Dover chef Evan Hennessey ’Chopped’ in last round on Food Network (2024)

Dover chef Evan Hennessey ’Chopped’ in last round on Food Network (1)

Dover chef and restaurant owner Evan Hennessey once again demonstrated his culinary creativity and impeccable technique to make it through the first round of the Food Network’s “Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay” finale on Sunday, Sept. 6, and while he didn’t get the opportunity to face Flay or win $50,000, he says he’s proud of what he’s accomplished.

“I made it farther than I’d ever made it before in a finale like this one. I got to stand up and do something that's extremely difficult and not shy away from it,” said Hennessey.

After winning his season 47 round against three talented chefs from New York, Boston and Brooklyn, televised on Aug. 23, the chef and owner of Stages at One Washington, went on to last night’s finale, competing against the winners of each of the four battles. In the end, chef Stephen Coe from Plymouth, Massachusetts, not only faced off against chef Bobby Flay but “beat” him, taking home the $50,000.

This was the fifth “Chopped” appearance for Hennessey who took home the $10,000 prize and the honor of being named “champion” in the show’s May, 2018 season. He returned in the season 40 “Chopped Champion” competition, winning his round before being eliminated in the final battle appearance in November.

For this “Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay” finale, Hennessey and the three other competing chefs, Andre Fowles, Stephen Coe and Jay Abrams, were once again given a mystery basket of ingredients to work with and dishes are evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges to determine who goes on to the next round.

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For the first round, the chefs were presented with a basket with vanilla ice cream stuffed doughnuts, pig kidneys, upland cress and dried mangosteen from which Hennessey made a pig kidney and mangosteen dumpling with doughnut and Kombu broth. Judges Christian Petroni, Tiffani Faison and Chris Santos questioned his technique of grinding the kidneys, but Hennessey says he knew just what he needed to do.

“I’ve worked with them before, but I’ve always had a much longer time to deal with them. I’ve always soaked them in milk several times, you try to pull the iron flavor out of them. You really need time to finesse them, soak them in multiple changes of milk over 24 hours. We don’t have that time and the only thing I could think of was to break them down.”

Judges also noted that Hennessey’s hands were shaking during this first round.

“It was so intense. I don’t normally get like that. In my mind, I was talking to myself and telling myself to breathe slowly.”

The chef’s approach to the dish and his calming technique paid off. The judges were pleased with the flavor and creativity. He made it through to the next round after which two chefs would be eliminated, leaving the chef who would face Bobby Flay.

“I forgot that they were going to cut two of us in this round and that there wouldn't be a dessert round. When they announced it on the show, that was when we heard about it.”

That next round’s mystery basket included Lacy cauliflower, potted meat made with chicken and pork, rhubarb liqueur and an ingredient that Hennessey was very happy to see, a whole tilefish.

“I’ve worked with tilefish before. I love dealing with them, but in the last battle I got the whole dorade (fish) and I was so successful with butchering and cooking a whole fish that I was excited to go at it again. They really complimented my technique on the fish last time. I knew that I was going to be able to cook that better than anybody else there.”

The judges did find much to like about Hennessey’s seared tilefish with potted meat and potato galette with glazed cauliflower and milk broth flavored with burnt herbs, including “fish so expertly cooked it’s obnoxious.” They also liked his ability to balance out the salt from the potted meat and while opinions were mixed about the milk broth, it was the galette that may have contributed the most to Hennessey being “chopped.”

“As soon as I saw it was not getting crispy and searing, it was farther and farther off my original idea which was a galette or something of that sort. The bottom of that needs to be really crisp and the other side nice and tender and it wasn’t searing. I was trying to be so technically sound with everything so as soon as I started to break the technique of what I was doing, it started to bother me with what it was ... when that whole galette started to not work, that’s when in my head I thought, ‘It’s gone. This isn’t it.’ I was pretty sure at that point that I was going because in my mind, the dish wasn’t perfect.”

Still, Hennessey said he enjoys the opportunity to show the nation what he can do.

“I was very proud that I never changed anything about the way that I cook and that I could stand up and represent my hometown and show people my cooking, the community and the restaurant.”

Stages at One Washington is open for full-service indoor dining with reservations now available for two seatings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. in the chef’s kitchen dining space. All distancing protocols are in place for diners to safely enjoy Hennessey’s progressive New England cuisine at his Dover restaurant.

Dover chef Evan Hennessey ’Chopped’ in last round on Food Network (2024)


Dover chef Evan Hennessey ’Chopped’ in last round on Food Network? ›

This was the fifth “Chopped” appearance for Hennessey who took home the $10,000 prize and the honor of being named “champion” in the show's May, 2018 season. He returned in the season 40 “Chopped Champion” competition, winning his round before being eliminated in the final battle appearance in November.

Who is the Chopped chef in Dover NH? ›

Chef Evan Hennessey is an award winning chef and Dover native. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu at the Atlantic Culinary Academy in 2001.

Do the Chopped judges get paid? ›

The amount paid to the Chopped judges has not been publicly revealed, and the money varies from episode to episode. However, it is alleged that they can make up to $1,000 per episode. The judges are paid for their invaluable services to the show, which includes: Tasting the meals prepared.

Do the Chopped judges ever compete? ›

It's a friendly competition between friends, when the Chopped judges face off with baskets containing leftover ingredients.

Who is the toughest judge on Chopped? ›

Chris Santos '93 is known as one of the toughest judges on the Food Network show “Chopped.” But he showed a very different side during his recent Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) demo at JWU's Providence Campus.

Who is the new Chopped host? ›

Find out more about Food Network's Chopped host, Ted Allen, and the panel of esteemed chef judges.

Who is the chef with one hand on Chopped? ›

Eduardo Garcia (born 1981) is an American celebrity chef and the co-founder of Montana Mex, a Mexican food company. He is known as the "bionic chef" because he cooks with a prosthetic left arm, the result of an accident while hunting in 2011.

Who is the richest Chopped judge? ›

Who is the richest Chopped judge? Christ Santos is the richest judge on Chopped. He is a renowned New York City chef, former executive chef, and New York's Stanton Social owner. Thanks to his endeavours as a chef, TV personality, and entrepreneur, he has an estimated net worth of $8 million as of 2023.

How staged is Chopped? ›

Don't worry, the 30-minute countdown (well, 20 for appetizers and 30 for entrées and desserts) is real. "You're really being timed, you're being filmed from all sides and it's a real competition, not just a fake reality show," Michael Vignola told Tasting Table.

How much prep time do Chopped contestants get? ›

There's no fudging time on "Chopped" because, just like the show claims, contestants get 20 minutes to prepare and plate the appetizer and 30 minutes for the entrée and dessert. But just before the countdown clock starts, there are a few precious minutes that can be used to the chefs' advantage.

Do Chopped judges eat cold food? ›

After the contestants cook a course, how does the food stay hot until the judges taste it? When you're a judge on a competition show, you have to get, real quick, accustomed to eating cold food.

Do Chopped contestants know ingredients before show? ›

You get no info about the ingredients beforehand.

That's right, everything that comes out of the mystery basket really is a mystery to contestants.

Who is the youngest person to win Chopped? ›

In September 2014, audiences watched Lily Nichols, then 11, become the youngest Chopped Champion in the show's history.

Which Chopped judge hates raw onion? ›

This is like taking your onion to the spa. And a great way not to have that raw onion taste. that Scott Conan hates so much.

Do Chopped losers get paid? ›

Losing contestants on these episodes often receive a consolation prize, typically a $1,000 shopping spree on On one occurrence the prize was a $40,000 scholarship, the runner-up received a $20,000 scholarship while the other two contestants each received a $5,000 scholarship.

What NFL player is a Chopped judge? ›

Eddie Jackson is a former NFL player who is a fierce competitor both in the kitchen and on the field. Now a food truck owner, private chef and personal trainer, he is dedicated to making healthy food taste absolutely delicious.

What happened to chef Aaron on Chopped? ›

But when he's not appearing on TV, Aarón is the chef/owner of Kansas City's Mestizo and the culinary visionary behind Crossroads at House of Blues nationwide and Tacombi Taqueria in New York City. Aarón is also the author of two cookbooks, including Simple Food, Big Flavor.

Is Amanda Freitag still on Chopped? ›

Amanda Freitag is a regular judge on Chopped. She recently competed in The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, coming in second place.

Who is the Indian female chef on Chopped? ›

Maneet Chauhan is a regular judge on Chopped.

Who does Aaron Middleton cook for? ›

Aaron then said goodbye to London and took the role of head chef for Sir Richard Branson on his private Island in the BVI.

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