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Chopped Winner

Chef Ype Von Hengst, co-founder and executive chef of the Rockville-based Silver Diner chain, won the Food Network’s “Chopped” competition on the program’s February 14 episode. Von Hengst and three other competitors were required to prepare three courses — an appetizer, entrée and dessert — under severe time constraints, using baskets of mystery ingredients. In this episode, labeled Blue Plate Fare, the basket contained ingredients as disparate as marionberry jam, a BLT sandwich, string beans, and deep-fried deviled eggs. Von Hengst jumped into action to create a panzanella salad and a disco fries puree, involving a mix of fried potatoes, cheese, and gravy. Yum or ugh, depending on your point of view!
But it was dessert that won the competition for Von Hengst.  Using cheesecake, a cup of coffee with cream, variegated figs, and coconut arancini, he concocted a Philly-style ice cream with a side of fig beignets in a fast 30 minutes. This winning dessert was served at the Silver restaurant in Bethesda between February 21 and March 12, to the delight of local patrons.
Von Hengst said he would use his winnings to “pay it forward” by donating the $10,000 check to the nonprofit humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders. The chef plans to match his Chopped prize, for a total donation of $20,000.  Definitely a win-win for everyone!

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