Chef Judy Cage took home the grand prize of $10,000.
Chef Judith Cage, owner of Chef Judy’s Jaguar Grill at Johnston Community College, took home the grand prize of $10,000 Tuesday night when she beat out four other chefs on Supermarket Stakeout, a brand-new reality show on Food Network.
Chef Judy wowed the judges with her Chinese shrimp and pork stir fry, scrumptious fried chicken, and succulent brown sugar salmon and homemade roux, not to mention her infectious personality.
“I had such a great time,” Chef Judy said. “This experience has been amazing. I love television, I love cooking, I love the exposure, I love the opportunity for North Carolina to look great.”
Chef Judy has competed on Food Network’s Chopped before and she said this experience was just as awesome.
“These shows really allow me to perform and show what I’m made of in the kitchen,” she said. “I was in my zone, had fun while I was cooking, met some amazing people all while showing my competitive side.”
Hosted by chef Alex Guarnaschelli, Supermarket Stakeout revolves around tough competitions where chefs have to think fast and cook food using products out of bags and carts that have been brought from a supermarket.
The ingredients are a random selection of food products even if it includes one apple, a loaf of bread or a pack of diapers. The chefs still have to prepare a unique dish for the judges, all with the clock ticking.
Each episode kicks off with a culinary trap outside a supermarket where the four competing chefs will have to approach random shoppers leaving the store to negotiate the bags right out of their hands, not knowing what is inside.
There are three rounds and each has a theme. The chefs have a budget of $500 and are limited to using the items they manage to wrangle out of the customer’s bags.
The rotating panel of judges determines which challenger had the most success with the dishes.
Chef Judy said show producers noticed her on Instagram and contacted her last spring about interviewing for a spot on the show. The episode was filmed in Los Angeles in May and Chef Judy said the competition challenged her to be her best.
“They asked me lots of questions about my personality, cooking style, who I admire in the kitchen, my cooking point of view, what type of food I love to prepare, how I am in the kitchen and my creativity,” she said. “I was able to convince them that I was the right woman for the show.”
“I learned to push my fear aside and give it all I’ve got in any circumstance or any situation,” she said. No one’s more nervous when it’s time to perform, but you have to show out.”
In addition to Chef Judy’s Jaguar Grill at JCC, she also owns Let Me Cater to You, a restaurant and catering business in Fort Bragg and Uptown’s Chicken and Waffles in Fayetteville.
Cut line: JCC's Chef Judy took home the $10,000 grand prize Tuesday on Food Network's Supermarket Stakeout.