A local sous chef who competed on the Food Network's weekly competition, "Chopped," participated in a question-and-answer session Sunday night after patrons of his workplace, the Flintridge Proper, watched the program on a TV there.
Though he placed second in the competition, Eli Irland said he gained some valuable knowledge and a fellow food expert in his kitchen, along the way.
Originally hailing from Wayne, Maine, Irland learned his cooking skills initially at Paragon, an elite culinary school in Colorado Springs, Colo. He said he honed his talents while working in established restaurants in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. His journey to his selection for "Chopped" began two years ago, when he filled out a Web form online that was later dug up by the show's producers.
The local viewing of the premiere of the episode featuring Irland was open to the public. The restaurant's owners and about 20 guests watched as Irland made his way to the final round before being "chopped" like the contestants before him.