took over a bit in that sense, although she enjoyed the texture. Matt admitted he struggled the most with the raw almonds.
Chef Dave: Baked Barramundi with Sweet PotatoesEdit
Dave preapred a baked barramundi with sweet potatoes, raw almonds, and sun-dried tomatoes in a light truffle cream with some grilled ramps on top. Chris liked the development of flavors, but did not like that the skin was soft and chewy. Marc commented that there were was such a small hint of white truffle oil that it kind of worked. He was also surprised that Dave went with sweet potatoes, but thought that they worked with the tomatoes and almonds. He felt that Dave butched the fish the best. Maneet would liked more ramps on the dish.
Chef Jackie: Barramundi with Sun-Dried Tomato PolentaEdit
Jackie made a barramundi with sun-dried tomato polenta, sautéed ramps, and an almond citrus sauce. Maneet really liked the citrus almond sauce and thought it was a good idea to flavor the polenta using the ramps and the tomatoes. Marc enjoyed how Jackie tried to extract the flavors from the almonds with the citrus. Chris loved everything except the polenta, which wasn't cooked enough and was still grainy.
Chopped: Chef Jackie was chopped. The judges found it a hard decision because all three chefs put up solid plates. In the end, Jackie's polenta was her undoing, which was the biggest error of the round from the chefs.
Ingredients: Kirby Cucumbers, Beignet Mix, Lemon-Lime Soda, Nata De Coco
Chef Dave: Cucumber Beignet with Raspberry SlushyEdit
Dave prepared a cucumber and nata de coco beignet with a cucumber, raspberry, and rum slushy, with a brûléed strawberry and nata de coco square. Marc complimented the presentation on the dish. Maneet and Marc liked that the cucumber wasn't lost in the beignet, and that it still had the flavor and texture. Her problem was that the brûléed nata de coco wasn't very successful. Chris noticed a few sanitation problems, such as Dave dipping his fingers in the slushy and taking a swig out of the rum bottle before pouring some into the mix. Both he and Maneet felt that the components of the dish didn't harmonize. Marc thought that throwing a bunch of stuff into the blender with some rum wasn't very impressive.
Chef Matt: Poppy Seed Beignet Cake w/ Cucumber CompoteEdit
Matt made a poppy seed beignet mix cake, with a compote of Kirby cucumber, blueberries, and lemon-lime soda, and a nata de coco caramel. Marc loved the presentation and the idea of breaking up the cake so it would soak up some more flavor. He also thought that Matt made the nata de coco edible. Maneet thought the blueberries and the cucumbers worked beautifully, and that the beignet mix was used for something other than a beignet. Marc did feel that everything had a lot of sugar, which made the dessert heavy. Chris enjoyed that Matt brought a lot of techniques to the dish, but found it to be very busy and didn't quite feel that it was harmonious.
Chopped: Chef Dave was chopped. In the appetizer, his bread was too thick. In the entrée round, the skin was soggy. In the dessert where the judges were looking for creativity, he used beignet mix to make beignets. Those were the mistakes that cost him the competition.