Chef Joe Youkhan battled for the title of “Chopped Champion” on the Food Network

On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, friends and family gathered at Rudy’s Pub and Grill to watch our favorite chef, Chef Joe Youkhan battle for the title of “Chopped Champion”. Rudy’s was gracious enough to have most of the television screens on the Food Network so everyone could have the best vantage point for the show.

As the show title came on, we started to cheer for our local culinary hero from Orange County, CA. Chef Joe owns and operates Tasting Spoon food truck and catering. Some of his family, including his dad, traveled here from New York to help cheer him on. If you have not seen Chopped before, there are 3 rounds: Appetizer (20 minutes), Entrée (30 minutes), and Dessert (30 minutes). At the beginning of each round, the chefs are given a basket of mystery items and can use items from the show’s fully-stocked pantry (staples like eggs, milk, vegetables, seasonings, spices, flour, etc.) It’s a similar premise as Iron Chef, but they just need to make one dish for each round. The mystery items usually throw a curve ball to the chefs, making them think on their feet and turn on the creativity. Chef Joe’s competitors were Chef Maxcel Hardy (personal chef to the stars in NY), Chef Ashley Fahr (freelance catering chef and food stylist in NY), and Chef Laurie Potts (Executive Chef of Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, TN).

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