Charlotte food truck owner, Anthony Denning, won the $10,000 prize on a recent episode of Food Network’s “Chopped.”  Denning owns “Another Food Truck” and competed in a cheese-themed episode.  He says his journey began when the show sent him several inquiries through email.  He assumed they were fake emails and initially ignored him.  However, the emails turned out to be legitimate.  He responded, and the rest is history.  Denning’s episode originally aired on election night.  But, be sure to check the Food Network schedule for the episode to air again.  The next airing is November 15 at 1:00 p.m.

Denning told Fox46 the moment that sticks out in his mind was opening that first basket and seeing the mystery ingredients.  He said working in a food truck requires the ability to constantly pivot and change plans accordingly.  Therefore, that experience helped in the Chopped kitchen, where things get frantic.  Born and raised in Charlotte, Denning says he grew up watching Food Network.  And, the Charlotte food truck owner refers to the platform as “the NFL for chefs.”

One of Food Network’s most popular competition shows, “Chopped” first aired in January 2009.  And, I think I’ve seen nearly every episode!  Ted Allen hosts the show in which four chefs face off in three rounds.  In the appetizer, main course and dessert round, mystery baskets contain bizarre ingredients.  Then, the chefs must find tasty ways to craft the ingredients into a meal worthy of moving to the next round.  And, the last chef standing takes home the $10,000 prize.  I often wondered if the chefs know the theme beforehand.  Denning says he did not.  The panel of judges is pretty tough.  Heavy hitters rotate from episode to episode.  Some of my favorites are Geoffrey Zakarian, Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag and Aaron Sanchez.  It’s nice to see one of our local chefs take home the prize!  And don’t forget to find his “More Cheese Please” episode.