It’s on to the next round for Matt Ginn, chef at Evo Kitchen + Bar in Portland, who won the episode of “Chopped Champions Throwdown: Battle 4” that aired Tuesday night.

Ginn goes on to battle three other winning chefs in the finale, which airs on the Food Network at 9 p.m. Tuesday. The winner of that episode will take home $50,000 and a new car.

Ginn won $10,000 on “Chopped” last summer, and was invited back to compete against other champions. In the finale, Ginn will compete against another New England chef, Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington in Dover, New Hampshire.

In 2013, Portland chef Rob Evans, who owns Duckfat, was the “Chopped Champions” runner-up.

Chef contestants on “Chopped” get mystery baskets of ingredients from which they must create original dishes against the clock for a panel of judges. The chef with the least appealing dish in each round is “chopped” until just one chef remains.

Ginn said the “Chopped Champions” competition was “definitely more challenging” than “Chopped.”


“It was the next level tier of chefs I was competing with, for sure,” he said, citing Airis Johnson, particularly, as “definitely a very, very talented chef.” Johnson is a private chef and caterer, and has worked for chefs Danny Meyer, Gordon Ramsey and Sue Torres.

The biggest challenge on the show is not the cooking, Ginn said. It’s working within the time constraints. It’s tough, he said, to come up with a cohesive plate and execute it in just 20 minutes. The most challenging round, Ginn said, was the first basket, which contained quail eggs, sweet potatoes, cured Moroccan beef and pickled turnips. Instead of simply making hash, Ginn said, he took inspiration from the popular Kanom-krok Quail Eggs at Boda, a Thai restaurant in Portland, and decided to make the eggs the focal point of his dish.

He fried the eggs with soy and scallion vinaigrette, using the pickled turnips to give the vinaigrette acidity. He flavored sweet potato puree with orange and cured Moroccan beef. And he tied together the dish with spicy quail egg aioli.


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