Paso Robles chef goes on ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’
Chef Esther Abobo got two ‘sabotages’ in first round
–Nosh Delights chef Esther Abobo spent the days before opening her restaurant in downtown Paso Robles on the set filming an episode of “Cutthroat Kitchen,” which aired on Jan. 10 on the Food Network.
“It was fun and nerve-wracking at the same time,” Abobo said. “I had a great time.”
Abobo competed against Chef Richie Farina from Chicago, Chef Kaimana Chee from Honolulu and Chef Danushka Lysek from New York City. The premise of the show is that four chefs are pitted against each other in timed cooking challenges. The competition is taken up a notch by the addition of “sabotages,” which host Alton Brown brings out at various times throughout the episode. Each episode includes three cooking challenges where at the conclusion of each a contestant is eliminated.
The contestants each receive $25,000 to use throughout the show to buy sabotages. Abobo did not make it past the first round, though she said she had fun cooking under pressure and being given the two sabotages. The first was using a pizza cutter in place of any knife.
“I got the best one, I got the pizza cuter, but you can’t do anything with it really, but at least you get a little bit of edge with it,” Abobo said. Chee gave Abobo the cutter, which Lysek was hoping to get. Instead Danuska got a pizza peel and Farina a parmesan cheese shaker.
“With the sabotages they put in there it made it more interesting for me to be on [the show],” Abobo said.
Next, Brown auctioned off a mobility scooter that was equipped to serve as a pizza delivery vehicle. Lysek and Abobo went head to head bidding for the sabotage. Abobo said she knew if Lysek won it, she would give it to Abobo, which she did. “There’s one girl, Danushka, she played her part. She was the mean one,” Abobo said. “Two girls going against each other, there was a girl fight there.”
Abobo had to prepare her breakfast pizza from the vehicle. Additionally, anytime the light on the vehicle started blinking, she had to drop what she was doing and deliver a pizza to Brown.
“I don’t think they plugged it in the night before, but at one point I couldn’t make it move at all,” Abobo said.
She said she was eliminated because her dough was not fully cooked.
“They liked it, but the biggest problem was that the pizza dough was raw,” Abobo said. “All the sabotage took a little out of me, I didn’t roll the pizza dough out thin enough. I couldn’t reach the rolling pin from the cart.”
She has to submitted an application for “Chopped” and looks forward to competing in other cooking competitions in the future.
Abobo was the second Paso Robles chef to compete on “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Summerwood Winery Chef Kelly Wangard competed on the show, which aired in October 2014.