In a "Chopped" episode titled "Grandma vs. Grandma" that aired Tuesday night, 70-year-old Nancy Judd from Alpine competed against three other women on the Food Network show.
But a setting that usually provokes smack talk and fosters feisty competition was transformed as each grandma showed the other contestants nothing but kindness. In one instance, a competitor even offered to help another in the middle of the competition.
Judd, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was asked about her reason for competing on the show, and she explained her desire to raise money for her and her husband to go on a mission for their church.
In the first round, each contestant was given several mystery items, including a coffee can of bacon grease, that they had to include in the appetizer. Judd concocted a plate of fish tacos for the judges, but at the last minute forgot to add one of the mystery items.
When she presented her food to the judges, Judd was commended for her concoction. Each judge, particularly judge Chris Santos, expressed appreciation for the appetizer Judd created. But when it came down to choosing which contestant would not be moving on to the next round, the fact that Judd left an item off her plate was enough to remove her from the competition.
Judge Amanda Freitag explained the reason for "chopping" Judd but told the Alpine grandma that her plate was the most delicious of them all.
Judd's last remarks before leaving the show were focused on her experience on the show and her love for her grandchildren.
The Food Network episode, however, was not Judd's first competition. Last November, Judd won $10,000 in the dessert competition at the World Food Championships. She also ran her own cooking TV show, "Fun With Foods," in Minnesota and made an appearance on the "Today" show last year, according to her profile on the World Food Championships website.1 comment on this story
Although Judd didn't leave "Chopped" with the $10,000 prize, the award-winning chef was excited to share the news of her participation with friends and family on Facebook.
"I did not think this day would come but I can FINALLY tell you that I will be on a special 'Chopped' Episode on Food Network on March 4th. I have had to keep my mouth shut since last April when it all started. We actually taped it last October in NYC," Judd posted online.
"Without a doubt it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I cannot describe to you in words what the word 'pressure' means. I hope you will be watching."