One of the Hudson Valley’s own was front and center on Tuesday night’s episode of the TV show “Chopped.”
Chef Brandon Walker, owner of Essie’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie, beat hundreds of season applicants to make it to the critically-acclaimed show. He said he’s grateful to represent the region on such a large platform, joining a short list of chefs from the region who have made it the Food Network screen.
What You Need To Know
- Chef Brandon Walker is the owner and operator of Essie’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie
- He joins a short list of chefs from the region to be featured on Food Network
- Walker made it to the episode’s final round
“To be picked out of the few, out of the masses to be able to represent my community, the city where the restaurant is and the Hudson Valley as a whole is a huge accomplishment and a huge honor,” he said.
He believes his cooking philosophy is what set him apart.
“I like to cook globally, because to me, in my opinion, that’s what American food is: a melting pot of cultures and flavors,” he said, “and if you’re an American chef, you should be able to highlight that, along with your own heritage, your own lineage.”
He said his grandmother, to whom he dedicated Tuesday night’s performance, would be ecstatic.
“I would imagine her being very proud that I’m representing her and the family,” he said. “I would imagine her saying ‘although you didn’t win, I’m still proud of you.’ ”
Chef Walker finished second, being eliminated in the final round of the competition.