Chow Bella

Three Phoenix Chefs Will Be on Chopped Starting Tonight, April 24

Danielle Leoni will be competing on Chopped.
Danielle Leoni will be competing on Chopped. Chris Malloy
A trio of Phoenix chefs will be appearing on Chopped, the Food Network show. The chefs are Richard Hinojosa (CRUjiente Tacos), Justin Beckett (Southern Rail and Beckett's Table), and Danielle Leoni (The Breadfruit).

Leoni and Beckett will be appearing on tonight's (April 24) episode at 7 p.m. This means, for those of you unfamiliar with the format, that they will be competing against each other. Chopped is a multiround cooking battle featuring four chefs, one eliminated in each round, leaving a champion after three rounds of cooking whatever weird ingredients stock the chefs' mystery baskets.

The baskets in Leoni and Beckett's rounds include, apparently, colorful potatoes and "everyone's favorite hybrid bird" (Food Network's wording), a description that tells us nothing. The remaining contestants make sandwiches for dessert.

Hinojosa's episode will air on Tuesday May 1, at 10 p.m. The theme of his episode is leftovers. Round two of this episode gifts contestants an ingredient basket of unfinished Chinese takeout and leftover Italian food, an oddball combo that becomes more interesting given that Hinojosa operates a progressive taco restaurant.

If you dig Chopped or the work of these three talented Phoenix chefs, check out these episodes. Chopped isn't exactly the Bocuse d'Or, but we hope our chefs can kick some ass and win the episodes.
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy