New Orleans chef Miguel Chavez will be in familiar territory for his Food Network debut on Wednesday night.
Chavez, executive chef at Superior Grill New Orleans, will compete with three other chefs in an episode of "Guy's Grocery Games" titled "Spiciest!"
"I had been on local TV in Chicago, but this was my first time on national TV," Chavez said.
On the show, host Guy Fieri "sends four talented chefs running through the aisles in a high-stakes, high-skills, grocery store cooking competition. The chefs are hit by real-world challenges like finding workarounds when all the essential ingredients are suddenly 'out-of-stock' or having to create a masterpiece when you can only cook with '5 items or less' or on a $10 budget. In the end, the food does the talking, as the last chef standing has the chance to" win up to $20,000, according to the show's website.
Shot in Santa Clara, California, in October, Chavez said the most difficult element of the competition was securing the ingredients from the set's mini-grocery store.
"Because we had certain ingredients that we had to use, that was for the first round; and for the second round, look for things that were certain prices. In the final round, they give you $20 for the whole meal," Chavez said.
Chavez, who was born in Mexico City, moved to New Orleans almost four years ago for the Superior Grill position. Before that, the 37-year-old chef spent 14 years in Chicago, working in several restaurants, and earning an associate degree in culinary arts from Washburn Culinary Institute, a bachelor's degree in culinary management from the Illinois Institute of Art, and an MBA with concentrations in management, and training and development at Roosevelt University.
In the "Grocery Games" kitchen, he'll be making a spicy chicken dish in the first round, incorporating an assigned super-spicy pepper into his hometown heat dish in the second round and creating "some high-end heat with only $20," the season 16 episode four description says.
If he's victorious, Chavez then will go on a quick shopping spree to attempt to grab 20 specified items, each worth $1,000.
"You're always a little overcritical of yourself, ... but overall I was very pleased," Chavez said of his experience on the show.
And Food Network must have been impressed as well, as Chavez said he's already been invited back this summer for the screening process for the network's popular "Chopped" series.
"Chopped" and FOX's "MasterChef" are two competitions on Chavez's wish list, he said.
Chavez and friends will watch the show at a viewing party at Superior Grill, 3636 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.
'Guy's Grocery Games'
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday
CHANNEL: Food Network (cable Channel 53 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, cable Channel 67 in New Orleans)