Executive chef Paula DaSilva and Chopped champion, Adrienne Grenier.
Executive chef Paula DaSilva and Chopped champion, Adrienne Grenier.
Riki Altman

Despite Fears, Adrienne Grenier Triumphed On Chopped Last Night

Planning a meal in seconds with limited ingredients, based upon a food

mystery in a basket, is no easy feat, even for a seasoned professional.

Last night on Chopped, Adrienne Grenier beat out a bunch of guys with more experience, who talked a lot of trash, each claiming with bravado that he was certain to win. Yet as the rounds ticked by, those boys got nervous, and Grenier, a sous chef at the Eden Roc's 1500 Degrees, continued to wow the judges, taking home the ten grand worth of prize money.

Local chefs gathered at the restaurant to support Grenier, including her

former boss, Dean James Max, as well as Alberto Cabrera, Sean Brasel,

Timon Balloo, Michael Bloise, Kurtis Jantz and Chad Galiano. Also in

attendance was the first Miami Chopped champ, Giorgio Rapicavoli. Grenier attributed her presence on the show to executive chef Paula DaSilva, saying, "I'm here mostly because my boss made me."

In the first round she turned frozen fries into a successful hash, and

despite being unfamiliar with the star of the entrée course, blue foot

chicken, Grenier was the only competitor to deliver a plate of poultry

that was tender; the other two dishes were dry enough for the judges to

complain repeatedly. Her dessert of a masa harissa shortcake clinched the

win, although the stress of watching her compete may have been worse

than the actual competing. There were tears, emotional admissions of her

lack of confidence, inexperience and hesitation to enter the culinary

world five years ago (never wanted to hug a stranger so badly.)

Celebrating Grenier's win at 1500 Degrees last night.
Celebrating Grenier's win at 1500 Degrees last night.
Riki Altman

At one moment she looked frazzled when standing in front of the

"pantry," and we hear Grenier's internal monologue saying, "My boss

Paula would be really disappointed if I didn't give it all I've

got...this is a chance to gain some confidence...you've gotta believe in

yourself, so I tell myself that I am going to win Chopped!"

And thus she did, ending the show with the following statement about her victory, "Wow, it's huge! I proved to myself that I am worth something."

Chef Adrienne, please start celebrating your bright future immediately!

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