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Executive chef of Cunningham's in Towson to appear on 'Chopped'

Executive chef of Cunningham's in Towson to appear on 'Chopped'
Jay Rohlfing, executive chef at Cunningham's, above, joins the growing list of chefs from the Baltimore area to guest star on a Food Network competition. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Jay Rohlfing, the executive chef of Cunningham’s in Towson, will appear Tuesday on “Chopped.”

He joins the growing list of chefs from the Baltimore area to guest star on the Food Network competition. Last year, David Thomas, executive chef and owner of Ida B’s Table in downtown Baltimore, won a Thanksgiving-themed episode.

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The show asks chefs to prepare a three-course meal using the ingredients provided to them for a panel of judges who will decide who wins.

Like all contestants, Rohlfing was prohibited from sharing the outcome of the show but did say, “the whole experience was all new and exciting.”

The Baltimore County native was hesitant to initially accept the offer to participate a year and a half ago.

“It’s kind of odd because I had received a phone call from New York on my cell phone and I was like ‘Well I’m not answering that because I don’t know anyone in New York.’”

The same number then called Cunningham’s front desk; it was a producer from the Food Network.

“I talked on the phone with one of the producers and then I said, ‘It sounds like a wonderful opportunity, but I have a restaurant to run and in my opinion it’s the most important,’” said the Loch Raven High School graduate. “I couldn’t just take off a week to go be a part of a competition.”

After the producer told him that filming would only take one day, Rohlfing agreed to do the show.

“He said that it was one day of filming and it was going to be on a Monday, and I was like ‘Oh, well I’m normally off on Monday’s’ so I was like ‘Okay, that sounds great.’”

He recalled being starstruck by the whole production and the number of people it takes to film one hour of entertainment.

Rohlfing, who describes himself as more of a country guy, has been the executive chef of Cunningham’s for three and a half years and is proud to represent Baltimore on Tuesday’s episode of “Chopped.”

“We posted something online just yesterday and just to see how excited people are for the Baltimore crowd to be represented…it’s great to have the community behind you.”

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