NEWTON — A local chef will attempt to chop, slice and cook his way to $10,000 in prize money on a Food Network Canada show this coming Saturday (Sept. 3).
The reality is, David Braaten already knows the outcome of the “Chopped Canada” season debut, but he’s sworn to secrecy by producers of the popular show.
“Now that the episode will be on, people are asking me all the time about it, whether I win or not, and it’s been tough not to tell anyone,” Braaten told the Now. “But it’s on Saturday, we just have to wait until then, six o’clock, and go from there.”
Braaten, 32, filmed the episode in Toronto last summer, after being urged by friends to get involved in a casting call.
On the show, he and three other chefs battle against each other, and the clock, as they cook a gourmet meal for a panel of four judges. In play is a basket of mystery ingredients.
In seven new episodes of the show this fall, starting on Saturday, Braaten is among 28 chefs from across Canada to compete for the “Chopped Canada” title.
“It was intense, for sure, and one of the more challenging things I’ve done in my career,” he said about the experience. “But it was tons of fun, a really great experience.”
Braaten is currently the manager of menu development for BC Ferries. His past jobs include working in kitchens at Coast Hotels, Great Canadian Casinos (at Richmond’s River Rock Casino), Red Earth Accommodations and Milestones.
A “Chopped Canada” bio also reveals this about Braaten: “David has worked hard to get to where he is in his career, and with three young children at home he hopes the money will help give them the head start he didn’t have growing up. He is inspired by ‘Top Chef Canada’ and hopes he can help his daughter realize her dream of becoming a true chef.”
Meanwhile, Braaten and his wife, Yvonne, are also busy with Eatz By Braatz, a business they run from their home in South Newton.
“She’s really the driving force behind it, and on the weekends we’ll do dinner parties – go to people’s houses and make them a three- to five-course meal, for them and their guests,” Braaten explained. “And we do home meal replacements, too – salads in jars, things like that, and deliver them to houses or workplaces. We make things healthy and easy, that’s the name of that game.”
Braaten said he’s long been a “big fan” of “Chopped Canada,” and, of course, he’ll be tuned in this coming Saturday.
“I think we’ll have my family and a few friends come over for a viewing, probably have something to eat and watch it all,” he said.
And who’ll be doing the cooking that night?
“I’m always the one cooking,” Braaten said with a laugh. “We like to have dinner parties and we’ll do potluck-style sometimes, too, but I always like to throw a few things together.”