Jay Ducote will make a return visit to Food Network early next year when he competes on a special episode of the network’s popular show Chopped.
Ducote—a local chef and food entrepreneur who established himself in 2010 with his Bite and Booze blog—will be one of 16 chefs to compete in a five-week miniseries of Chopped, Gold Medal Games: Grilling.
Each of the first four episodes will feature four chefs, who will compete on the grill—in typical Chopped fashion—using only the mystery ingredients given to them. The winners of the four episodes will face off in the grand finale and compete for a $50,000 prize.
The episode featuring Ducote airs on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 9 p.m.
Ducote can’t say much about his upcoming appearance, but he’s no stranger to cooking shows. In 2015, he made it to the finals on the 11th season of Food Network Star. He’s also appeared on the network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and on FOX’s MasterChef.
Those previous appearances made the Chopped appearance, which was filmed in New York in September, a little less nerve wracking for Ducote.
“Being on those other shows helped me learn how to focus just on what I’m cooking and not on the TV cameras so much,” Ducote says. “I think it gave me something of an advantage.”
Enough of an advantage to make it to the grand finale?
Ducote won’t say. Regardless of the outcome, however, he’s excited to be on what he calls one of Food Network’s signature shows.
“The show is really legendary,” he says. “It’s been around a long time and has inspired a lot of copycat shows. It’s great.”
Ducote is planning to a viewing party at Tin Roof Brewery from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 9.
He’s the second local food entrepreneur who will kick off the new year with an appearance on a national reality show. Hanley’s Salad Dressing owner Richard Hanley is featured in the Wednesday, Jan. 3, episode of CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer.