Local chef battles for a chance to win a three-course cooking competition using mystery ingredients
Chef Silvia Baldini, Founder of New Canaan, CT.-based culinary group Strawberry and Sage, and one of Jamie Oliver’s food revolution ambassadors, will be a contestant on Chopped, the Food Network’s hit series. On March 31st at 10 pm, Baldini will go head-to head with three chefs who are challenged to prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert in 30 minutes while using unconventional ingredients from a mystery basket. The end result is of course a secret!
“When I was cast for Chopped on the Food Network, I was nervous and scared, but I decided to just go for it” says Baldini. “Once I walked into the Chopped kitchen, I relaxed, stuck with recipes I knew by heart, and presented all my food beautifully.”
Rock solid composure, steely nerves, and the ability to draw on extensive experience cooking with a wide variety of ingredients, flavorings, and techniques are essential to success in the high-pressure Chopped kitchen. “I kept thinking: Turn on the stove, think ahead, keep it simple and beautiful. Don’t be scared to take a little risk and don’t get distracted by Judge Marc Murphy talking to me in Italian!” says Baldini, a native of Turin, Italy and graduate of the Cordon Bleu in London and Cornell/French Culinary Institute restaurant management program in New York.
“I had a good time doing what I love on Chopped: cooking chic, comfort food with passion” says Chef Silvia. “The day of the show I ended up having a blast. I cooked for twelve hours straight and my love for cooking and experience in the kitchen came through.” That experience includes working as a stagiare at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in London and Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe before returning to the U.S. to found creative food group Strawberry and Sage.
It was important to Silvia Baldini to represent women chefs on Chopped, and all the women that cook at home for themselves and their families. “It’s a bit of a boy’s club out there and I feel this should be the year women break some rules” says Silvia.
In fact her food philosophy is based on the idea that when you share food with friends, family and your community it will undeniably taste better and make you happier.
About the “Fake Cake, Real Stakes” episode premiering on Tuesday, March 31
Join Host Ted Allen and Judges Maneet Chauhan, Marc Murphy, and Chris Santos to see how Chef Silvia fared in the competition. It is a great fake out, when all the basket ingredients are in disguise. The duplicitous ingredients lead to trouble for all, and even more potential for trickery lurks in the pantry. But expect Chef Silvia to sharpen her knives and her skills and rise to the task.