Meet the Chopped Grill Masters

Find out which 16 chefs are competing to win $50,000 on Food Network's Chopped Grill Masters , and get a sneak peek at the Arizona ranch featured in this five-part series.
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Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: David Lang ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Episode One

Co-owner of Whiskey Ranch BBQ, Chef Tom Duncan, 42, lives in Arizona and is married to fellow Chopped Grill Masters contestant Jen Duncan. This battle holds a personal stake for Tom, as he has bet his wife that he would don the dreaded color pink if she beats him. If he takes home the $50,000 winnings, Tom plans to donate money to charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Christie Foundation and others.

Episode One

Chef Ray Lampe, 54, quit his trucking job after 25 years in the business to pursue his passion of barbecue. Now living in Florida, he competes in several barbecue competitions throughout the year, is the author of five cookbooks and has appeared on countless television programs as "Dr. Barbecue." To him, winning the $50,000 prize would prove to the industry that he is an unbeatable barbecuer.

Episode One

The pit master of the Smoked to the Bone BBQ team, Chef Jen Duncan, 39, is the wife of fellow Chopped Grill Masters contestant Tom Duncan. She is co-owner of Whiskey Ranch BBQ in Arizona and prides herself on excelling at a typically male-dominated "sport." Winning $50,000 would allow Jen to donate money to breast cancer research and would boost her children's college-tuition funds.

Episode One

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Chef Galen Zamarra, 36, attended culinary school at New York's Culinary Institute of America. He is the chef-owner of two New York City restaurants, Mas (farmhouse) and Mas (la grillade), and is the self-proclaimed "outlaw" griller of his episode, competing against BBQ-type contestants. If Galen were to win $50,000, he would put the money toward his restaurants.

Episode Two

A born-and-raised Texan, Chef Nicole Davenport, 41, grew up herding cattle on her family's fourth-generation ranch. She is the chef and owner of Sugar and Smoke, a sweets-and-meats-style restaurant serving freshly baked treats and savory plates alike. In this competition, Nicole says that she is "fighting for all the women out there who don't get a chance to grill because their husbands are hogging" it.

Episode Two

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Dushyant Singh, 29, was born in Delhi, India, and moved to the United States 10 years ago. Now the executive sous chef at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Dushyant lives in Arizona and enjoys experimenting with local flavors and ingredients. Winning this competition would be a way for him to prove to his family that cooking was indeed the best career for him.

Episode Two

A 2004 James Beard Award winner, Chef Sam Choy, 60, lives in Hawaii and has written 16 cookbooks. His restaurant, Kai Lanai, proudly showcases traditional island cuisine, something that he hopes will becomes a larger facet of America's culinary landscape. With a $50,000 prize, Sam would be able to send a novice chef to culinary school and donate funds to charity.

Episode Two

Tennessee chef Carey Bringle, 42, has been barbecuing for more than 25 years, having first been introduced to it as a young man by his uncle. He lost his leg to a bone tumor at the age of 18 and is now the owner of Peg Leg Porker Products. Being named the ultimate Chopped Grill Master would allow Carey to prove his creativity as a barbecuer.

Episode Three

A full-time cartographer from New Jersey, Chef Doug Keiles, 47, has won five out of 12 grilling competitions and established his own line of meat rubs called "Rub-4-All." A self-described cross between "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Swine," Doug is a no-nonsense pit master. Being awarded $50,000 would allow him to further develop his rubs and also treat his wife to a vacation.

Episode Three

Chef Robyn Lindars, 33, is the founder of the food blog Grill Grrrl, through which she offers readers healthful, grill-focused recipes and tips. She competes with her father on the Too Sauced to Pork competitive barbecuing team and maintains a full-time job of social media sales. If she were to be named the Chopped Grill Master, Robyn may finally have the confidence to forgo her job to pursue Grill Grrrl full-time.

Episode Three

After growing up in a 7,000-person town, Chef Ernest Servantes, 33, pursued a career in restaurants instead of using his college degree in finance. Today he lives in Texas, works as the district executive chef of Sodexo at Texas Lutheran University and is a self-proclaimed "hoarder" of barbecue grills. If he wins Chopped Grill Masters, Ernest would invest the winnings in his children's college funds and also encourage others from small towns to not "be afraid to dream big."

Episode Three

Executive chef and partner at the newly opened Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar in North Carolina, Timothy Grandinetti, 45, believes that "cooking with fire is an art." Well known as his alter-ego, Dr. Brownstone, Timothy has competed in one dozen barbecue contests over the last five years. With a $50,000 prize, he would be able to put additional money toward the success of his restaurant.

Episode Four

Chef and owner of Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon, Kent Rollins, 54, grew up helping his father manage a cattle business in Oklahoma. Kent says, "I never cook inside a kitchen — I've cooked in hailstorms and heat waves." If he wins the $50,000 prize, he would re-roof his mother's house and support the Give Kids The World foundation and St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

Episode Four

A culinary-school graduate and cookbook author, Chef Corrine Trang, 44, has lived in France and Cambodia. Now residing in Connecticut, Corrine is a certified yoga instructor and wellness coach who believes that 70 percent of all dishes should be vegetarian. If she is named the Chopped Grill Master, she plans to donate money to a Tibetan monk.

Episode Four

Author of 13 cookbooks and the host of Public Television's Barbecue America for seven years, Chef Rick Browne, 65, was born in Canada and became a photographer for the Los Angeles Times. Though he has never competed in a barbecue competition, he has attended more than 100 of them as a judge, researcher or guest. He is now writing a book on America's oldest restaurants, and says that being named the Chopped Grill Master would pay "homage" to his late mother.

Episode Four

Chef Chad Ward, 35, is from Florida and co-founded the Whiskey Bent BBQ team in 2007. He believes that the secret to his perfectly cooked meat is "all about my fire management." With $50,000 in winnings, Chad would donate half of the money to the nonprofit organization KidsPACK USA, dedicated to helping homeless children.

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