You can't blog Chopped live from Flagstaff because we're Arizonian and have some weird Pacific Time television affiliation. Also, I had to put Max and Zo to bed. Also. There were dishes.
But, this is a re-run anyway and definitely one I've seen. I can tell by the dreadlocks of the one chef and the way Ted over exclaims "And chef, Sammy Davis Jr."
There are two women which means no women will win. If there was one women, she too wouldn't win. I believe the women are subject to a different standard than the men. Over time, I think this will be made clear.
Tamarind Soda, Cocktail Nuts, Haricot Vert and Goat Brains!
Goat Brains! Here's something we all know. You must pre-soak brains in milk. Or, I'd like to think we all know that.
Spring salad and spice nut crusted goat brains.
"I think they're really delicious." This woman chef, Alejandra, is going to cook them in vinegar to "Get the funk out." Vinegar makes it seem like you're going to set that funk in but I know little about the ways of funk and brains.
Aaron, Jeffrey (sometimes spelled Geoffrey) are the judges.
She of the vinegar and brains, Alejandra, seems to know about tamarind soda. She is a woman of the world. And yet this will not save her.
We have a contestant whose mom was on drugs and lived on the street. This might save him. The judges are susceptible to hard-luck stories. Dead parents and single-parent status gets them. Cancer and heart attacks too. I've never seen a woman on here who came back from either a heart attack or cancer. Perhaps they should eat more bacon.
Colin has the dreads has revised his haricot vert puree. Now, there will just be haricot vert. Revision. Always a good thing. "I should have listened to my wife and be more simple," says Colin. He barely gets anything on his plate. There's a reason to listen to your wife.
Salad lady, Samantha, made a salad. Salad is the easy thing to call: throw everything on a plate and call it a dish. Jeffrey gets raw brains. Not good news for Samantha.
Colin, man who failed to listen to his wife, fails to get the sauce on the dish. Smackdown by the judges. "We always say this: get out of your head and put your heart on the plate and you can never go wrong." Until you put your heart on the plate and don't think about what you're doing. The judges flip head for heart back and forth like they're stir frying goat brains.
Alejandra--the funk was removed but the complaint: too much vinegar. What do the judges prefer funk or vinegar? I say vinegar but perhaps funk is the way of the goat.
Commercial break indicated by Ted's ominously hovering hand.
I'm off, during the break, to find out what they call plate toppers.
OK. I'm back. No luck on the plate toppers. Distracted by Facebook.
But no. Is it possible? Colin! His funny goodbye line: It's ironic that a brain beat my brain.
Cream of coconut, baby turnips, wakame seaweed, and fish heads.
Hello. Soup. Isn't this like the Greek Avagolemono Soup? Or, Tom Gha Kai?
Samantha is near tears and threatening to give up. The editing here--they give it away. She will give up.
Sammy Davis Jr. just said, you're probably dead but I wouldn't be here if not for you. Again, this narrative will trump his overcooked his lack of experience of fish heads.
Alejandra has no fear. She's cooking up those fish heads like they were as elegant as crab.
Sammy Davis Jr. hates turnips. He was forced to eat them when there was no other food. But turnips are so delicious. But, I got to choose to eat them.
Flesh is being render from fish heads. Samantha's going for spices. I believe the judges will frown upon her relying on spices twice in row. Sammy Davis Jr. is frying his fish. He fried his goat brains. Range, Sammy Davis. Think range. Also Siracha is a known chopper. But that would leave us with two women, which is unheard of.
Alejandra has made ANOTHER salad. This seems egregious but the judges seem to like it. Except Jeffrey who can find a fish bone in a chicken.
As I suspected. Jeffrey thinks the Siracha is too hot. Aaron, who is MexiCAN (see Chopped All-Stars where Aaron calls himself a MexiCAN and his competitor a MexiCAN't), loves the heat.
Now they're saying nice things to Samantha. Scott, who never approves of the cooking of the pasta, likes the cooking of the pasta. The seafood and cheese MYTH is being trotted out again by the judges. I believe Scott when he says the parm might have over-powered the cod but it's such a knee-jerk response. Cumin and nutmeg. That seems like something to complain about.
Commercial break: Plate covers is what they're called. Boring.
Samantha is Chopped. No surprise there. She got "beat by the ingredients." Um. Yeah. That's the name of the game.
So. Sammy Davis Jr. with hard-luck story versus Alejandra the woman. If history of chopped is any indication, Sammy Davis Jr. has this hands down.
Peanut brittle, marsala wine, wonton wrappers, and Durian.
Ander and Megan were the first to describe to me the horror of Durian. They sad it smelled like rotting flesh. Ted Allen agrees. Alejandra tries a bite. She's trying to like it. To respect other cultures but comes up with: "Tastes like when a baby eats spaghetti and pineapple and then throws it up."
My go to thought for dessert is "cobbler." I would be chopped. French toast is a favorite.
Sammy Davis Jr. is trying to bury this durian which might be good but the judges also might argue that he buried the durian fruit. But Sammy says a nice thing. "She's not the enemy. The war is this basket." This good attitude might be his undoing.
Final desserts look kind of similar. Alejandra: Durian fritters with marsala custard. Sammy: Durian Wonton with marsala sauce. Sammy Davis Jr. is in trouble for frying all three dishes. Aaron jumps in to make Scott stop haranguing Sammy but then Jeffrey must complain about the oversweetness.
Jeffrey thinks the durian is under-muted. But he thought Sammy's was overly sweet (overly muted). You cannot win with Jeffrey. I'm pretty sure he abstains when voting since he's never eaten anything he's liked.
So, my read is that Alejandra's dish was good although there was harping on the fish bones. Jeffrey has retracted his too spicy comment. Scott reasserts his complaint about the three fried things.
By bet: Woman, who had only two mistakes but whose flavors were delightful, will be chopped.
But, Sammy Davis Jr. says Ted, you have been chopped. A total upset. And he's totally upset. He said nothing when asked and just ducked when Ted tried to shake his head. But the moment Sammy said, it's not her that is my competition, it's the basket, I suspected he would be the one to go.
Many tears on Alejandra's part. Much commendation to Alejandra on the part of the judges for knowing how to using all parts and leftovers as food. That is, I think, the underlying premise for Chopped. Even if the women never (rarely) win, and even if assholes tend to prevail, the assignment is a good one. Adapt to bad circumstances and don't excuse your bad behavior when the judges complain that the durian tastes remarkably like durian.