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Baltimore chef to appear on Guy Fieri game show tonight

Jasmine Norton is the owner of the Urban Oyster and opened the state’s first black-owned, woman-owned oyster restaurant in 2019.
Jasmine Norton is the owner of the Urban Oyster and opened the state’s first black-owned, woman-owned oyster restaurant in 2019. (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun)

Jasmine Norton never thought that she would be a chef—let alone one with the potential of being a household name.

“I never thought it would be me,” she said. “There are so many chefs that have come before me and are classically trained. I never thought that three years in the industry that we would ever come across their radar.”

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The 32-year-old Pikesville resident— and chef and owner behind McHenry Row’s Urban Oyster— will display her culinary skills Wednesday night on an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games.

“One of the producers discovered us on Instagram and called the restaurant last August to discuss me potentially going on the show,” Norton explained.

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Norton, a self-taught chef, has been in the food industry a fairly short amount of time, three years.

“I learned how to cook from the women in my family as well as from working in hotels as a sales manager in audio visual and working closely with chefs,” she said.

She started off with a mobile concept in 2017 and became a fixture on the farmer’s market and festival scenes. Her current brick and mortar restaurant in McHenry Row opened April 2019.

Hosted by food personality Guy Fieri, Guy’s Grocery Games pits four chefs against one another during three elimination cooking challenges.

The chef who makes it through all three challenges gets to race through a grocery store collecting items from a shopping list for a chance at $20,000.

Norton’s episode was filmed February in Northern California.

“He was very personable and encouraging,” Norton said of host, Fieri. “The entire staff was amazing. It was nothing I ever imagined.”

Jasmine Norton is the owner of the Urban Oyster and opened the state’s first black-owned, woman-owned oyster restaurant in 2019. 24 Women to Watch feature.
Jasmine Norton is the owner of the Urban Oyster and opened the state’s first black-owned, woman-owned oyster restaurant in 2019. 24 Women to Watch feature. (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun)

Norton said that she did her best to represent Baltimore to the best of her ability.

“It was important that I highlight Baltimore,” she said. “It’s not often that we get the exposure and spotlight of positivity. Every chance I got, I was mentioning Baltimore and my love for my city and all the great things that we have going on.”

Norton said she remains in contact with the competitors from the show.

“We are very close from that experience,” she said. “We got a chance to hang out afterwards. And we keep in contact-especially with everything that is going on.”

The one thing Norton can’t discuss is the outcome of the competition.

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“I can not unfortunately,” she said. “I wish I could. But I can’t. But [tonight] you’ll know.”

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