One Long Island City chef hopes this time she’ll put her competition on the chopping board.
Natasha Pogrebinsky, executive chef and co-founder of Long Island City’s Bear Bar and Restaurant, will be making her comeback on a “Return and Redeem” episode of the Food Network’s “Chopped,” airing Tuesday, Feb. 25.
The chef made her first appearance on the show in August, where she competed against three other chefs. In the end, although the judges struggled to make a final decision, Pogrebinsky came in second.
Now, she is ready to go head to head with three other returning chefs for a $10,000 prize on next week’s episode.
“It definitely feels great to be back on, to represent Queens and to represent New York City,” Pogrebinsky said. “It was just as intense and real [as last time], and I was just happy to come back and put up a fight.”
Contestants on “Chopped” receive baskets filled with mystery ingredients. Each chef must create dishes and compete to make it to the next round.
On the Feb. 25 episode, the returning chefs work with ingredients such as sour candy, green lime jello and palm seeds.
“It was a much tighter competition,” Pogrebinsky said about her return. “You see the basket and you don’t know what is really in there. You have to think on your feet, you have two seconds to decide. It’s very nerve racking and you pull out everything you’ve learned in your culinary career.”
In 2011, she and her brother, both immigrants from the Ukraine, opened up Bear Bar and Restaurant, serving modern Russian cuisine. Currently the siblings are looking to open a fast food Russian restaurant in the same neighborhood.
Since her first time on “Chopped,” Pogrebinsky said she has seen a large amount of support from fans, customers, family and friends.
There will be a viewing party at the restaurant Tuesday night, Feb. 25 starting at 8:30 p.m. Guests can RSVP by emailing contact@BearNYC.com or calling 917-396-4939 to see if Pogrebinksy comes out a winner. They will also be able to taste samples of dishes the chef cooked on the show.
The “Return and Redeem” episode will premiere on the Food Network at 10 p.m.
Bear Bar and Restaurant is open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m., for dinner on Tuesday to Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m.