Chopped in 60 minutes: Battle of the Chefs returns to Founders Hall Sunday

Two appetizers, one entree, and a few secret ingredients — who will make the best dish?

Three chefs — Mike Anastacio (Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish, North Salem, N.Y.), Paul Desiano (Ridgefield Academy), and former Chopped contender Germano Minin (The Village Tavern, Ridgefield) — will participate in a live competition that will have Food Network fans on the edge of their seats this Sunday at Founders Hall.

“We have an appetizer round — the chefs will prepare the appetizers at their restaurants  — they have to use the required ingredient, which is crab,” said Director of Development Cindy Nesbitt.

During this first round, all of the guests get to taste what the chefs made, in addition to all the food Founders Hall will provide.

“It’s a lot of food,” Nesbitt told The Press.

A panel of judges will also be tasting the dishes, to decide whose is the best.

And that’s only the first round.

Secret basket

For the second round, the chefs and the crowd will step outside, where four kitchens will be set up underneath a tent.

The competitors will have to think on their feet and prepare an entree using ingredients from the Founders Hall pantry as well as ingredients that will be revealed on site.

“They’ll open up their basket where there will be secret ingredients that they’re required to use,” said Nesbitt.

“As that’s going on, on the perimeter of the tent we will have sample stations, like pickles and olive oil for guests to taste,” she added.

The chefs will be evaluated by the judges based on taste, presentation and use of the ingredients for both rounds.

Only those who purchase chef’s table tickets will taste the entree round. General admission ticket holders will be able to eat everything else, except the second round.

Eating with a purpose

All proceeds from ticket sales go toward maintaining Founders Hall.

“Founders Hall is all about lifelong learning, as a public charity we don’t charge a membership fee to our members — they’re charged for classes they participate in,” said Nesbitt

“This is one of the major fund-raisers to provide opportunities for lifelong learning for seniors of Ridgefield and other communities that don’t have senior centers.”

The event is Sunday, June 4, from 4 to 7 p.m.