Astoria chef and “Chopped” season 39 winner Nicholas Poulmentis returns to the small screen to battle fellow top chefs during a special “Chopped Champions Throwdown.”
The program airs tonight, Oct. 23, at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.
“Chopped Champions Throwdown” will follow the style of “Chopped,” where four chefs must use their culinary wit to create a three-course meal only using the ingredients found in a sinister brown paper bag. Contestants are given the bag at the beginning of the show and ingredients can be anything from rice to reindeer paté.
After the cooking and cursing is done, a panel of celebrity judges tastes each chef’s meal, course by course, “chopping” the chef with the weakest dish until only one is left standing in the kitchen. The winner earns bragging rights and $10,000.
“Everything is bigger and better now,” said Poulmentis, whose bustling restaurant, Akrotiri Seafood Taverna, routinely serves 60 to 70 diners on any given day. He is also the owner of Cengo, a hotel and restaurant in his native Kythira, Greece.
According to the chef, the heat in the Chopped kitchen gave him the confidence to trust his cooking instincts and challenged him to think outside of the box. He is now at a new level in his culinary career.
Born in New York but raised on the island of Kythira in Greece, Poulmentis took to the kitchen at a young age and attended the Anavysos culinary school before studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After finishing his studies, Poulmentis jumped into the New York City culinary scene incorporating his Greek-sea-side heritage and French education. Both of which he utilized during his time on “Chopped.”
But Poulmentis could not give away too many secrets about his performance on the Throwdown. Queens cooking fans will have to tune in to find out. He did mention, however, that thinking on his feet came easier this time around.
“I was given a better bag this time,” Poulmentis said. “I did my best.”