Chopped Wiki
The Ultimate Face-Off
Season 2, Episode 10
First Champion Chefs
Air date September 8, 2009
Winner James Briscione (advances)
Episode Guide
Buckwheat Blunders and Twists of Fate
Best of the Best

Don't miss this ultimate face-off! In this first installment in a special four-part series, previous Chopped Champions return to compete again. When a Southern seafood specialty appears in the Appetizer Basket, two of the returning chefs have the added pressure of skillfully representing their roots. Then in the Entrée course, leafy greens meet Japanese noodles, but not every chef's dish meets the mark in terms of portion size. And in the Dessert Round the finalists have to work with one of the world's most expensive spices, but will their efforts be priceless or careless?





Ingredients: Crayfish, Red Seedless Grapes, Fiddlehead Ferns

Sandy made Roasted Fiddlehead & Crawfish Salad. Sandy's crayfish are the best cooked and the most flavorful of the round. However, he did not remove the veins.

James made "Cooler" Crawfish with Fiddlehead Ragout. The judges enjoy his use of bacon to tie the basket ingredients together. The only complaint is that there isn't enough spices in the crayfish.

Natalia did Sautéed Fiddleheads with Crawfish and Apple Salad. The flavors of the mystery ingredients come through, but her ratio of the grapes to other ingredients is such that it takes the dish away from the crayfish and fiddleheads. Marc's crayfish garnish on top is very muddy.

Michael did Crayfish Velouté with Glazed Fiddleheads. Michael is the most creative in his dish in attempting a soup. The texture is too thick, and the flavor of the crayfish doesn't come through.

The judges decide to make Chef Michael the first Champion to taste defeat due to the lack of crayfish flavor in his velouté, as well as the other two ingredients falling victim to the thickness of the soup.


Ingredients: Quail, Guava Nectar, Udon Noodles, Dinosaur Kale

James made Quail "Two Ways" with Grilled Apples & Bourbon. James is the most creative and ambitious, and has the best tasting quail. His portion is much too small to be an entrée.

Natalia did Guava Glazed Quail with Sautéed Kale Noodles. The judges like her straightforward and very good dish. The only complaint is that the noodles are bland.

Sandy did Guava Orange Glazed Quail with Garlic Noodles. His noodles are delicious, although Alex finds them greasy. The judges appreciate the clean flavors done in his style. They are unsure about the chopsticks put on the plate, and he is the least creative.

The decision the judges come to is to chop Chef Sandy, feeling that he lacked creativity and his presentation was just missing.


Ingredients: Baby Kiwi, Israeli Couscous, Rice Paper, Saffron

Natalia did Baby Kiwi Sushi Roll with Saffron Crème Anglaise. The judges like her use of the couscous as caviar and her sour cream topping on top. Her anglaise is underdone.

James's dessert was Saffron Couscous Pudding with Baby Kiwi Summer Roll. The judges love his summer roll. His pudding is borderline too savory and doesn't go with the summer roll.

The judges eventually chop Chef Natalia for errors made throughout her meal. James is the first chef to be made Chopped Champion for a second time and advances to the next episode.



  • This is the first ever episode of Chopped Champions.
Chopped Season 2
<< Season 1Season 3 >>
#01 Salty Veggies & Heated Battles#08 A Wish Upon a Starfruit
#02 High Hopes#09 Buckwheat Blunders and Twists of Fate
#03 Floundering Around#10 The Ultimate Face-Off
#04 Pride on the Plate#11 Best of the Best
#05 Pretty Please With a Pepper on Top#12 All Stars Showdown
#06 A Prickly Situation#13 Bring It!
#07 Pods, Grills and Sticky Fingers