A local barbecue expert will be representing the Hudson Valley on the Food Network next month.

A special episode of Chopped will air on July 9 featuring a familiar face to Hudson Valley food fans. The episode marks the first time the popular cooking competition has featured a grilling-only challenge. In the episode, contestants were not allowed to use the oven or deep-fryer. Just a grill and saute burner were available to the chefs to concoct a meal using the show's pre-selected ingredients.

Round 1 Contestant Ed Randolph Action
Susan Magnano

Ed Randolph, who runs Handsome Devil Barbecue in the Hudson Valley, says that his experience with the grill is what helped him through the episode. We won't know how he performed on the show until it airs, but he told us that when you're cooking under pressure "it all comes down to knowing your product and tenderness." When asked about the limitations of not being able to use all of the kitchen equipment, Randolph said: "I think the handcuff of using the grill only gave me an advantage."

One thing about the episode that Randolph was allowed to reveal was a warning that he may appear uncharacteristically corny to television viewers. It turns out the chef had to be in New York City and ready to be at the studio by 5am. Randolph doesn't usually drink coffee or caffeinated beverages, but because of the early hour, he had a couple of energy drinks. As a result, the chef says he found himself spewing out "a lot of corny BBQ puns" during the filming.

Contestant Ed Randolph Portrait
Susan Magnano

Being chosen for the first grilling-only episode of Chopped is quite an honor, but should come as no surprise. Randolph knows a thing or two about barbecue. In fact, he literally wrote the book on it. The pitmaster took some time last year to travel across America, visiting the nation's most talented barbecue chefs. His journey and the stories behind the country's best barbecue masters is chronicled in Smoked. Randolph held a signing for the book at the Barnes and Noble earlier this month.

You can catch the debut of Randolph's episode of Chopped on July 9. The chef will be hosting a viewing party for the show at 125fifty on North Plank Road in Newburgh. Everyone is invited to come down and watch the show with Randolph and his friends.

And be sure to tune in to 101.5 WPDH on July 9 for more tidbits from the filming of Chopped, as Randolph visits The Boris and Robyn Show to discuss his Food Network appearance.

Want to see Ed in action? He and Handsome Devil will be at Beer, Bourbon & Bacon at Barton Orchards on Saturday, July 20.


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