It was a kitchen battle royale for some reality stars last night on the Food Network. Chopped featured four of reality’s finest competing for $10,000 for their favorite charity in a challenge that featured vegetable cream cheese, biscuit dough, and cherry pie filling…hopefully not all in the same dish!
Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Kathy Wakile posted the above-picture on her Instagram to hype last night’s episode. Her competitors? Little People, Big World’s Amy Roloff, Travis Lofland of Deadliest Catch, and Mob Wives resident grudge holder Renee Graziano! Are we sure it’s a good idea to let her near knives? I kid, I kid! I think it’s a fun way to raise money for a good cause! I’ll be honest…this post was just going to be a blurb about reality stars duking it out in the kitchen on the Food Network, but I was so intrigued, I had to watch.
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Okay, this show had me at Ted Allen. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is what started my reality television obsession! I’d forgotten that Amy was the boss of her kitchen and her family’s event business. She, like all the other competitors, have authored a cookbook. I stupidly thought only Kathy was of the cookbook caliber. Travis is a seafood master whose brother is a very successful chef. As for Renee, she’s not just writing erotica, she and her sisters released a cookbook entitled How to Use a Meat Cleaver. That sounds about right! The first challenge’s mystery ingredients are smoked mozzarella, endive, biscuit dough, and pheasant terrine. I’m with Renee who asks, “WTF is that (although she doesn’t abbreviate!)?” to the last piece of the puzzle.
Renee is cooking for a charity which assists victims of domestic violence. Amy is competing for her own charity which focuses on children facing dwarfism and other challenges. In honor of her daughter who has had two benign brain tumors, Kathy hopes to win to raise money for an organization that provides funding research and family support for people going through similar, and often more life-threatening, situations. Travis is in the kitchen to bring home a victory for his charity, the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial Fund which provides scholarship money to kids whose parents have given their lives for their job.
The stars are creating appetizers, and Renee and Travis are fast friends while Kathy and Amy are more quietly focused. Renee is attempting a panini, and Kathy begins her take on caprese. Travis is creating an empanada as Amy starts on a gourmet pizza. When time is called, Amy’s presentation is praised as Kathy struggles with under cooked dough. The judges love Travis’ empanada and Renee’s panini. The judges agree that they are all floored by the dishes, but Kathy ends up being eliminated, or chopped. Ahh, I get it now! #choppedvirgin #willbewatchingallthetimenow
The second round finds Amy, Renee, and Travis utilizing live lobster, vegetable cream cheese, quinoa, and dinosaur kale. I love that Renee makes Travis get her lobsters out of the basket for her. This light-hearted Renee, away from the drama and nastiness of Mob Wives, is one I could really adore! She’s making a lobster marinara as Travis educates the ladies on how to prepare his forte. He may sacrifice his own dish due to his kindness! Amy is sauteing her lobster with bacon and kale, while Travis prepares his in a chipotle-lime butter. I’d happily feast on any of their dishes. Renee’s quinoa could use more cook time, but overall, the judges like her meal. Amy is lauded for her overall entree, but her cream cheese sauce is underwhelming. The crustacean expert Travis offers up a deconstructed version of lobster, and that term alone means he’s not getting any points for presentation. However, the judges recognize that he spent the majority of his time helping his counterparts. At the end of round two, Renee is chopped. Thankfully, she doesn’t threaten the judges with mafia retribution.
The final round has Travis and Amy creating a dessert using cannoli shells, chocolate sauce, cherry pie filling, and marshmallows. Travis, who claims to be happier than a clam at high tide (LOVE HIM!) is making a berry mascarpone tart with a cannoli crust. Amy faces off against him with a cannoli crumb custard. When time is called, Travis’ heart drops when he realizes that his competitor’s custard didn’t set. Amazing food porn? Compassionate reality stars? Worthy charities? This may be the best show I’ve ever watched for this job. The judges recognize the challenge of cooking custard for a novice custard maker, and Amy is applauded for her effort. Travis gets positive feedback for the balance of flavors in his dessert, but once again his presentation is called into question.
The judges have a very difficult decision, but at the end of the competition, Travis is the victor and will be getting $10,000 for his charity. I was secretly rooting for him although I was highly impressed with Renee, Kathy, and Amy as well. This girl will certainly be setting my DVR to record Chopped on a regular basis!
TELL US – DID YOU WATCH THE REALITY STARS COMPETE ON CHOPPED? IF SO, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE EPISODE?
[Photo Credit: Instagram/Twitter]