Ted Allen introduces 4 new kid chefs to compete in today’s episode:
11 year old Mason Partak from Auburn, CA. He has been cooking since he was 8 and baking since he was 4. “When I’m cooking my imagination just goes boom!”
12 year old Hannah Robins from San Francisco, CA. She also loves to dance. “I’m small, but that’s not all!”
11 year old Janie Wilson from Peabody, MA. She’s already won a cooking contest for her school and cooked with Marcus Samuelsson. She says, “I’m going to hip-hop chop my way to the top!”
And 12 year old Dylan Marcus from Cherry Hill, NJ. He is homeschooled and has been cooking since he was 2 years old. He says, “It just comes naturally to me.”
In the Chopped Kitchen there are three rounds with mandatory mystery ingredients for every course. Ted says, “If your dish doesn’t cut it, you will be chopped!” The judges are Chopped Regular Chef Scott Conant, Chef & Restauranteur Michelle Bernstein and Model & Designer Camila Alves.
For the Appetizer Round they must cook with Mussels, Coconut Milk, Hot Pepper Jelly Beans and Squid Jerky.
Mason makes White Wine & Coconut Mussel Stew. Even though he was very upset with himself for burning the jellybean sauce. But Scott Conant says, “You took something that was a mistake and you turned it into something that got the job done.” Michelle says the mussels are good well and Camila says the broth has just the right amount of wine.
Hannah makes Mussels in a Red Curry and a Side Salad with Coconut & Brown Sugar Dressing. The curry sauce is very good and sweet, but Scott would have liked more herbs. Camila is disappointed with the salad because she can’t taste the coconut flavor.
Janie males Steamed Mussel Salad with Coconut-Hot Jelly Bean Sauce. Michelle says this is the first time she has had mussels in a salad, and it sort of works. The mussels are cooked well, but the dish needs acid.
And Dylan makes Mussels Glazed with Red Wine Chile Sauce. His flavors are delicious, and his presentation is amazing, however the dish needs more sauce for dipping bread and more than one mussel to make it an appetizer. Scott says mussels appetizers are traditionally 8 to 10 mussels.
In the end the first young home to be Chopped is … Janie L since her dish was too spicy hot. She says, “It was amazing to cook in the “Chopped” kitchen for the first time — to see all the judges, to see Ted Allen. I’m completely proud of myself to just get out there and cook!”
For the Entrée Round Mason, Dylan and Hannah must cook with Cereal with Milk, Green Strawberries, Squash Blossoms and Wagyu Skirt Steak.
Hannah makes Oven-Roasted Steak with Fried Squash Blossoms and Marinated Strawberries. During the cook time Hannah burns her hand pretty bad!! But she is really brave and able to recover and finish her dish. The steak is cooked great, the batter on the blossoms is nice, but overall the judges say the dish lacks in flavor and harmony.
Dylan makes Wagyu-Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms with Jalapeno Chutney. The dish is way too spicy for the judges tastes, but the flavors are good. Michelle says, “Conceptually, this is a fabulous dish.” Dylan says if he wins he wants to get a Zorbing Ball! 😊
And Mason makes Spicy Street Taco with Hot Green Strawberry Salsa. The presentation is beautiful, and the spice is good, but it needs a bit more salt.
And the next home cook to be chopped is … Dylan 😦 since his dish was too spicy. He says, “I’m really excited that I had the opportunity to come and that I took the chance. Winning – it would have meant to me that I’m a really good cook, but I know I already am, so it’s not a big deal.
For the Dessert Round Hannah and Mason must cook with Microwave Cupcakes, Greek Yogurt, Blood Oranges and Cookie Straws.
Mason makes a Blood Orange Crêpe with Spiced Chocolate Cake Filling. It tastes amazing but looks a little sloppy. Camila says the layering of coffee flavor is really nice. Mason says before he began cooking he did not have a lot of self confidence in himself and he thinks a win can help push him further to something big
Hannah makes Chocolate Cookie & Cake Mousse with Whipped Yogurt. Scott likes how she balanced the sweetness and Michelle likes how she balanced the textures. “Like a carnival in your mouth!” But, Camila says the Greek yogurt is too tart in the whipped cream. Hannah says that people think she can’t do things because she is short and a girl, but a win will show she can do things and its all about what’s on the inside that counts
And the last home cook chopped is … Hannah L since her salad did not work in the first round and her dish was not harmonious in the second. Michelle says, “Hannah, this is so difficult. You are an amazing young woman, so talented, you’re a beautiful person, and you’re a great cook.” Hannah says, “I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t win, but I just came here to cook, and that’s what I did. And next time, I will win.”
That means MASON PARTAK is the Chopped Junior Champion! He says “I would say that this moment is so crazy that I can’t process it. My confidence level has gone through the roof. I feel really proud of myself that I could call myself a Chopped Junior Champion!
I really liked this episode a lot since I loved Mason. I thought he had a great attitude and he was nice to the other kids. I like how Chopped Junior showed him in a positive way, unlike Stove Tots. As much as I was happy to see Caroline and Ryan Kate again, and am excited to see Zac, Kayla, Jacob, Nicolas and others in upcoming shows, I am very disappointed, bordering on angry, with how Stove Tots portrayed Mason and his mom on the show. It made them appear very cocky, almost like villains, but they are very nice people in real life. Mason, in particular, has been great to me and follows my posts. I was also upset with how Stove Tots made Jayda and her mom appear rude to another contestant on a different episode. Why do they have to do this? In my opinion, the editing is unfair to these kids who work hard and are very talented.