Chicago chef Brian Jupiter chats about his ‘Chopped’ win and Mardi Gras plans at Ina Mae’s

Most individuals wouldn’t even know the place to start to create a dessert with black-eyed peas and smoked ham hocks, however that wasn’t an issue for Brian Jupiter, chef and proprietor of Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Items (1415 N. Wooden St.) and The Frontier (1072 N. Milwaukee Ave.). He beat out three different contestants to win this week’s episode of “Chopped” on the Meals Community.

Hosted by Ted Allen, the fact cooking present challenges 4 cooks to create a sequence of dishes utilizing thriller elements.

This episode, which aired Tuesday, was a “Black Historical past Month Celebration” and featured quite a lot of historically Southern elements — supreme for a chef whose Wicker Park restaurant makes a speciality of New Orleans fare.

Chef Jupiter breezed by means of the primary two rounds, serving Gullah pink rice fritters for the appetizer, and a seared pork chop with creamy millet and an okra salad for the entree. Then got here dessert.

“One of many thriller elements for the dessert course was canned black-eyed peas,” Jupiter mentioned. “That was positively the most important problem.” He created a meringue by whipping the liquid from the can of the black-eyed peas, and mixing it with fried ham hocks, sorghum molasses, frozen peaches and pralines.

Jupiter filmed the episode in 2021, however needed to maintain his win a secret till the episode aired Tuesday.

“I’ve identified since late October, so it’s been a short while,” Jupiter mentioned Thursday. Although onerous to maintain the key, the timing truly labored out. “Getting some publicity in February is good,” Jupiter mentioned, noting that that is historically the slower time of yr for many eating places. He held a viewing social gathering at Ina Mae’s to look at the episode, serving one of many successful dishes, the rice fritter made with Gullah pink rice. He could add a variation of that dish to the common menu.

However he’s principally gearing as much as launch 5 days of Mardi Gras festivities at Ina Mae’s, which runs from Friday to Tuesday, March 1. Look out for a number of days of dwell music, a drag brunch and even a burlesque present, amongst many different occasions. Verify the restaurant’s web site for full particulars.

Jupiter isn’t the one Chicago chef with a latest “Chopped” look. As a part of the On line casino Royale four-episode event noticed two native cooks tussle it out within the finale.

Chef Zoe Schor, who co-owns Break up-Rail and its lower-level bar Dorothy in West City, and Arlington Heights chef Grace Goudie of Scratchboard Kitchen each gained their respective episodes earlier than shedding within the finale to Washington-based chef Kaleena Bliss. Chicago chef Corey Rice, who has additionally appeared on “Grasp Chef,” misplaced out to Goudie in a January episode.

In the meantime, Advantage’s chef de delicacies Damarr Brown is competing within the nineteenth season of “High Chef,” which premieres on Bravo on March 3.

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