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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

July 16, 2020

Charlotte is seeing more representation on Food Network

Here’s where to find the city’s TV competitors


Charlotte chefs have been making regular appearances on Food Network channel in the past year. The exposure has helped put the city’s culinary talents in homes nationwide, and it’s not just savory chefs getting all the attention. Several of Charlotte’s pastry chefs have competed as well. These are the chefs that have competed on a Food Network show so far. —Justin Burke 

Chef Chris Coleman, of The Goodyear House and former executive chef at Stoke, won an episode of Chopped entitled “Meat Fight.” Each basket contained beef, and Coleman’s dishes included an African stew and Korean short ribs. He overcame lost time for medical treatment thanks to a cut sustained by banging his knuckle into shelving and took home $10,000. Watch the full episode here

Chef Troy Gagliardo, corporate executive chef for Bottle Cap Group, competed on an episode of Beat Bobby Flay entitled “The View from the Top,” with guest judges chef Michael Symon and Sunny Hostin of The View. Gagliardo competed against New York chef Pom Amaritnant.

Chef Sam Diminich, of Your Farms, Your Table and former executive chef of Upstream, won an episode of Beat Bobby Flay entitled “America’s Funniest Food Show” with actor and comedian Bob Saget as a guest judge. Diminich competed against chef Aliza Green of Philadelphia in the first round using fontina cheese as the main ingredient. Diminich won round one and moved on to the final round against Bobby Flay challenging him to lobster risotto. Despite the mixed reviews between both dishes, Diminich won, beating Bobby Flay. 

Chef Luca Annunziata, executive chef at Forchetta, won an episode of Chopped entitled “Time and Turmoil.” The baskets included Manila clams, blooming quesadillas, dried cuttlefish, sweetbreads, seaweed-coated peanuts, and boozy cranberry gelatin. The competition culminated in a cook-off between Italian-born Annunziata and another Italian-American chef Lina Zarcaro of New Jersey with Annunziata winning the grand prize. Watch the full episode here

Brigitte Oger, owner of Craft Cakes CLT, competed on an episode of Chopped: Sweets Showdown. The competition is a spinoff of Chopped and the winner of each episode moved on to the finale to compete for the cash prize of $50,000. Oger’s episode was titled “Cake” and was part of the five episode special. 

The owner of Sabor, Dalton Espaillat, his younger sister Darielyn Glunt, co-owner of Salud, and their cousin Odette, competed on an episode of Family Food Showdown. The show teams three family members to compete in a cooking competition against another family hosted by Valerie Bertinelli. The winning team gets $10,000. 

Most recently, Ella Stone of Celestial Cakery and Jossie Lukacik of Sweet Spot Studio competed on Big Time Bake hosted by Buddy Valastro. Stone brought Lukacik as her assistant to compete against three other teams on the episode entitled “Roaring ‘20s.” The four teams had to create cookies, cupcakes, and a showpiece cake representing the 1920s. Stone and Lukacik made it to the final round, but did not win. Watch the full episode here.

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