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Ida B's Table chef to appear on Food Network's 'Chopped' Tuesday

David Thomas, the executive chef and owner of Ida B’s Table, will appear Tuesday on a Thanksgiving-themed episode of “Chopped,” the Food Network cooking competition that pits chefs against one another.

The episode will air at 9 p.m.

Thomas, who said that he was approached by the show, taped the episode in May in New York City.

The episode features host Chef Ted Allen and a panel of judges including Martha Stewart, whom Thomas said “was very good to me.”

“She had some positive things to say to me,” he added. “She said I taught her something. That was really surprising.”

Thomas, who was prohibited from sharing the outcome of the show, said the taping was grueling with the day starting at 6 a.m. and wrapping at 8:30 p.m.

“That particular day, Ted Allen passed out from exhaustion,” Thomas said. “I don’t know if that will reflect in the taping. But I think it was exhaustion. That is what we [contestants] were told. He couldn’t continue the show. It was near the end of the competition.”

Overall, Thomas said he had a good experience.

“It was really good for me,” he said. “I look forward to doing something like it again.”

A representative for the Food Network confirmed that Thomas would appear on Tuesday’s episode.

Ida B’s Table, the soul food-inspired restaurant that Thomas runs with his wife, Tonya, has been opened since fall 2017 in downtown Baltimore.

The restaurant, named after the late black journalist Ida B Wells, is known for its modern spins on dishes soul food like smoked fried chicken with a smoked honey drizzle and “herb and soul rolls” — egg rolls stuffed with pulled jerk chicken, Liberian greens and candied yams, served with a housemade barbecue sauce.

Thomas, 50, got his first foray into restaurant work through Chef Kevin Zabonick of White House Caterers, located at the Catonsville events venue, Overhills Mansion.

“I started out as a prep cook,” Thomas recalled. “He taught me how to butcher meat.”

Zabonick later recommended Thomas for a sous chef position for the Aramark Corporation, for which Thomas became head chef at several of the food service company’s bigger sites. He later ran the kitchen for a golf club, became executive chef of Metropolitan Kitchen/Lounge in Annapolis and opened Herb & Soul, a farm-to-tablerestaurant in Towson that closed in 2015.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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