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So we missed the first airing of the Dec. 2 episode of Chopped, featuring former Bay Street Biergarten line cook Eva Winans, but we caught last night’s rebroadcast.

In the opening introductions, Winans, the former executive chef at Eli’s Table, says, “I wanna have my own food truck, and when I win my $10,000, and I will, I plan on using it as seed money.” Of course, seeing as how this is cooking competition, she had to beat out three other cooks.

The self-dubbed Pretzel Princess and her fellow competitors faced off on a Meatball Madness challenge, and Winans made it through the appetizer round with her spiced lamb meatball with ginger leek hash which the judges applauded for its texture, but with round two’s entree, her chances of winning went downhill. 

Challenged with boar shoulder, okra, bacon, and étouffée sauce, Winans attempted to whip up a boar and bacon meatball with cornmeal dusted okra in étouffée sauce. A split second decision to include jasmine rice started the downward spiral. 

While the judges agreed the flavor of her boar meatballs was on point, “The rice is undercooked. I also think that the okra, you knew it couldn’t work,” one judge said. Ultimately, Winans got Chopped

“The plate I did should have been the best because it’s what I do everyday,” Winans said of the Southern ingredients. But, as she walked away she said that even without the $10,000, the loss was not going to stop her from reaching her dreams.

Apparently Winans is pursuing those goals elsewhere. Ryan Workman, Bay Street Biergarten’s COO, says the episode was filmed in June and Winans has since moved on. According to Winans’ Facebook page, she’s now the executive chef and owner of Root Kitchen & Wine Bar in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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