Chef/Owner of Sweet
Location: Woodstock, Conn.
I'm the chef and owner of Sweet, a bakery outside of Boston. Growing up, I was in love with food but the chef lifestyle scared me away from pursuing it as a career. I spent years as a fitness trainer and competitor until realizing my true dream was to be surrounded by food 24/7. My friends say I used to make people fit and now I make them fat! Pastry chefs don't get enough credit. We're the last course of the meal but that doesn't mean we shouldn't get the same respect as the chef. Just because I can make a great cake doesn't mean I can't cook a steak. I'm super picky about details and want things how I want them. I want to compete to show people that a woman can wear lipstick and heels in the kitchen and still win!
WINNER!: Jackie Lee
New York, N.Y.
I'm a freelance private chef who travels the world with my clients on their mega-yachts. Dealing with the demands of my clients and working by myself in a small, rocky kitchen is huge a challenge. Cooking is my artistic expression — I think about how the colors, the shapes and the textures work together. I can cook any style of food from French to Italian to Korean which is a good thing since I need to be versatile for my clients. I'm self-taught and never follow a recipe. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night with an idea for a dish that I must make the next day. I don't care if you're a man, woman or iguana, I'm not threatened by anyone and I'm ready to compete in the kitchen.
Executive Chef – Cherry Valley Country Club
Skillman, N.J. (outside of Princeton)
My love of food began when I was a young kid growing up in Philly needing to fend for myself at lunch. It started with a grilled cheese sandwich and turned into a culinary adventure. I'm now the executive chef at Cherry Valley Country Club. I handle all operations of the kitchen and make sure the sophisticated palates of my well-renowned members are satisfied. I love the excitement of the kitchen — nothing gets me going like hearing the ticker tape go off or the oil sizzling in the pan. As a former body builder and competitor on other Food Network shows, I'm no stranger to competition and this time I'm ready to win!
Todd Mark Miller
Executive Chef - STK
New York, N.Y.
I'm the executive chef at STK in Manhattan. During college, I was doing martial arts and studying psychology when I realized food was how I wanted to make a living. I never went to culinary school; my education came from working in kitchens. I always made sure to find the best person in the kitchen and work next to them. They didn't know it, but I'd always be racing them to do the job better and faster. I've worked in Utah, Las Vegas, The Maldives, Singapore and Philadelphia until finally landing my current job in NYC. I like to make straightforward, fresh and approachable food and add a little whimsy. I'm very particular in how I run my kitchen. If I show someone how something has to be, that's the way it has to be. If my own mother was working for me and she wasn't cutting it, I'd fire her. I don't think I'm cocky, I think I'm confident. If you put anything in front of me right now, could I make something delicious? Absolutely!