2014-02-07 / Community

Local Chef Makes The Cut For ‘Chopped’

By Dan Guarino

Rockaway resident and accomplished amateur cook Tom Werther appeared on the season premiere of Food TV’s ‘Chopped’. Rockaway resident and accomplished amateur cook Tom Werther appeared on the season premiere of Food TV’s ‘Chopped’. Well, he wasn’t chopped liver. When the kitchen heat was on and the ingredients were laid down, Rockaway resident Tom Werther came out cooking on Food TV’s “Chopped”.

Werther put his cooking acumen up against three kitchen competitors on the show’s season premiere episode, titled “Ambitious Amateurs,” which aired on Tuesday, February 4th.

Racing the clock, home cooks competed preparing appetizers, main dishes and desserts from whatever ingredients they were given. Each dish was tasted and reviewed by a panel of four judges. At each round, one contestant was eliminated.

Born and raised in Broad Channel, Werther began cooking 20 years ago.

“I retired from the NYPD in 2005,” he said, “same year my first child was born and was a stay at home dad and started cooking full time, 4-5 days a week.”

Also a writer and actor, having appeared in several television series and movies, Werther was auditioning for another cooking show and Fox TV, when he applied and was interviewed for ‘Chopped’.

“I was very excited to be on the show, loved the competitiveness and the time constraints.”

Werther weathered tough competition to be one of the last two cooks standing. Although he did not walk away with the big prize, Werther’s strong showing brought national attention to a worthy Rockaway/Broad Channel cause.

“The winner gets $10,000,” he explained. “My original thought was to use the money to rebuild my basement after Sandy, but I decided my winnings, if any, would be donated to Survivor’s Silver Lining. The judges asked me often to repeat the name of the charity, so hopefully the charity will benefit from the exposure.”

The non-profit project, which matches donors to Sandy survivors who lost precious items in the storm, was started by then 14-year old resident Ariel Creamer.

Contributions can be made at Survivors. Silver.Lining1@gmail.com.

As for Werther, he intends to keep on cooking.

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