South Shore chef Stephen Coe made mincemeat out of celebrity gourmet Bobby Flay, defeating the culinary star in the final round of a five-part Food Network tournament.
The competition, “Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay,” featured 16 past “Chopped” champions battling for a $50,000 prize and, most importantly, bragging rights.
“I went for the kill,” said Coe, executive chef at Marshfield Country Club. Coe said the win is more meaningful because he beat Flay on a “Chopped” show instead of Flay’s own series. “I had to go through 15 people to get to him instead of one.”
Flay was humble in defeat, saying on camera: “I don’t want a rematch.”
Folks in Greater Fall River may remember Coe from the “Feeding the First Responders” program in which he served up special meals to area police, fire and EMTs this spring. The program fed first responders in Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Somerset, Dighton and more.
The “Chopped” series debuted Aug. 9 and wrapped Sept. 6, with Coe and Flay going head to head. There are three rounds: appetizer, entree and dessert. The chefs receive a basket containing four mystery ingredients, some traditional, some more unusual. For the final round, Coe and Flay had 40 minutes to turn lobster ravioli, fried milk, salty fingers (sea beans) and crispy duck into a tasty dish.
“I used it (the ingredients) like a pancetta because it was salty and I scored high with presentation,” Coe said. “I played with textures.” The final plating turned out to be “deconstructed ravioli where you saw all the ingredients before you ate them.”
An Abington native, Coe is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, College of Culinary Arts, and South Shore Vocational Technical High in Hanover.
In competition, Coe said he’s quick thinking. He makes a decision and commits.
“I’m calm under pressure. I was in the zone. No one can get in my head. I got in his (Flay) head, though,” Coe said with a laugh.
Judges for the championship round were Scott Conant, Maneet Chauhan and Marcus Samuelsson. Ted Allen hosted.
Coe has a strong track record with the Food Network. He’s been on “Chopped” four times, including winning “Chopped: Ultimate Redemption” last year. He also holds the titles of “World Bacon Champion” and “Grill Master” from the Food Network series “Chopped Grill Masters,” and he won the “World Food Championships.”
“I have a good winning percentage,” Coe said of his appearances on the network.
Coe’s other accomplishments include winning the grand prize in the Food Network’s “Tyler Florence Recipe Contest,” and winning the American Culinary Foundation’s “Boston Junior Chef of the Year.” He previously was a consultant for Food Truck Nation.
The show was filmed in January and Coe had to keep the results under wraps for nine months. Coe has a good poker face, telling anyone who asked how he did: “We’ll see, won’t we?”
Coe is the father of three, ages 7, 9 and 11. He said he’d like to open a cooking school and cater toward kids. He’s run two food trucks and is a private chef for a couple of Patriots players, including Benjamin Watson. He’s also working on creating an extreme cooking show called “Dangerous Eats” and a cookbook. “There may be another ‘Chopped’ in the future” … but mum’s the word on those details.
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