Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched episode 4 of the 40th season of Food Network‘s show Chopped, which originally aired August 20, stop reading.
You can catch a repeat of the show — which has Ted Allen hosting chefs who compete and turn improbable combinations of mystery ingredients into three-course meals — Aug. 29 at 9 p.m. or Aug. 30 at midnight.
Philadelphia chef Kristol Bryant competes in the episode, which is titled “Hot Dog Hot Shots” — so you know she’s going to be called to do something elevated and creative with that standard backyard barbecue fare.
Last warning about spoilers …
Since we are avowed foodies here at Generocity, we jumped at the opportunity to ask Bryant some questions after we found out she won her episode. Here is our Q &A, which has been lightly edited for clarity.
Generocity: Tell us your backstory.
Bryant: I was born in Edison, New Jersey, but moved to Philadelphia at a very young age and for most of my.life lived on the Germantown/West Oak Lane part of the city. I didn’t go to Culinary School in the traditional sense. I actually attended a program called OIC (Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center) where I received my certificate in Culinary Arts (a six-week program).
Generocity: Are you a chef working in Philly currently? Where can we go to taste your food?
Bryant: I am a chef that owns her own private dining company called K.1893, where I bring restaurant quality fine dining into your home.
Generocity: What was the process of getting selected for Chopped?
Bryant: The process for getting selected to Chopped is pretty lengthy. I first had to fill out an application, then if they like what they saw they would give you a call. I received that call, then it was more interviews, Skypes and if they liked everything they seen or heard they would come out and do a bio pack. But until you get an actual date to compete you are not on the show.
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Generocity: Tell us about that experience. What was the most stressful part? The best part?
Bryant: The experience was exciting. You didn’t know who you going to compete against, didn’t know what your ingredients was going to be, [it was] a true adventure.
I think the most stressful part was seeing if you were the one to get chopped. For me I don’t think I breathed until after Ted revealed who was going home.
The best part was telling my kids I won. One of my daughters broke down and cried in my arms (and she never cries). My son picked me up, and the elation in the room was overwhelming. I cried …. We all have made sacrifices and worked so hard … especially [after] becoming a single mom of four. My kids had to endure some stuff and lonely times while I went to work to provide.
Generocity: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?
Bryant: Yes, I want my kids to continue to expand and explore new possibilities — even if they think its scary. I tell them that the only limit they have in life is them. They can truly do and be anything they want, despite adversities of life.
Generocity: What’s next for you?
Bryant: I want to continue to with my private dining company, I am also looking to do my own cooking show, I have a food line I am working on and I love fashion so I will be working on a line of chef’s clothing for women — I just launched some of my shoe line.
Plus, I am always looking to give back and mentor and educate. The more I know and do, the more I can let others know, and help put them on the right path for their own career.-30-
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