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Chopped All-Stars - Episode 2 [spoilers]

Claire Robinson - 5 Ingredient Fix
Duff - Ace of Cakes
Robert Irvine - Worst Cooks in America, Dinner Impossible, etc.
Anne Burrell - How to Cook Like a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America, Mario's whipping girl on ICA, etc.

Anne takes the Challenge, with Robert coming in a close second.

Amazing how the judges kept gushing at the dishes and skills demonstrated.

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  1. How bad did Duff suck? My guess would be mightily.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob156

      not so much, they liked his flavors. everyone knows him as a cake guy but he's a trained savory chef with experience cooking on the line - i know he used to work for Todd English.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        dont i remember from duffs bio...he walked off his job as "line chef" at the french laundry cuz he couldnt handle it?

    2. yes..it seemed to be more of love fest this time...even alex didnt hardly say anything negative...
      so i guess if u actually are on the food network..it means u are more skilled than any of the other chefs who have been on the show so far....
      and robert made the classic mistake with the dessert.....making something else that wasnt from the basket better than what was in the basket...

      1 Reply
      1. re: srsone

        well remember also that three of these four chefs have competed on iron chef as well (anne and robert more than once), so theyre a little more used to the show format

      2. i was pretty impressed to see Claire give such a strong performance, though it was pretty obvious Anne & Robert would be the last 2 standing.

        i've gotta say, i found it to be the most enjoyable episode of Chopped i've ever watched...and i'm pretty sure i've seen them all. there was a terrific mix of fun, skill, camaraderie and competition, and it was certainly nice to see the judges respond so positively to the food. unfortunately i think we've now all been spoiled, and when it returns to the regular competition it may not be quite as enjoyable for the viewers or the judges!

        6 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I was surprised that Claire didn't get chopped in the first round, as opposed to Duff. Pretty sure it was a close call on the judges' part.

          I think some of the Chopped Champions episodes were pretty good. I'm a pretty big fan of Madison.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            the Champions episodes were good, and Madison is my all-time favorite competitor, but i still though tonight's was even more fun to watch.

            i think we should all petition FN to offer Madison his own show:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7705...

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              It could be called "Cooking with Madison's Daughter" ... she was adorable on the finale.

              It would be just like when Jacque Pepin had his daughter on his cooking show.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                It would be just like when Jacque Pepin had his daughter on his cooking show.
                ~~~~~~~~~~~
                but perhaps with Madison's daughter it actually *would* be cute - she is precious. i always found Jacques' show to be very awkward when Claudine was on...though not as awkward as when Rick Bayless' daughter joins him.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  OH...those episodes of JP with Claudine made me CRINGE...poor girl...she is just WRONG

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

            ghg, I am so with you. That episode had a different feeling than any other episode I've seen. Everyone seemed to truly be enjoying themselves, and I loved seeing the difference in concepts, cooking and plating between these All-stars and the usual Chopped contestants. For some reason I thought Irvine would win, maybe because his whole usual agenda revolves around just such types of competition, but I thought it was kinda funny when Anne beat him yet again! (And I do like the competitive camaraderie between Irvine and Burrell.)

          3. Judge Marcus doesn't pull punches! Makes Alex look like Paula Abdul on AI! Or maybe she's payng the "nice one" for this show.

            1. Hmmm.. Did I hear Elton John's Can You Feel the Love Tonight playing throughout this episode? The judges were condescendingly nice or edited to look that way.

              In the final round, Robert used the Root Beer jelly bean only as a garnish, and the judges said they couldn't taste the fennel. Alex and Marc would have ripped any "regular" competitor who failed to incorporate two of the basket's ingredients for copping out or being lazy. Instead, Robert was politely chopped for lack of fennel essence.

              Also, Robert's "pots de creme" looked like it was just a simple ganache ... cream and chocolate... maybe it was more, didn't appear that way.

              I think Anne Burrell is a hoot. Her mind seems to work as fast as her mouth. Nice to see her win.

              4 Replies
              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                Actually, Robert said that the jelly beans were in the dish, he threw the two on top for a bit of whimsy.

                It's hard to know whether they were just easier on these guys or whether the chefs were just better. But it's not hard to imagine that Irvine and Burrell are simply better than the average (or best) chefs they normally have on Chopped.

                And quite honestly, their food looked better than the usual fare on the show.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  Also, Robert's "pots de creme" looked like it was just a simple ganache ... cream and chocolate... maybe it was more, didn't appear that way.
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~
                  we can't possibly see the prep details of every dish/element. given that chocolate wasn't even one of the basket ingredients, i doubt the judges would have raved about it so much if it wasn't truly excellent..and even if it was little more than a basic ganache, who cares? tasty is tasty, and people *can* screw up even the simplest things, particularly under pressure, so good for him for executing all those techniques on one plate in 30 minutes.

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    And who was it that had a long fennel frond on the plate, clearly for garnish and nothing more? Chopped contestants in the "regular" show always get chastised for putting things on the plate that aren't meant to be eaten.

                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                      I really think the Food Network finally listened to people saying how silly and over the top some of these judges are. Guarneshelli has had a complete make over. Come on, being nice to Duff Goldman and the 5 ingredient Lady? Their food was horrible. At least Marcus Samuelson was able to nicely say that the food sucked. There has been a conscious effort on the Food Network's part to nice up these judges so they wouldn't have growl at Food Network people. Pretty cynical.