It may have been cold outside on Monday, December 19, but inside Gourmet Glatt (Cedarhurst) things were quite literally sizzling, as three contestants armed with skillets and loads of adrenaline set out to prepare, in just 30 minutes, what they hoped would be the winning dish in the much-anticipated Chanukah Chopped Challenge. Sponsored by Gourmet Glatt and the Nachum Segal Network, the event was hosted by the inimitable Naomi Nachman, aka the Aussie Gourmet, and will air on her Table for Two webcast (NSN) (www.nachumsegal.com) on Friday, December 23, at 9:00 a.m.
The pressure was on and the clock already ticking as Liz Rosenblatt of Monsey, Rabbi Eli Slomnicki of Great Neck, and Stu Vaiselberg of Cedarhurst uncovered their mystery baskets to reveal an unusual (read: weird) combination of ingredients that included steak, marshmallow fluff, duck fat, latke mix, chocolate coins, and other daunting delectables. But the three dynamic cooks forged ahead, each one determined to impress the judges with his or her speed and culinary skills.
Sitting on the judges panel were Nachum Segal, broadcasting personality and president of the Nachum Segal Network; Eitan Bernath, celebrated teen chef; Elan Kornblum, publisher and president, Great Kosher Restaurants; and Elisheva Taitz, well-known foodie and winner of a Gourmet Glatt-sponsored Chanukah recipe contest. The judges evaluated the dishes based on taste, creativity, and presentation.
And the winner was .Â .Â . Stu Vaiselberg. Liz Rosenblatt, who completed her dish well before the 30-minute cutoff, came in second.
“In applying for the Chopped Challenge, applicants were asked to explain why they thought they would make good competitors,” said Naomi. “What impressed me about all three contestants was their passion for cooking. And it definitely shone through in their performances.”
Yoeli Steinberg of Gourmet Glatt rose to the occasion as well, Naomi observed. “As usual, he and his staff really went the extra mile to make this community event so enjoyable for everyone involved. I can’t thank them enough.”Â v