Bayfield native and chef Owen Clark made it down to one of two finalists on Food Network’s reality cooking show “Chopped.” The episode dubbed “Cleaver Fever” aired Tuesday night. Turns out, it was Clark who inspired the episode’s name. In the second of three rounds, Clark was preparing a leg of lamb for his entrée when he severely cut his finger. After putting on five latex gloves to protect the food he was preparing, Clark still impressed the judges with his dish.
He passed the appetizer round by making a chilled black radish key lime broth with marinated tuna belly. His entrée was a seared leg of lamb with lassi spinach purée and beans. In the last round – the dessert competition – Clark made an almond butter cake with ricotta.
The premise of the show is for four chefs to use surprise and unusual ingredients to create three dishes. After each round, one chef is “chopped,” or eliminated. Some of the ingredients Clark had to cook with included bacon popcorn, toban djan (a spicy chili bean sauce), mashed-potato candy and rambutans (a hairy tropical fruit).
Clark may not have won the competition, but he still gets to boast that he is executive chef of Gwynette St. restaurant, which Esquire magazine named one of the 20 best new restaurants in 2012. The restaurant is in Brooklyn, N.Y.