BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
An Astoria chef not only competed on one of the Food Network’s most popular shows, but he won the $10,000 prize.
Nick Testa, executive chef at Astoria’s The Bonnie and Sweet Afton bars, took to Chelsea Manhattan where he competed in the Food Network’s “Chopped,” hosted by Ted Allen and judged by Aaron Sanchez, Maneet Chauhan, Marc Murphy and Marcus Samuelsson.
“Chopped,” is a competition where four chefs call on their culinary skills as they face off against one another to prepare a three-course meal, using mystery ingredients.
Testa, who had been watching “Chopped” since it first aired back in 2009, was influenced to apply by his chef friends, some of whom competed in the competition prior and had won.
“I always said I wouldn’t do it,” said Testa. “But my friend pushed me to do. I did it and it paid off.”
According to Testa, the show was filmed seven months in advanced and consisted of a 16-hour day of filming.
“It was really fun,” said Testa. “While you’re filming, there’s so much high energy and everything is real. In the beginning, it was a little stressful while you’re getting familiar with the kitchen, but everything else was fun.”
Read more about Nick’s adventures in tomorrow’s Queens Tribune.