Tiny Urban Tidbits #16 - CHOPPED!

>>  Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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Imagine this scenario.

You're a chef at a well known local institution, a well-known restaurant on a prominent street that most people recognize. One random day while you're just doing your job, you get this crazy phone call from none other than the Food Network. They want to know if you'd be interested in competing in one of their shows. Your jaw drops, and you're like, "uhhh . . . heck yeah! when do I start?"

This is a very rough paraphrase of what basically happened to Chef Corey Comeau, local Boston chef of Stephanie's on Newbury and Stephi's on Tremont. Last night on the Food Network show Chopped, Corey was featured as one of four chefs competing for the $10,000 prize.
Watching Corey Comeau on ChoppedThe entire competition just lasts one hour and only took one day to film. Essentially, 4 chefs are given a basket of surprise ingredients (which often have NOTHING to do with each other). They must create a course within 20 or 30 minutes incorporating all the ingredients. After each course, one chef is CHOPPED, until only one remains.
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Last night I attended a viewing party at Stephi's On Tremont where Corey's fans watched the show in nervous anticipation. Keep in mind, Corey is totally sworn to secrecy about the results. No one in the room knew the final results except for Corey.
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While watching the show, we sampled a few items from the new fall menu (which is coming out quite soon). These signature macaroni and cheese deep fried balls on a stick were delicious. I loved the gooey cheesiness of the inside, which contrasted the lovely outer crunch.
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Gorgonzola, bacon, and pear. Need I say more? I may have actually liked these even better than the macaroni and cheese balls. I liked the sweet and salty contrast of the pears with the bacon and Gorgonzola.
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One by one, as other contestants were "CHOPPED," the buzz in the room got greater and greater.
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Here's Corey (guy with the baseball cap) watching with his immediate family in a small room right outside the bar. When the last contestant was CHOPPED and Corey was crowned the winner, the whole bar erupted into applause.
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General manager Leo Fonseca and Corey gave a few words afterwards.
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And then Corey's wife surprised him with a cake.
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He only took a bite though since he's been avoiding flour and sugar. Can you believe he's lost 40 pounds since filming this back in March?
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I had a chance to speak to Corey a bit after the show ended.

What was the filming experience like?
He said it was exhausting. They picked him up at 5AM the morning of the filming. Even though on the show it looks like the judges decide in a matter of minutes, they actually discussed for a good hour or so between each course. Meanwhile, the contestants just had to sit in this little room and wait.

Of course, the entire time they are in that little room, they are being filmed.

Corey also mentioned that it was interesting to see the show in its final edited form. Last night was his first time watching it as well, and he found it quite interesting how the editors strategically cut footage in a way to support a storyline that they might be trying to emphasize.

Overall, though, it seemed reasonably accurate. He said he became pretty good friends with Mona, the second to last competitor to be eliminated.

What's he going to do with the prize earnings? Take his wife to New Zealand in November! So, if you want to visit Stephi's on Tremont while Corey is in the kitchen, you better go this month!
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Let's congratulate our local chef for winning this competition!
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It's not to late to vote for this blog for Project Food Blog, Round 4. Voting is open until Thursday night, October 14th! You can check out my post and vote for me here.

Disclaimer
Time to time I receive free products, meals, etc. as a food blogger. I do not receive any payment for blog posts/reviews. The views expressed in this post are completely my own. The fall menu preview food items were provided for free by Stephi's on Tremont.

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you can contact me at: jen[at]tinyurbankitchen[dot]com
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