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The Chopping Block Goes To Mother Nature For Inspiration

March 25, 2009 06:37 PM by DA Southern


The Chopping Block once again tests the meddle of the remaining six couples as we see acclaimed chef Marco Pierre White challenge the couples to create a dinner using inspiration from Mother Nature. Now if that means we will see plates of dirt and water, remains to be seen, but whatever happens, we will lose another pair of chefs that we don’t really have much of a sense about at this point. Maybe tonight we will start caring about who we think deserves the ultimate prize of their own restaurant, or maybe not.

Chef White gave the chefs their next challenge in Central Park where he told the teams that they were to listen to a park guide who would tell them about the possible food in the park that was good to eat. The wild guide tried to inform the chefs about how to “Shop” in the park in preparation for the meal they would be cooking for Chef Marco.

Rabbit, duck, squab and quail was on the menu as the chefs were to cook a meal for White and, of course, they were to use fresh herbs and veggies from the park for the challenge to impress. Chef Marco was first to sample the carp from the Red Team and seemed unimpressed. White then sampled the quail from the Black Team and thought they had prepared a much better dish as a team and gave them the victory.


Chef White said that the night’s service must include four dishes that had influences from Central Park and that since Black Team won the challenge, they would have a top matradee assisting them with the front-of-house service. Of course, White said that he would be around to criticize their dishes and told the teams to expect the food critic to make shambles of any success they think they might have garnered.

The Red Team was fighting amongst themselves instead of prepping for the night’s service and the Black Team was getting an invaluable lesson on how to greet the patrons from a high-ranked restaurant manager from New York who stressed “Welcome, Comfort and Control” when it came to the operation of the dinner service.


Chef White took the time to look at the menus and determined that both teams did not follow his instructions of having four dishes that were inspired for their Central Park experience. The Red Team had Panya and Vanessa fighting for control as to how the front house should operate and the kitchen was faring no better when they could not get a cohesive menu set for the service.

Dinner Service

The guest were rolling in and it made it even more compelling as there was not a reservation book so the kitchens were going to be put to the test by not having shifts of patrons. Additionally, all of the patrons would be voting on the overall performance of the restaurants.


The Red Team was definitely at a disadvantage not having an experienced matradee assisting them in their service. The Black Team’s Head Chef, Dean, got a bit hurried during the service and ended up cutting his hand and was sent to the hospital, leaving the Black Team short handed for the remainder of the service.

Critics Review

Neither of the teams really stood out as they did not even come close the standards set by Chef Marco Pierre White. While the Black Team fared better because of the assistance in front house, the Team’s took a beating by the food critic. Chef White entered and said that there was not one food critic but that everyone was a critic.


White explained that each restaurant was judged on a thirty point scale based on the food, service and overall ambiance, or dÃcor, of the restaurant. The comments were read and both teams garnered an equal share of negative comments. The final point spread was the Red Team 11 on food, dÃcor, 7 and service 7; Black Team, food, 11 points, dÃcor, 9 and service 11, proving that the expert assistance was indeed the difference. The over all points were Black Team 10 points and Red Team 7 points, leaving the Red Team again onThe Chopping Block.


Chef White immediately inquired to the problems in the kitchen and Panya and Vanessa immediately got into a “Who can throw who under the bus the best” war of words. Panya was very defensive and even threw out the race card to try to bolster her claim of not being respected by the rest of the team, which caused a huge uproar as it was not true at all.


In the end, Chef Marco Pierre White would have nothing from of it from Panya saying that she and Michael could not adapt to their environment which led them to fail and sent engaged couple Panya Rice and Michael Holmes back to Atlanta with their unrealized dreams left onThe Chopping Block.

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Photo Credit: NBC

Topics: NBC Reality TV Shows, The Chopping Block |

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