Season's Choppings
Season 3, Episode 6
Happy Holidays Chefs!
Air date December 8, 2009
Winner Jon Bignelli
Episode Guide
Sticking To It
Flower Power

Tis the season to shake things up! The chefs learn that as an added challenge, their dishes must have a holiday theme. In the Appetizer Round, the first opportunity to see who's got game, they get venison. And a heated debate ensues over a borrowed blender. Then in the Entree Round, marshmallows don't marry well with the huge surprise in the mystery basket. And in the Dessert Round the remaining chefs "say cheese", but will they be smiling when their final festive dishes take shape?


  • Megan Fells, Chef and Restaurateur, The Artist's Palate, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Keith Geter, Chef, Artisanal, New York, NY
  • Jon Bignelli, Sous chef, wd~50, New York, NY
  • Jason Tilmann, Executive Chef, NYY Steak, New York, NY




Ingredients: Venison Tenderloin, Quince, Egg Nog

Megan did Spiced Seared Venison with Quince Compote. The venison is cooked perfectly and the spices are nice, although Alex finds them like pot pourri. The quince isn't tender enough, and there isn't enough of the egg nog.

Keith did Pan-Roasted Venison with Quince & Egg Nog Emulsion. The judges like his addition of marjoram to the egg nog, and his venison is cooked well. The spice crust on the venison is too much and almost inedible.

Jon did Venison Tartare with Quince & Egg Nog Purée. The judges love the boldness of making a tartare, which has big flavors, and the purée is fantastic. They do point out that Jon made his purée using Jason's blender, which he forgot to clean out before adding his mixture.

Jason did Cinnamon-Spiced Venison with Quince Purée. His purée is nice and goes well with the venison. The venison is cooked perfectly and the arugula goes well with it, but it is oversalted. Jason argues that Jon should be disqualified for using his purée, although the judges find that the two purée's taste nothing alike.

The judges decide not to extend their holiday cheer to Chef Megan, the reasons being her undercooked quince and lack of egg nog.


Ingredients: Kale, Rutabaga, Marshmallows, Turkey

Keith did Roasted Turkey Breast Stuffed With Kale & Marshmallow with Rutabaga Hash. Keith is the most creative of the round. The rutabaga is delicious, and the roasted marshmallows on his dish are one of the best things on his plate. The inside is like overcooked ravioli filling, and Alex had a string around her turkey.

Jon did Pan-Roasted Turkey Breast with Rutabaga Purée and Braised Kale. The turkey is the best of the three, and Alex absolutely loves his kale. Scott enjoys that there is restraint in the black pepper gravy. His presentation is lacking, and Aarón feels that it is missing an element.

Jason did Turkey Duo with Rutabaga Fluff. The rutabaga is fantastic and fluffy, and Jason is the only chef who used both dark and light turkey meat. There isn't enough kale, and the bacon is not only unnecessary, but it owerpowers his flavors.

The judges pinpoint Chef Jason as the chef whose turkey dinner didn't deliver, resulting from his misuse of bacon


Ingredients: Garnet Yams, Brie, Sparkling Wine, Cranberries

Jon's dish is a French Toast Sandwich with Yam & Brie Filling. The judges like his whimsical approach, and his filling is delicious. They wish for more filling, and they feel that his dish is too savory. Scott isn't crazy about the cranberry yogurt sauce.

Keith made Chilled Cranberry Soup with Yam & Brie Tower. The presentation is great, the almond crumble is nice, and the combination of the yam and brie works. However, the tower is dense and overwhelming, and the soup has the same over-assertiveness. The dish is disjointed and heavy-handed.

Looking at the overall meal, the judges chop Chef Keith for execution errors in his dishes. Jon is made the Chopped Champion.


  • The chefs for the episode. From left to right: Jason, Jon, Keith, and Megan
  • Megan's Appetizer
  • Keith's Appetizer
  • Jon's Appetizer
  • Jason's Appetizer
  • Keith's Entrée
  • Jon's Entrée
  • Jason's Entrée
  • Jon's Dessert
  • Keith's Dessert


  • In the entrée, the chefs got 45 minutes to cook the turkey.
  • Jon later returned for the $50,000 Tournament.
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