Palate Party Owner Robyn Almodovar Wins ‘Chopped’ Episode
Chef Robyn Almodovar and her competitors on "Chopped." // Courtesy 'Chopped' via Facebook
Fort Lauderdale has another “Chopped” winner.
Chef Robyn Almodovar, owner of the Fort Lauderdale-based food truck Palate Party, won Tuesday’s episode of the hit Food Network show.
Almodovar competed against three other top chefs—Four Seasons Chicago executive chef Stephen Wambach, Buddakan New York City's Oscar Toro and Robert Sevcik of Loulay in Seattle—and took home the $10,000 prize.
Almodovar is no stranger to televised cooking competitions. She was a contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen” season 10, and she appeared as a guest judge on Food Network's “Food Truck Face Off” last fall.
“Last night, Chopped did a great way of portraying who I really am,” said Almodovar, who feels the same isn’t true of her portrayal on “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Throughout the episode—which was actually filmed in January—Almodovar tried not to let the competition get to her.
“It was me in a fight against my anxiety and my nerves,” she said.
While Almodovar felt she was the strongest contestant in the first round, she wasn’t as sure when the second round rolled around. Then in the final round, she and her opponent, Wambach, had to incorporate caramelized onions into their desserts.
“I definitely messed up on making my ice cream,” she said. “I was hoping that his chocolate cake was going to flop."
Almodovar said her favorite part of the experience was being with such well-known chefs.
“Oscar [Toro], love him. We still speak to this day,” she said.
Almodovar said a lot of people have asked her how to get on “Chopped.”
She has a simple answer: “Go on the website. Fill out the application. Don’t let fear hold you back.”
And what does Almodovar plan to do with her $10,000?
“I really want to travel to Italy,” she said.
Almodovar is not Fort Lauderdale's only "Chopped" winner. 3030 ocean sous chef Adrienne Grenier also won "Chopped" in 2011.
Almodovar's episode, titled “Tendon Intentions,” will air again on Food Network on July 16 at 9 p.m. and July 17 at midnight.