Food Network Chopped Grill Masters, Part XI – Epilogue



Episode 3 Dessert Round Battle between Leslie Roark Scott and Harry


As I write this epilogue blog a week after Episode 3 aired on July 28, 2015, I have been processing, in my head, the many emails, text messages, and social media posts I’ve received or read about the show. First and foremost, thank you all so very much for your support and kindness. Perhaps I’ll be invited back for a Redemption Round for the creativity and grilling techniques that I demonstrated.



Start of Episode 3 with all four Grill Masters


I’m plenty busy working on my new barbecue sauce coming in August 2015 and more rubs. I’ve also been asked to add a grilling class to my already sold-out barbecue classes so the exposure on Chopped Grill Masters got the word out that I teach five-star rated cooking classes. I’ve taught at the Coast Guard Culinary Academy in Petaluma, Weber Stephens in Schaumburg, London, Hawaii, and many other states.


Mystery basket for Dessert Round


Donna and I also took a much-needed roadtrip vacation to visit, what else, some hog and cattle farms to see how our food is raised humanely and in an environmentally sustainable way.

Chopped Episode 3 set

Ted Allen’s camera captured the set in Queens NY


There will be many more interesting stories of our adventures, competition, and travels together. I know then and I know now that Donna is the one I love deeply. We survived being on Chopped Grill Masters with our relationship even stronger than we began and we’re ready for the journey and beyond.  Come visit with us and stay tuned for more great articles.


The Chopped Grill Masters Journey, Part XI

By Donna Fong

Harry would spend the next few days describing what happened and trying to figure out why he got chopped. It was a bigger disappointment to him than any BBQ contest. At a contest, he’d be over the loss by the time he got home. This one would sting for a long time.

I know for me; I couldn’t look at shrimp or asparagus without cringing for weeks. And it took me a few weeks before I was able to step in a kitchen and approach cooking like an act of love (which it is), rather than a contest (which is it isn’t). I took one deep breath and was relieved it was all over. I’ll never do that again, that’s for sure. I was so happy that I no longer had to walk down grocery aisles in a panic over foods I had not cooked or cajoled into a weirdo recipe. I was free at last: free at last!


Enjoying the kitchen once again by baking a chicken pot pie

Enjoying the kitchen once again by baking a chicken pot pie


Do I regret the experience? I almost regret it, but no. I’m a much better cook though it was a painful journey by all accounts. And I know that television is not for me: that’s for sure. The other downside is that I haven’t been able to watch the Food Channel since, though I think I will again someday. The memories of the cameras, the sleepless nights, the stress; it all comes back to me when I watch a food show. Harry, on the other hand, can’t wait to return on the show and get another shot at the Grill Master title. It’s a miracle that we are couple. We definitely still get the shakes whenever we see a large shrimp and I know Harry probably hates Jiffy pop popcorn, but it was fun, no matter what.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X