Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ is looking for Portland chefs

It’s been six years since The Food Network’s popular show “Chopped” set its sights on Portland. Now, New York City directors are recruiting local culinary talent to apply to the fast-paced reality cooking show where four chefs compete for cooking supremacy.

“We are looking for all facets of the culinary community, from supper clubs, to food trucks, restaurant chefs, home cooks … the  full spectrum,” said Javier Bernard, the show’s lead casting producer.

In 2011 and 2013 Duckfat chef Rob Evans competed on the show. The James Beard winner won the first year, but got “Chopped” the second time. Since then, Portland’s food scene has grown exponentially. The word has spread all the way to the Food Network’s swank Manhattan headquarters.

“Portland has a unique culinary scene and we’d love to meet and highlight chefs with great stories and passion for what they do and the space and location they do it in,” said Supervising Casting Director Beth Schiff.

Rory Strunk, founder of O’Maine Studios in Portland, is helping the network by spreading the word to local chefs. To Strunk, the attention further solidifies Portland’s standing as a top culinary capital.

“These are massive T.V. series and when they pick a market that in itself is a huge validation,” said Strunk. “We could end up with the next Bobby Flay, a culinary icon, or an amazing chef that wants to take one shot and call it a day.”

“Chopped” mixes it up every season, with episodes focusing on foodie areas like New York, New Orleans, Boston and lately Rhode Island. “Places we know that are receiving a lot of press and/or accolades for their food, ” said Schiff.

Application deadline is April 30. Apply online at www.choppedcasting.com

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.