Alum finishes third among 'Chopped' champions

Published 02.19.2020

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After advancing to the “Grand Finale” of a five-episode “Chopped” championship, Chef Kristina Wisneski, ’13, was eliminated in the finale’s second round, which aired Tuesday on Food Network.

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, a past "Chopped" champion and one of three judges for the show's "$50,000 Champs Challenge: Grand Finale" checks in on Chef Kristina Wisneski. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)“Chopped” is a popular television series that, each episode, pits four chefs against one another as they compete to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert under tight time limits using surprise – and often unusual – ingredients.

After winning an episode in 2019, Wisneski was invited to take part in the $50,000 “Champs Challenge” that, over four episodes, cut a field of 16 past champions to four. The final four – Wisneski and Chefs Eli Dunn, Fernanda Tapia and David Thomas – competed in the finale that aired Tuesday.

Wisneski survived the first round of the episode, which gave the chefs 20 minutes to create an appetizer using mixed oca (a root vegetable), seaweed salad, pawpaw brandy and cod milt. Judges enjoyed her pan-fried cod milt with a seaweed, miso and brandy sauce, and fried oca.

Judges likewise praised the flavors of her entrée, which required use of octopus corn dogs, pink variegated lemons, tomahawk steak and potluck potato casserole, but because of time constraints and her choice of cooking method, the beef was a bit underdone, which was cause for elimination in the tight competition.

The episode ultimately was won by Thomas, executive chef of Ida B’s Table in Baltimore.

Wisneski finished third in the champs series. She is sous chef of Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft in Ardmore and cooked alongside students at this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show.