Wyckoff has a Chopped Champion

Kevin Rooney wins the Chopped Champion - The Food Network


A disclaimer - I wrote this while watching a TV program I was rather anxious to see. So please to understand many things were in the "heat of the moment" as it were. Now that I have had time to reflect a bit I am even happier that Wyckoff has its own Chopped Champion. I could not be happier that the hard work, the on the fly cooking concepts and the laurel goes to a man I admire and respect. A man I have come to know, who showed, every great quality he carries in this program. This honor is all his own dervied from his knowledge and creativity.

25 FEBRUARY 2013 

I do hope you didn’t miss this television show – Chopped which aired on 24 February 2013 at 2000 EST ( 8 pm EST ). It is a pity if you did. 

The Food Network honored Wyckoff’s Kevin Rooney having him on as one of the competing chefs. Now mind you I am NOT a cooking show person. I can burn water. 

However; when a friend is on national TV you do tune in. And it was a really great show.

I never knew this about Kevin. Well, that he could compete as a chef. It’s actually exciting.

In the first portion the chefs worked with sushi which I think was the prime ingredient. I liked Kevin’s statement – “I am not going to cook the sushi. I would destroy the great flavor”. And darn can he move. The speed at which Kevin did the setup and start the actual “work” was pretty impressive. There was something called “carabe” (sp). I never saw that before. I am waiting to see what is done with the pickled watermelon rind also.

It is also great that there are quick side bars in the chefs background and current activities. Kevin was very his usual calm and determined self. This is great to watch.

BTW I am writing this as the show is on.

Ok, here we go, first course judging. WOW Kevin did great. Only one, minor, down comment, but from what I saw I had my fork out. Out of the four chefs, I do think Kevin did a much better job on this round.

Judges are “deliberating”. A very good review with only a minor downside comment. I did enjoy how the judges said this suski boat was very sophisticated. Not unlike Kevin himself. And we just found out that Kevin’s daughter, Jordan, entered him the this competition. Go Jordan !

DARN commercial. So now I am sitting here waiting to see who “gets chopped”.

Ok, Chef Adrian is off. The taco sushi just didn’t make it.

Round 2 coming up –

Ostrich fan fillet, purple asparagus, fish roe in a tube and blueberry wine. Now how much can anyone know anything about cooking ostrich. Well Kevin is doing a marinade with the fish, wine and olive oil. Sounds good to me, but what do I know. Kevin is the chef.  Added red potatoes now.

The pressure is ON with 1 minute left. Ok, Kevin has everything plated. It looks really great. Very impressive. From seeing the pan used to cook the ostrich and the was Kevin has made a sauce I can imagine the taste would be awesome. What I can say is you can see he has worked hard on this one. I am hoping the marinade makes it.

Here we go on the judging. Nice dish, composed well, asparagus got a great review, aww one judge wanted “a little more development of flavor”. I am sure we are down to Kevin and Michael ? Let’s see. While waiting you can see Kevin in his element. They did a close up and you can see his real and true interest in the other chefs. This is the man I know, his interest in others and his true feeling for everyone.

Kevin is getting a great review with only one “lack of salt.”

DARN commercials ! Maureen is chopped. She was a nice lady. Now we are down to desert. Cinnamon chips, baby red grapes, earl gray tea leaves, pound cake.

I am sure Kevin will come up with something great again. So it will be French toast with a cinnamon sauce of some type and a reduction of the grapes and the tea. Ah yes Kevin has added some bourbon to the French toast coating.

Down to the judging now. I really like Kevin’s presentation. Very appealing and has a great range of color and textures. Mind you all, both Kevin and Michael have made the same dish. So now we wait through another commercial round and then ..

Hmmm, Michael does not seem to have done too well. Kevin gets a great review one, the lady judge was not so happy. I liked in the view in the waiting room when Michael does a bit of bragging and Kevin just has a smile. Very elegant. So far with all the reviews I am hearing a really close judging here.


All hail CHEF KEVIN ! I must say I am very happy that he has won.

Kevin is now a Chopped CHAMPION ! I wish him well with his new title. It is GREAT. Of course, at some point, he will have to defend his title also. But that is another day.

Kevin Rooney has added a great accomplishment. And it is fitting to a man who does everything for others Another great honor for a man who lives his life with the modesty and grace he showed on TV. I am very proud that I know Kevin and can call him a friend.

Oh - Jordan – a great idea to enter your Dad in this. It was a wonderful thing to do.

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Vinny Magna February 27, 2013 at 03:04 PM
I hope you understand everything he said about his childhood and cooking was a lie , Just a real good BS artist
Michael Stern February 28, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Nice to see a local person on a hit TV show. Would be very interested in what happens behind the scenes on Chopped. Hope to see more about Kevin here on the Patch !
John A. Unglert February 28, 2013 at 08:39 PM
You should have come to the TC meeting on the 26th. We did get some further information on just that. A real, amazing, thing was that the show was shot in 2011, when Kevin was Mayor. Now aired 18 months later. WHAT a secret he had to keep. Couldn't even tell his family. I doubt I could have kept that one that long ! But a sign of the man also. He made that commitment and carried it through, as Kevin always does.
Michael Stern March 01, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Interesting , no way I could keep that secret ! Did he say if the ingredients were actually a surprise or not ? I know the hour show takes all day or more to actually film !
John A. Unglert March 01, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Yes, they were. They acutally had to practice NOT opening the basket also - LOL I am hoping to get more info also. I also learned it is a very strict show. Rules for everything and enforced. A really nice note - Kevin became friends with the final chef also. Well, that's his nature also. A very open man.


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