What would you do with $50K? For two-time Chopped champion Chris Holland of DVine Bar in Sparkill, the is simple: “The check was handed directly to my wife,” he said.” She has shown me so much support and sacrificed so much so that I could pursue my dream. I told her that she can choose where the money will go. I think she is leaning toward us putting a down payment on a house.”
Holland’s road to Food Network fame wasn’t easy. For years, he applied every few months until he finally received a call back. Holland ultimately was selected to appear on Chopped: Alton’s Challenge, a five-part tournament in which the legendary Alton Brown chose obscure mystery basket ingredients for each round.
Holland prevailed in Part 3 of the tournament, which originally aired on October 24, and moved on to the final round where he battled fellow winners from each segment. After a harrowing finale filled with Chopped firsts (three competitors moved on to the dessert round after a shocking shockingly good entrée round), Holland won the entire competition – and a whopping $50,000. Click here to hear about the experience in Holland’s own words.
Holland, who has battled Multiple Sclerosis (MS), is no stranger to overcoming obscene obstacles. “Winning this competition was symbolic of my life coming full circle,” a tearful Holland said at the end of the finale. “If somebody is watching this show who was diagnosed with MS, I’m hoping that they see with their own eyes that there is life after the diagnosis. There’s plenty of living left to do.”
If DVine Bar is now on your radar, Holland’s winning coconut mousse is already on the restaurant’s brunch menu, served with a waffle. And as for incorporating tarantula as an ingredient, Holland says he’s “thinking about adding it somewhere.”
“Being a Chopped champion is special, but to be a two-time champion puts you into some very elite company,” Holland told us after his win aired on November 7. “It is 100 percent validation of the decision I made seven years ago when I decided to become a chef.”
If you’re interested in competing on Chopped, submit an application, here.