Orzo it Seemed
Season 12, Episode 7
OIS Chefs
Air date July 17, 2012
Winner Joe Rego
Episode Guide
All-American Competition
Food Network Stars!
Three of the chefs go in a very similar direction with the first course, and yet the judges find creativity in the variety of flavors in their seafood sausage appetizers. In the entree round, the chefs must integrate tiny pasta and a powerful liqueur into their dishes. In the dessert round, when one competitor's plans fall apart, will there be enough time to redirect?


  • Joe Rego, Executive Chef, Club Opera, Atlanta, GA
  • Alex Friedman, Chef and Restaurateur, P'cheen International Bistro and Pub, Atlanta, GA
  • Brigeth Brookins, Sous chef, Banquets Department at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV
  • Willie Box, Executive Chef, 793 Juniper, Atlanta, GA




Ingredients: Pink Grapefruit, Seafood Sausage, Wasabi Peas, Cream of Coconut

Joe's appetizer is Seared Sausage Arugula Salad with Wasabi Purée. Joe makes the best use of the wasabi peas, and the judges love his great interesting flavors. His presentation doesn't do him justice.

Alex's dish is Warm Seafood Sausage Salad with Bell Pepper and Coconut Grapefruit Vinaigrette. The judges like his concept of sausage and peppers and his vinaigrette. His sausage is undercooked.

Brigeth made Seared Seafood Sausage with Spinach Salad and Coconut Jus. Her sausage is cooked well, and the judges like her techniques, although they find her dish to be too sweet.

Willie's appetizer is Seared Seafood Sausage with Coconut Grits. Willie has the best presentation, and is the only chef not to make a salad. The judges love his idea of a polenta riff. His sausage is dry and overcooked, and the grits are too sweet.

The judges feel in this round that there were not enough risks taken or transformation of ingredients, but in the end, they chop Chef Alex for his undercooked sausage.


Ingredients: Clove Liqueur, Bistec Norteño, Butternut Squash, Orzo

Brigeth made Sous-Vide Bistec with Butternut Apple Hash. Brigeth cooks the best bistec of the round, and her flavors are nice. She did not get the orzo onto two plates, and the orzo she has is undercooked. Alex thinks the dish has too many ingredients.

Willie's made Five Spice Rubbed Bistec with Fried Orzo and Clove Teriyaki Reduction. Willie's orzo is the best of the round. His bistec is pretty much raw, and the teriyaki is overly sweet, Amanda commenting that it was inedible.

Joe did Chile Guajillo and Clove Marinated Bistec with Butternut Clove Purée. Joe's plate is vibrant and lovely, and the judges like his unusual addition of orange to the spice, which creates an exotic flavor. Alex thought that going back for spice was a mistake, and his bistec is overcooked.

The judges chop Chef Brigeth for failing to get the orzo on all of the plates.


Ingredients: Red Jalapeños, Shortbread Cookies, Sharon Fruit, Cream Cheese Frosting

Willie made Shortbread Napoleon with Raspberry Sharon Fruit Sauce. The judges love his Christmas-like presentation and the tropical jam flavor of his sauce. The only complaint is the jalapeño that he left on the plate.

Joe did a Jalapeño Roulade w/ Cream Cheese & Sharon Fruit Filling and Sharon Fruit Purée. The judges love his creativity and effort put into the dessert. Alex feels that it is too sweet and heavy, while the other two judges love the flavor.

Looking at the overall meal, the judges chop Chef Willie for errors made in the first two courses. Joe is made Chopped Champion, with $10,000 ready for him to take his daughter to meet his parents in Portugal.


  • The chefs for the episode. From left to right: Willie, Brigeth, Alex, and Joe
  • Joe's Appetizer
  • Alex's Appetizer
  • Brigeth's Appetizer
  • Willie's Appetizer
  • Brigeth's Entrée
  • Willie's Entrée
  • Joe's Entrée
  • Willie's Dessert
  • Joe's Dessert


  • The three male chefs were all from Atlanta. Chefs Joe and Alex are actually friends.
  • The episode was filmed on Willie's birthday.
Chopped Season 12
<< Season 11Season 13 >>
#01 Grilltastic!#10 Grill Masters: Part Two
#02 Sunny Side Apps#11 Belly Dance!
#03 A Guts Reaction#12 Grill Masters: Part Three
#04 Chocolate Challenge#13 Cake Walk?
#05 Pride of New Orleans#14 Grill Masters: Part Four
#06 All-American Competition#15 Oui, Oui, Confit
#07 Orzo it Seemed#16 Grill Masters: Finale
#08 Food Network Stars!#17 Drawing a Flank
#09 Grill Masters: Part One