The more I started answering the questions, the more I began to convince myself I had what it takes to win. Yes, other Chopped contestants may have had more restaurant experience and certainly more tattoos (I had none). But I could do this.
I then uploaded a picture and my resume, hit submit, and waited.
The call can come quickly
I didn't have to wait long before I got a call. The day after I had applied, I was out to dinner at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York. I got up to go to the bathroom and checked my phone. One voicemail from an unknown number. There it was: "We've received your application for Chopped and would like to talk further." I squeaked out with excitement and shouted, "I’m going to audition for Chopped!" The people behind me in line just rolled their eyes. Whatever. I was going to try out for Chopped!
The on-camera interview takes a long time
The interview was scheduled for the following Thursday. I showed up at the casting offices in Tribeca, dolled up and ready to talk. Be yourself they said. There are no wrong answers. For about an hour, we talked. Or rather I did into the camera. I told the interviewers about my best dishes, my love for cooking, and why if chosen to compete, I would win. I was scrappy I told them. And a huge food nerd. I even sprinkled in a few silly puns and made them chuckle. I was golden, I thought. Pick me!