Chopped has been on the air for six years, but I only started watching the show a few months ago. I’m addicted and happy that there are five seasons to catch up on.
The Food Network recently revived their Chopped: Grill Masters competition from 2012. The tournament brings together 16 chefs from around the country to test their grilling expertise against one another.
The winners of the first four Chopped Grill Masters competitions come together to compete in the Grand Finale for $50,000. Three of the four finalists have won several grilling and barbeque competitions, and then there was Angie Mar, an Executive Chef from New York City. Honestly, I was about to turn the channel until I saw Mar was one of the contestants.
Mar would ultimately win the finale defeating seasoned grillmasters, pitmasters and former champions in Leslie Roark Scott, Chris Hart and Stan Hays.
How cool is it that an Asian woman won the Chopped Grillmasters tournament? Not that Mar wasn’t skilled or qualified, but she isn’t exactly what you think about when you think about a “BBQ Pitmaster“. I’m always excited to see people excel in spaces where there aren’t traditionally-visceral associations. Mar isn’t some burly, bearded man from the South.
On top of her breaking down stereotypes, Angie Mar becoming BBQ Grillmaster Grand Champion is even more impressive when you factor in that she only started cooking seriously six years ago and doesn’t even specialize in BBQ competitions.
Here’s a photo of Angie Mar with fire: