Chopped Grill Masters, Season 3: Meet the Grillers

Get to know the competitive barbecuers and chefs competing for a chance to win $50,000 in Season 3 of Chopped Grill Masters.
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Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Round 1: Ashley Pado — Wooster, Ohio

As the corporate chef at Certified Angus Beef, Ashley teaches large groups of mostly men about the different cuts of beef, butchering and how to grill the meat. She happens to be the only woman at her job, and enjoys proving she can manhandle a side of beef just like any of her male colleagues. Ashley found her interest in food at a young age, getting inspired by Food Network, and she eventually attended a technical high school for culinary training, and then Le Cordon Bleu.

Round 1: Bryan Moscatello — St. Helena, Calif.

Having been a chef for more than 30 years, Bryan's worked in restaurants all over the States: D.C., Chicago, Aspen and now Napa, Calif. He's currently the executive chef at Calistoga Ranch. Growing up in New Jersey, Bryan was raised in an Italian family where food was at the center of every Sunday and holiday. That led to him finding jobs as a dishwasher, and his big break came when a cook didn't show up for work. Bryan brings a modern aspect to his cooking and loves to grill in his downtime.

Round 1: Chad Rosenthal — Ambler, Pa.

Chad wasn't always a restaurateur — after attending Ohio State for fine arts, he started a career as a print salesman. All that traveling ignited a love for barbecue, especially when he had stops in Memphis. He eventually opened a small restaurant, then a second, and after selling both he opened The Lucky Well, a high-end barbecue restaurant with a wide selection of whiskeys and live blues music. Chad sees himself as an experimental chef and enjoys fusing the influences of different cultures in his dishes.

Round 1: Jonathon Sawyer — Cleveland

Jonathon is the chef-owner of three restaurants, Trentina, The Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat. He's worked in restaurants since the age of 13, and although his parents would have preferred he become an engineer like his two older brothers, Jonathon left engineering school after three years and went to culinary school. Jonathon is an avid griller and lover of smoke, and carries those passions into the menu at Trentina.

Round 2: Christopher Schobel — Kihei, Hawaii

Christopher was a commodities trader before he decided to become a chef and leave his office job. He enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York, interned in Hawaii, attended Le Cordon Bleu in Australia, then got a job offer back in Hawaii, going from intern to executive chef in four years. He bought Fat Daddy's Smokehouse two years ago, taking it in a newer direction. Christopher uses Kiawe wood for the restaurant's classic smokehouse dishes like brisket, ribs and steak.

Round 2: Karen Mitchell — Boston

Coming from a family that didn't really cook or do sit-down family dinners, Karen started cooking so they could have Sunday morning breakfasts. She originally went to school for hospitality before realizing she wanted to work in a professional kitchen. She is the executive chef at The Palm Restaurant, a family-run Italian establishment that's been around since 1926. Her strength lies in grilling over different types of wood to create different flavors.

Round 2: Nate Berrigan-Dunlop — Oakland, Calif.

Growing up, Nate was surrounded by cooking and baking — his mom opened a collective bakery with almost no experience. At 14 Nate decided he wanted to become a chef, but his parents persuaded him to go to college. He eventually dropped out and started cooking in restaurants, and worked his way up. He's now the executive chef at Penrose Restaurant, which focuses on organic ingredients and features a wood-fired grill. Nate loves both the primitive and the high-end aspects of grilling.

Round 2: Sophina Uong — Berkeley, Calif.

As the executive chef of Revival Bar & Kitchen, Sophina cooks French and Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on organic and sustainable ingredients. Born in Cambodia, Sophina came to California with her family at the age of 2. She was forced to learn how to cook for the family when her mom left. While waitressing and bartending to support herself, she found herself drawn to professional kitchens. She regularly competes on the grilling circuit and won her last two challenges.

Round 3: Brian Bruns — Chicago

Brian is the executive sous chef at Spiaggia, a Michelin-starred restaurant with a focus on traditional Italian cooking techniques and local ingredients. Brian started in hospitality management but decided it wasn’t for him, and so he enrolled in culinary school. Charlie Trotter was a big influence on Brian, who first ate at the chef's restaurant at the age of 11 and eventually worked there after culinary school. Barbecue has become a new hobby for Brian, who loves experimenting on the smoker.

Round 3: Charles Grund — New York City

The kitchen was always at the center of family life during Charles' upbringing in Chicago. He started out in kitchens, working his way up from busboy to line cook. In culinary school he studied the business side, which came in handy later when he took on his current role of executive chef for all five locations of Hill Country BBQ. Charles prides himself on being skilled at many barbecue techniques and loves all the elements of grilling, but he also considers himself a high-end chef.

Round 3: Daniel Gomez Sanchez — Napa, Calif.

Before becoming the executive sous chef at La Toque, Daniel cooked in Barcelona and later in Las Vegas, working with the opening crew for both Guy Savoy and Charlie Trotter. Growing up in Missouri, Daniel was exposed to lots of great barbecue, which inspired him to get into experimenting with cooking over fire. Even though he went to college for hospitality management, Daniel never attended culinary school — instead he learned on the job.

Round 3: Jason Bergeron — San Francisco

As a kid Jason was watching Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet instead of the usual cartoons. His first restaurant job was at 15, and he eventually completed an apprenticeship before working in NYC restaurants for a couple of years before becoming a chef. He's now the executive chef at Blackhawk Grille, and he's in the process of opening two new restaurants in Florida. Jason considers himself 90 percent caveman, loving the open flame of the grill and what it does to flavor food.

Round 4: Chrissy Camba — Chicago

Growing up in a Filipino household where food was always at the center of daily life, Chrissy wanted to become a chef, but her mom had other plans. After getting a biology degree in college, Chrissy took odd jobs, first at a coffee shop, later as a line cook and eventually as a sous chef. After working in a number of different restaurants, she opened her own pop-up, Maddy's Dumpling House. When it comes to grilling, Chrissy thinks outside of the box, even smoking dumplings.

Round 4: Ken Hess — Alabama

Growing up in Brooklyn, Ken loved food and always wanted to be a chef, but his parents wished for him something better than a blue-collar career. Still, after attending college in Oklahoma for restaurant management, Ken enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. He wasn't always serious about barbecue, but was drawn to learning more about it while at school. He is the associate pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson BBQ, with which he competes. He's won the World Championship of Pork four times.

Round 4: Tony Maws — Cambridge, Mass.

Tony is the executive chef for both Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter. He's loved food since he was growing up in Boston. He started washing dishes in restaurant kitchen at 15, but he never saw cooking as a career option until after he graduated from college. After leaving an office job he got a job at the Beach Plum Inn on Martha's Vineyard, where the chef convinced him he could have a career in the kitchen. Tony enjoys grilling over wood for its distinct flavors and its versatility.

Round 4: Tracy Anderson — Napa, Calif.

When Tracy was growing up, her mom cooked multicourse dinners and her grandma owned a catering company. Cooking came naturally for Tracy, so instead of culinary school she attended art school — but then realized it wasn't financially sustaining, so she enrolled in a pastry program. She is the pitmaster at Woodhouse BBQ and the owner of Woodhouse Chocolate. Tracy enjoys grilling and regularly attends barbecue competitions across the country with her husband.

More Grill Masters

Go inside the competition by browsing photos of the battles and reading interviews with the winners of each round.

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