I remember a while back, one of my band mates and best friends, Christian Hayes of Dandelion Catering Company in Yarmouth, said he had to go to New York for some food thing. But he was very skint on the details. Honestly, I never thought about it again. That is, until I saw a press release from Dandelion's website via their Facebook page.

Christian was apparently in New York City filming an episode of Chopped for the Food Network! I honestly had no idea, but was over-the-moon with excitement to hear about it.

If you haven't watched the show at home, Chopped asks contestants to cook a meal out of a much feared mystery basket. The baskets often contain a bunch of very bizarre ingredients, and are prepared under a super tight deadline...just 20 minutes for the appetizer round, and 30 minutes for entree and dessert rounds. Chefs basically just hope to get all the food on the plate under the time crunch.

"You find yourself doing things that you previously had yelled at the tv about  previous contestants doing. Haha. But, you just have to trust your gut, have fun, and ride the whole thing out. It was a blast," Hayes said in a statement on their website.

Hayes is not the first Maine chef to appear on the show, and originally, he wasn't  particularly interested in being part of it. This sort of competitive cooking isn't really his bag. But the support of family and friends started to win him over. Again, from their website he elaborates:

“I fought applying. Mainly because it’s so far out of my comfort zone, and I knew it would mess with my head,” Hayes laughs. “It’s sort of against my philosophy of cooking. I don’t chase plaudits or try and compete with anyone else but myself. I’m very internal. I enjoy the art, and the practice, and the outlet. Cameras are NOT my thing. BUT - once I got in there I simply just tried to soak in every second. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was so wild to be there.”

So if you want to see whether a Maine boy can bring home the $10,000 prize on a national cooking show, tune in to the Food Network on March 20th at 10:00p.m. and see if Christian Hayes has got the right stuff.

And if you'd like to know more about Dandelion Catering Company, definitely check out their website here. But I don't suggest doing it if you're hungry!!!

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