Tuesday night's 'Chopped,' on the Food Network featured Chef Tim Cipriano of the Guilford School District. The episode was the show's "Thanksgiving" episode, in honor of the holiday that quickly approaches next week.
For those folks who haven't seen the show before, it starts out with four chefs who are given a basket of secret ingredients at the beginning of each round, and must come up with a cohesive dish for each of the three rounds: Appetizer, entree, and finally, dessert. Each round brings a new basket of surprise, and often, unconventional, ingredients. Talk about thinking on your feet!
After each round, one chef is sent home until only one remains, who is proclaimed the 'Chopped Champion.' Tim Allen hosts the show, and last night's judges included Mark Murphy, Amanda Freitag and Maneet Chauhan.
Even though Chef Tim didn't take the title of 'Chopped' winner, heading home after Round 2, the Entree Course, he's still a winner in our book! In case you missed it, here's a little snapshot of how the episode unfolded Tuesday night for Chef Tim.
Round 1, Appetizer:
Canned Cranberry Sauce
Smoked Turkey Gizzards
For this fast first round, Chef Tim whipped up a Corn Tamale Stuffing with Sauteed Gizzards and Bacon. Chef Tim said that the time went fast, stating that "the 20 minutes felt like 3 minutes." For feedback, Chef Tim received several positive comments. One judge said he had created a "Party on the Plate" and another commented he "Connected the ingredients." Round 1, cleared!!
Round 2, Entree:
In a very intense Second Round, the Thanksgiving Day star Turkey made an appearance. The chefs were given 40 minutes for this round in order to allow for the proper cooking of the bird. One of the other chefs, Chef Jeremiah, had the door of his oven fall off, which was a first (at least that I've seen)!
Chef Tim said that his strategy was to create Thanksgiving Dinner, but not in a traditional way. Mid-way through the round he was forced to improvise after his gravy wasn't thickening enough. He announces he's just going to have to wing it. What does he come up with? Grilled Turkey with Dried Oyster Stuffing.
For this round, the judges has some compliments and some critiques. They thought he had a beautiful presentation, and they loved his creativity. However, they thought the oysters in the dish were a little overpowering, and the grilled turkey just a little too grilled. Unfortunately, he was 'Chopped' after this round.
As he was being 'chopped,' judge Mark Murray congratulated Chef Cipriano for all the work that he does for the children. Chef Tim graciously wished the remaining two competitors luck, and made his exit. On his way out, he summed up his experience perfectly: "I didn't win 'Chopped,' I didn't win the $10,000. But it's Thanksgiving. I'm happy. I have 20,000 kids that I feed; my life is totally complete."