By Savanna Peterson
Two chefs from Lakeland; who have made guest appearances at the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon have traveled to Arizona to compete in the reality show, Chopped: Grill Masters. The final round will be August 19. Both chefs have appeared multiple times at the Rolling Pin.
“I’ve done three classes so far and I’ve got three more scheduled, I found out about it (The Rolling Pin) through an online blog, I went and met with Chef Dave and a 30 minute meeting turned into three hours,” said Chad Ward, one of the chefs.
Ward was on the show on August 12. He has been cooking for most of his life, but started to get serious after college when him and his friends got a house and would cook outside and have parties.
“I have a cooking team (The Whiskey Bent BBQ team) in Lakeland and we cook in contests and travel over the country,” said Ward.
Chef Ray Lampe has not appeared at the Rolling Pin recently but has done around 15 classes in the past, including a cooking fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims. He hopes to be a part of an event with Chef Dave in September and if that doesn’t work he wants to come in the winter.
He has been cooking in barbeque contests for more than 25 years and also travels across the country to teach barbecue classes.
“I started cooking in high school and I have always liked to cook, a friend of mine signed us up for a rib cooking contest in Chicago in 1982,” said Lampe. “It’s been a passion ever since.”
Lampe advanced to the final round, where he will compete with three other chefs for a grand prize of 50,000. In the dessert round of the first episode he made a grilled quesadilla with olive and peach sauce.
Lampe has mixed emotions when it comes to the final round.
“Well it’s scary, you get a basket of crazy stuff to cook so that’s intimidating but I’m not that worried about it,” he said.
The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium is owned by Chef Dave West and is located at 2090 Badlands Drive. For more information or to sign up for cooking classes offered, please call 653-2418 or visit www.rollingpinonline.com.