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Chopped All-Stars, Part 2, 04/15/12 (SPOILER!)

  • c

An interesting episode, especially since the one real "pro" got knocked out first. Aarti was pretty obviously not going to make it all the way through. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Marcella did, but found myself rooting for Jeffrey. I felt he was the most creative with his dishes, as Aarti & Marcella seemed to stay withing their cuisine comfort zones.

Next week's group - I don't know...It will be tough for any of that group to go up against Michael Symon and whoever wins the Chopped Judges group.

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  1. totally agree I thought Keegan would walk it, but Jeffrey was likeable, Aarti was totally annoying as annoying as when she was on NFNS

    12 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      Aarti sounds like a whiner, and not a humorous one at that.

      1. re: smartie

        That's what I thought. If she squealed one more time about chicken feet or tripe, I would have tried to slap her through the screen. I don't know if she thinks it's endearing or what but It's not cute. And, I liked her on the NFNS.

        1. re: chowser

          Who's at fault with that 'squealing' - her or the producers/editors? Why include an ingredient like tripe if you can't get some good footage of the contestants (or judges) reacting to it? I tend to tune out when the camera switches to off-set shots. What matters is how the contestants use the ingredients, not the comments that producers manage to elicit.

          1. re: paulj

            They use ingredients like that all the time. I see contestants complain but never squeal. I suppose we have no idea if they hold up cue cards and told her to squeal but she did, repeatedly. It couldn't have been edited in so I won't blame the editors. It might only matter to you about the comments but it's a TV show and people can be annoying when they squeal too much to me. I don't get to taste her food, I get to hear her squeal. Act like an adult, not a 5 year old.

          2. re: chowser

            I agree Arti can be quite annoying, she giggles a lot too. Squealing "chicken feet, oh gross" was very unprofessional in this context. Marcela on the other hand came across as calm, focused and very clear about the dishes she was making.

            I suppose it is ultimately up to the editors and producers to determine what clips make it on the show, but the contestants give them the material to work with, good or bad.

            1. re: pamf

              I really got the sense that Aarti was "pretending" to be a chef more than being one. "My flavor profiles..." which she then got slammed on for being overpowering. I would have loved to see Symon wipe the floor with any of these guys! Who is Marcela, btw? She seemed the most professional of the bunch.

              1. re: DGresh

                They don't have a chance against Symon!

                1. re: DGresh

                  Marcella Valladolid...born and raised in Tijuana and San Diego. Has always aspired to be a chef on television. Does have professional training. Tried out for the failed Martha Stewart Apprentice knock-off and got, well, knocked off that show. Before being picked up by FTV she was a local caterer and did Mexican classes in TJ. Currently lives in Chula Vista (South County San Deigo). Has a Saturday morning show on FTV called Mexican Made Easy and at least one cookbook out in English that was, IIRC, published before FTV.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    She was on the winning team with Bobby Flay in a recent Iron Chef America battle. The other side was Morimoto and Zimmern. That was a close battle.

                    1. re: paulj

                      She's a good cook and good presence. I wonder why she's been so overlooked. I haven't seen much of her (maybe that's a good thing).

                      1. re: chowser

                        Chowser, I think it's taken her a while to get established. That, plus she's been working on the other side of the border. As noted above, I was actually rooting for her to win and not just because she's a local for me. I like her and hope that she succeeds. Of all the Latina "specialists" FTV has thrown at us over the last few years, she's the one that rings the most true for me. I'll admit, that might be because we share the regional area and it's fooways, but she seems a little less forced and over the top, and a little less of a characiture of what FTV thinks a good Latina chef should be.

                      2. re: paulj

                        I think I saw the beginning of that episode, but went to bed before it was over.

            2. I don't watch every show, but I find it funny how pastry chefs never seem to have the favorite dessert of the Chopped judges (and Marcela V. is described as a classically-trained pastry chef educated in France) whenever I watch.

              1 Reply
              1. re: FoodPopulist

                Maybe it's because pastry chefs don't usually have the time constraint of 30 mins to create something amazing?

              2. Glad to see Jeffrey win, I liked him and his show concept when he was on NFNS

                Haven't seen a new Aarti show in a while; I wonder if she will get another season.

                2 Replies
                1. re: coney with everything

                  I was very impressed with Jeffrey. He outspiced Aarti in her most familiar cuisine. I haven't seen his show but loved the concept of exploring the world of spices on NFNS.

                  1. re: chowser

                    I was very impressed with Jeffrey's creativity, cooking chops and personality. I did like him on NFNS.

                2. I was all set to root for Jeffrey & (surprisingly) Keegan but surprised myself by by genuinely rooting for Marcella. I think had she clipped the claws on the chicken foot and, perhaps, added a strawberry ice cream to her dessert, she most likely would have won. The ingredients were tailor-made for her background; I kind of wondered if the producers were trying to set her up to win.

                  In the long run I was glad Jeffrey won. He got so screwed on TNFNS

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    I liked Marcella, too. I'd only seen her in passing but was very impressed with what she did. I think she realized her problems before the judges did.