Food Network's Chopped: Grill Masters Premieres Sunday; Two Arizona Competitors and Chef Judge Marc Murphy Weigh In
Courtesy of Food Network Arizona competitor, Jennifer Duncan, and her game face.
See also: Beau Mac Gets Chopped
Food Network fiends will soon get their dose of local Chopped love. This Sunday, July 22, a new show called Chopped: Grill Masters will premiere with not one, but two Arizona residents. Not only that, the two -- Jennifer and Tommy Duncan --are married, and they run a barbecue catering business together in Gilbert called Whiskey Ranch. They played nice until the cameras started rolling, and as we've heard it, boa feathers were flying during the intense Chopped style grilling contest, filmed in Tucson. (We told you this was all about the local love.)
"It was amazing how they had the ability to take our old show, and put it in Tuscon," says celebrity chef and seasoned Chopped judge Marc Murphy.
Courtesy of Food Network Host Ted Allen, and judges Aaron Sanchez, Amanda Freitag, and Marc Murphy get wild... in the West, that is.
Chopped: Grill Masters was filmed in Arizona, to give it more Western feel to it - it was also probably decided so that grills and smokers wouldn't smoke up the Chopped studios in New York, but that's neither here nor there.
"Sometimes as a cook or a chef, you come up with an idea, and then the idea doesn't work," Murphy says. "And sometimes you just freeze up."
But was that a problem for Tommy and Jennifer Duncan?
Tommy had similar notions, "I could smell what was in my basket before I opened it... I was like 'oh my God!' "
He explained that the biggest challenge was going into the competition blind. "With the catering business, it's very structured. You pretty much know what to expect. When we're grilling for the pro barbecue circuit, you also know. But with Chopped, you don't know. Everything is completely out of the box." Or in this case, out of the basket.
"We had been very busy in the weeks leading up to the taping," says Jennifer. "We tried to study and watch the show to get familiar [with the surprise ingredients], but I felt either way it would really up my game."
Courtesy of Food Network Husband and wife and arch Chopped: Grill Masters enemies, Tommy and Jennifer Duncan.
Did someone of the husband-and-wife power grilling couple make it to see the dessert round? We'll all have to wait to watch the premier on Sunday for that detail, but Jennifer clued us in on her usual punishment for Tommy anytime she beats him: "Anytime I beat him, Tommy has to wear pink," she says.
"He has to wear pink feathered boas, pink panties, pink nail polish, pink earrings, pink tutus," she musters in between giggles.
Naturally, the question remained whether Tommy brought the dainty accessories in the event he lost a round to Jennifer. "I went ahead and brought his pink shirt and feathered boa... just in case."