Zentan’s Jennifer Nguyen the latest D.C. chef to compete on TV

On March 3, D.C. will find out if one of its own has the chops to beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a new Food Network show. Jennifer Nguyen, the executive chef of Zentan, will be among the first competitors in "Beat Bobby Flay," which pits two chefs head-to-head in an ingredient-specific challenge, before choosing a winner to compete against Flay. The chef who goes on to the second round creates his or her signature dish, and Flay must come up with his own interpretation of it. If Flay's version is not as good as the original, the visiting chef is crowned the winner.


Chef Jennifer Nguyen competes on Food Network’s "Beat Bobby Flay," Season 1. (Courtesy Food Network)

Nguyen, who came to Zentan last April, taped her episode in Brooklyn in December. In the first round, she's up against Kentucky chef Anthony Lamas. Chef Jonathan Waxman and the Food Network's Sunny Anderson are the judges who will determine whether or not Nguyen makes it to the next round to go up against Flay. The preview episode featuring Nguyen will air Monday at 10 p.m.; the show will get its official debut Thursday, March 6 at 10 p.m.

Nguyen joins a long list of local chefs who have competed on cooking shows. Here's where you can try their food:

Frederik De Pue
Show: "Chopped"
Outcome: Eliminated in the second round
Where to try his food: Table, Menu MBK

Mike Isabella
Show: "Top Chef," "Top Chef All Stars"
Outcome: Eliminated in season six; runner-up in All Stars
Where to try his food: Graffiato, Kapnos, G

Bart Vandaele
Show: "Top Chef"
Outcome: Eliminated
Where to try his food: Belga Cafe, B Too

Spike Mendelsohn
Show: "Top Chef," "Tom Chef All Stars"
Outcome: Eliminated from both
Where to try his food: Good Stuff Eatery, We, the Pizza, Bearnaise

Teddy Folkman
Show: "Throwdown with Bobby Flay"
Outcome: Winner!
Where to try his food: Granville Moore's

Morou Outtara
Show: "The Next Iron Chef"
Outcome: Eliminated
Where to try his food: Farrah Olivia

Bryan Voltaggio
Show: "Top Chef"
Outcome: Runner-up
Where to try his food: Range, Volt, Family Meal, Aggio

Timothy Dean
Show: "Top Chef"
Outcome: Eliminated
Where to try his food: TD Burger

Carla Hall
Show: "Top Chef," "Top Chef All Stars"
Outcome: Eliminated from both
Where to try her food: Area Whole Foods stores carry her mini cookies

Rodney Henry
Show: "Chopped," "Next Food Network Star"
Outcome: Eliminated from Chopped; runner-up in "Next Food Network Star"
Where to try his food: Dangerously Delicious

Andrew Markert
Show: "Chopped"
Outcome: Runner-up
Where to try his food: Beuchert's

Daniel O'Brien
Show: "Top Chef"
Outcome: Eliminated
Where to try his food: Seasonal Pantry

Nongkran Daks
Show:  "Throwdown with Bobby Flay"
Outcome: Winner!
Where to try her food: Thai Basil

Note: This list is not all-inclusive. We didn't include chefs who work for non-profits, educational institutions or as private chefs on this list. Additionally, some chefs who represented D.C. restaurants on TV have since left for opportunities elsewhere.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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