Mortimer Harvey

Food Network celebrates new season of Chopped in South Africa

Food Network, the 24/7 food entertainment channel 185 on DStv, last week celebrated a new season of Chopped in South Africa with four up-and-coming chefs who competed and faced the chopping block in front of a celebrity panel of judges at the Good Food Studio in Sandton.
From left to right: Chef Kevin Miller, Chef Abubaker Bagaria, Chef Jodi-Ann Pearton (winner) and Chef Jelele Mokhine.
From left to right: Chef Kevin Miller, Chef Abubaker Bagaria, Chef Jodi-Ann Pearton (winner) and Chef Jelele Mokhine.
Mortimer Harvey was tasked to manage all communications and to stage the event in conjunction with the agency's 'sister' events and promotions company, LM&P.

The four competing chefs were Jodi-Ann Pearton, Regional Committee Chairperson of the South Africa Chef Association (SACA); Kevin Miller, Lindt Chocolatier; Abubaker Bagaria, Head Chef at Bistro on Boulevard and Jelele Mokhine, Sous Chef at the Park Inn, Sandton.

The three judges were Andrew Atkinson, Executive Chef at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton; James Khoza, Executive Sous Chef at the Sandton Convention Centre and Jenny Morris, one of South Africa's most well-known and respected chefs. Food Network recently signed Jenny to develop and host Food Network's first commissioned show in South Africa.

The winner and South Africa's first chef to survive the chopping block is Jodi-Ann Pearton.

From left to right: Chef Abubaker Bagaria, Chef Jodi-Ann Pearton, Chef James Khoza (Judge), Jenny Morris (Judge), Chef Andrew Atkinson (Judge) and Calvin Smith – MC.
From left to right: Chef Abubaker Bagaria, Chef Jodi-Ann Pearton, Chef James Khoza (Judge), Jenny Morris (Judge), Chef Andrew Atkinson (Judge) and Calvin Smith – MC.
Nick Thorogood, Managing Director at Food Network EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) says Chopped is a cooking competition show that's all about skill, speed and ingenuity. We were delighted to witness this first Chopped event to be staged in South Africa as a celebration of the new Chopped series that starts on Food Network on 5th September." Thorogood handed over a cheque for R25 000 to the nominated charity of each contestant totalling R100 000.

Passion and expertise rule the kitchen on the fast-paced new Chopped series on Food Network. Hosted by Ted Allen, the series of thirteen episodes challenges four up-and-coming chefs to turn a selection of four mandatory ingredients into an extraordinary meal within 30 minutes. After each course, the culinary elite judges choose which contestant gets "Chopped" until the last man or woman left standing claims victory. The judging criteria are based on taste, presentation and creativity.

Food Network celebrates new season of Chopped in South Africa
About Mortimer Harvey
Mortimer Harvey is a Johannesburg-based full service and results driven integrated communications agency that delivers hard-working advertising and communication solutions. Services include classical above, below the line, brand development and consulting, strategic marketing development, promotions, interactive web services, public relations as well as events and sponsorships. For further details, visit

About Food Network
Food Network delivers a fresh approach to food programming and celebrates everything that is bold, fun and entertaining about the genre. It is not your typical 'how to' cooking channel.

The channel is available 24/7 to all DStv Premium and Compact subscribers on Channel 185 and offers a combination of credible cooking, new culinary ideas and high-energy entertainment to inspire foodies and non-foodies alike. Packed with award-winning cooking and competition shows, Food Network is fast becoming the preferred lifestyle and entertainment brand on DStv. is the 24/7 companion to the TV channel. Find daily TV listings, episode guides, chef biographies, recipes featured on air, blog posts and more. Recipes are organised by season, ingredient, chef, course, and cuisine make meal planning easy.

Food Network is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), one of the leading developers of lifestyle content for the television and internet worldwide. Its sister brand in the US, Food Network, is one of the most popular networks on US television and is the leading food website in the US.

About Scripps Networks Interactive
Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) is a leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, where on-air programming is complemented with online video, social media areas and e-commerce components on companion Web sites and broadband vertical channels. The company's media portfolio includes Lifestyle Media, which comprises popular lifestyle television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and country music network Great American Country; and Interactive Services, with leading online search and comparison shopping services bizrate and beso.

About the new Chopped Series on Food Network (13 Episodes)

Episode One
Rematch on! With pride at stake and determination in their eyes, four previously defeated competitors return to the Chopped kitchen to prove that they are not second-best, after all. As they set out to redeem themselves, the chefs are challenged by a tough cut of meat and a pungent English condiment in the appetiser basket. And the twenty-minute time limit coupled with some very eager chefs leads to a rowdy round. Then as they hustle to assemble the entrees, the chefs have to fight harder than ever to stay in the competition, but with cookies and fish in the basket, impressing the judges is no sure thing. And in the quest to finally become a Chopped Champion, blueberry jellybeans stand in the way of two very determined previous losers.

Episode Two
The judges are curious to see what is in store for them when one of the competitors breaks out the wok. And some of the chefs appear less than confident when they
present the appetisers made using trout and white chocolate. Then, creativity abounds in the main meal round, when the chefs get a whole new set of mystery ingredients including whole coconuts. Alas, two Japanese ingredients appear in the dessert basket, and the judges hope the final course will be as impressive as the previous two.

Episode Three
For the first time, four talented women set out to claim the title of Chopped Champion. But one chef's dream is squashed by her kabocha and sardines appetiser. In the main meal round, when the chefs take too long getting the beef cooking, the judges worry that the food will not be ready to serve. In the end, when two super sweet childhood favourites appear in the dessert basket, will the final dishes leave the judges nostalgic or nauseous?

Episode Four
It is raining beer! One competitor shakes things up in the Appetiser Round when a sudsy spout of brew splashes over his cooking area. Then when a grain praised by an ancient civilization appears in the main meal basket, will the judges revere the food the way the chefs have prepared it? And with a global grab bag of ingredients in the dessert basket, it is a mystery what the chefs might decide to create.

Episode Five
Bring on the Champions for the $50,000 prize! Four previous winners return to compete in the first leg of an extraordinary, five-part Chopped event. A repeat win will mean a berth in the Grand Finale competition with $50,000 at stake! But when the champs discover Rocky Mountain oysters in the appetiser basket, it looks like things might get off to a bumpy start. Then in the main meal round, when one chef seems overly worried about cooking fish and one chef makes a careless mistake with herbs, the judges wonder if the big money on the line is taking no small toll on the competitors' nerves. And when the finalists open the dessert baskets to find sticky candy bars and potatoes, creative ideas do come to mind, but will their sugary spuds be sweet gems or duds?

Episode Six
Ready to repeat?! Four new returning champs compete for one of the prized spots in the $50,000 Grand Finale fight. Feeling the pressure of this potentially life-changing opportunity, the chefs set off with record speed and exceptional confidence. But the judges must debate whose catfish appetiser will get one champ Chopped. Then a
frightening main meal basket, which includes alligator meat, has one of the chefs running scared. Will he let the gator get the best of him? And opening up the dessert basket, one of the finalists is thrilled to see a mystery ingredient that is a personal favourite. When the other chef is unfamiliar with the ingredient does present a problem and impact who wins?

Episode Seven
Four previously unbeatable chefs compete to see who will win the chance to return to fight for $50,000! But in the AppetiserRound, will the sweetbreads be the not-so-sweet surprise that unhinges a proven champ? Then when the competitors find chicken in the main meal baskets, it seems like a cinch. That is until they spy the spiny seafood ingredient hidden in the basket too! And with pickles in the dessert basket, the judges wonder if the chefs will find themselves in a pickle when both finalists decide to bake.

Episode Eight
One spot left!! Four returning champs compete to see who can secure the very last place in the Grand Finale champions' contest. With their minds on the $50,000 grand prize, the chefs open the appetiser baskets to find something fishy and something fizzy. Approaching the Chopping Block, the competitors know that serious errors in execution could mean the difference between moving on and going home after just one course. Then in the main meal round, will a gamy meat be a game-changer for the three remaining competitors? And when the two finalists find a Tex-Mex staple and a Thai condiment in the mystery basket, the judges must ultimately decide if the sweet fusion creations are championship calibre..

Episode Nine
Who is the unstoppable, un-"choppable" champion? Four tenacious repeat winners fight it out for the three-peat and the biggest cash prize in Chopped history! Ready for anything, the chefs open the appetiser baskets to find an over-sized sea creature and a scoop-shop treat. Then a wild combination in the main meal basket makes an extremely intense round even more outrageously difficult. And when the two remaining champions find champagne in the mystery basket, just whose victory the judges will be toasting is the $50,000 question.

Episode Ten
It's Halloween, Chopped style! The mystery baskets are filled with treats, and the trick is on the four brave competitors. In the Appetiser Round, the chefs labour to unite a disturbing combination of ingredients, including a very daunting piece of meat. Then
when the remaining chefs dare to go on to the main meal round, they find themselves up against more super scary ingredients, but it is fear of the clock that causes the most serious problems. And just when they thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen ... jeepers creepers! The finalists are in for a stunner.

Episode Eleven
The chefs are asked to create a meal with Thanksgiving in mind. But will they be counting their blessings when they open the first mystery basket and see a lowly cheese spread? Then in the main meal round, when the remaining chefs find a sweet scrumptious fall favourite and a bitter vegetable in the basket, they have to work hard to achieve harmonious holiday flavours. And with mushrooms and a Chinese condiment in the final basket, tradition goes out the window, but the door is open for some totally original desserts.

Episode Twelve
In honour of the holidays, the chefs are asked to keep with a seasonal theme. But gauging from the first basket, the competitors quickly learn they will need to veer from tradition. Gingerbread oysters, anyone? Then things get kind of loosey-goosey in the main meal round when the chefs must butcher a big bird and figure out what to do with a cloyingly sweet jarred fruit. And when both finalists want to use the only microwave to speed things along in the Dessert Round, some holiday bickering ensues.

Episode Thirteen
Octopus attack! Given just 20 minutes to cook everyone's favourite cephalopod, the chefs scramble to get a leg up on the competition by drawing from their personal backgrounds. Then the competitors take a meat and potatoes approach to the main meal round when challenged to combine flake steak and granola bars. And when Japan meets Greece in the Dessert Round, the finalists find it a rocky culinary courtship. But they know that a successful food fusion marriage could unite the winner with a $10,000 check.

6 Sep 2011 10:31


Mortimer Harvey