Chef Donna Lee under no circumstances imagined she would participate in a actuality cooking demonstrate, but then she got an Instagram immediate concept from “Chopped.” The demonstrate has been on the Food items Network considering that 2009 and with just about 700 episodes, the series has located a technique that sticks.
Four chefs are pitted towards each and every other as they compete for a possibility to win $10,000. There are 3 rounds: appetizer, entrée and dessert. The cooks are supplied a basket containing thriller substances and need to produce dishes that include them. Every single round commonly lasts 20-30 minutes and then opponents are critiqued by the judges.
Lee, owner and founder of Chicago-based Brown Bag Seafood Co., has based mostly her job on creating superior-quality foods on the takeout and supply model.
Born and raised in Evanston, Lee has normally been in the cafe market. She moved to Chicago and opened the to start with location of Brown Bag Seafood in 2014. The manufacturer now has additional than 10 destinations, with expansions in Atlanta and shortly, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lee was scouted and started the job interview process for “Chopped” past yr and filmed her episode in Oct in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her episode did not air until eventually March 15, so she had to preserve it a secret that she was the $10,000 winner for nearly six months.
Lee stated she practiced prior to filming with close friends and spouse and children associates and brainstormed the themes of the mystery packing containers.
The competitiveness and filming began at 6 a.m. and lasted very long into the night. While Lee has observed the show in advance of, she claimed that cooking with dozens of cameras was a new encounter.
“There are so several curveballs you are not always expecting,” she stated.
The concept of Lee’s episode was “Takeout Takedown,” and included chefs that experienced takeout and shipping choices at their organizations to display that takeout and shipping foodstuff can be just as great as good dining.
In the appetizer round, Lee used her thriller component of Detroit-style pizza as croutons on a broccoli cobb salad. In the next round, she observed a familiar favored of hers, branzino, which she designed with a negroni sauce and peanuts and peppers from Kung Pao chicken.
For dessert, she produced a sponge cake with the mystery substances staying crème brûlée bubble tea, doughnuts and a McDonald’s apple pie.
“You’re just resting on what your autopilot unconscious tells you to do simply because you do not have time to plan or consider,” Lee mentioned. “I knew it was likely to be as mentally demanding as it was physically, so I attempted to keep as tranquil as feasible.”
Lee wore her blue bandanna while cooking, a staple at Brown Bag Seafood. She said when she received, she felt like she was profitable for Brown Bag as effectively and will be employing section of her winnings to give again to her staff.
“It felt wonderful to get simply because you are taking part in for your staff,” she claimed. “For us at Brown Bag, the blue bandanna does really indicate a large amount to me personally and to our team. Each solitary particular person wears one just about every day and to be ready to make them happy, I actually wished to acquire for them.”
Lee hosted a check out party the evening her episode aired. Her episode of “Chopped” can be seen on Amazon Prime or the Meals Network channel.