There are the people that can cook a pretty decent meal. Then there are others where frozen dinners are their best friend.
And then there are those like Oswego resident Maureen Sanchez who can whip up a gourmet meal with random ingredients and will be showing her talent in an episode of Food Network's Chopped.
In Chopped, four chefs set out to make a three course meal. At the end of each round, one chef is “chopped.” The last chef standing wins the title “Chopped! Champion” and check for $10,000.
Sanchez, who sells for Paris-based Petrossian, has always had an interest in food. She runs her own food blog, Yummy Yummy Schlurp, named so by her then speech delayed son, who could utter little more than sounds but would sit down to the dinner table and see food and exclaim excitedly, Yummy Yummy Schlurp!
Through her company she sells caviar, truffles, foie gras to many top restaurants in Chicago, like Mercat a la Planxa, Alinea, the Deca Restaurant and Bar located inside the Chicago Ritz-Carlton, and even some avante-garde restaurants, like Elizabeth.
Although Sanchez could not talk about the results of the show, she said the show is as it appears on TV. “It’s all-real, there are no previews or re-takes.”
Her main hope, and reason she appeared on the show is to promote awareness about missing persons, and hopefully to find information about her sister, Judy, who has been missing for 32 years.
“The problem [of missing persons] is one is that so many people have no idea how huge is it. There are hundreds of thousands of unidentified remains. It’s an unpleasant topic, but I’m really compelled to talk about it.”
Sanchez grew up in Oswego’s sister city in New York, where her family still lives. She has not given up home of finding her sister, or her sister’s body.
The winner of Chopped receives a cash prize, and Sanchez said she would use her winnings to hire a private investigator to find out what happened to her sister.
“I know someone somewhere knows something about my sister. I’m not going to top until I find that person,” said Sanchez.
Of the entire Chopped experience Sanchez said it was “the most amazing experience walking into that set and seeing the people you see on TV, live and in person!” The crew filmed at Sanchez’s house, a friend’s house as well as in downtown Oswego on Main Street.
The episode premieres Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m. on the Food Network as a special episode, and will also air at its regularly scheduled time of 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26.