Food Artist

By Andres Tamayo

Food Artist

By Andres Tamayo
UM junior O’Shane Elliott displayed his culinary talents on the Food Network’s hit cooking show Chopped.

World-renowned chef Bobby Flay. Television host and chef Ted Allen. University of Miami junior O’Shane Elliott.

What do all of these people have in common?  They now can all say they have appeared on the hit cooking show Chopped on the Food Network.

O’Shane, the newest member of the group, was chosen as one of four finalists to compete in the first-ever College Challenge version of Chopped which aired September 10.  He dazzled the judges with different recipes using “college-style” ingredients before falling just short in the final to a student from New York University.

Sporting a bright orange University of Miami t-shirt, O’Shane did an outstanding job of representing the ‘Canes in his cooking debut. The show provided challenging “college-style” ingredients that featured ramen noodles, frozen vegetables, steak, ranch dressing, pop-tarts, an ice cream sundae and mini marshmallows. O’Shane compared the pressure of cooking on the show to the pressure of a football game-day and showed how ‘Canes handle pressure.

He first impressed judges with a turkey sandwich aioli, followed by a flank steak which one judge described as being “cooked perfectly,” before being slightly outdone in the dessert round.

The show, which features four college students in a cook-off for college chef supremacy, pitted students against each other in a grueling three-round, timed contest where celebrity host Ted Allen and a group of judges rated the chefs and their food based on flavor, presentation, and overall performance.  Prior to the airing of the episode O’Shane said viewers could expect to see a lot “a lot of burnt food.” He did not disappoint.  Overcooked steaks, under-flavored food and incomplete dishes occurred throughout the inaugural College Challenge episode.

Each student had their own issues, including O’Shane, who said his Jamaican parents would give him a hard time after his signature curry broccoli came up short on flavor.  However, his second-place finish may have won him back some respect in his house.  Also, the fact that he is not an actual chef may provide him some leeway as well.

“My friends like my cooking, but I wouldn’t call myself a chef,” he said.

He originally found out about the opportunity last December as he was checking emails one night.  “I saw an email from the Food Network and noticed they were looking for student-chefs and decided to apply,” he said. 

Two weeks later he found himself interviewing for a spot on the show.

Following a second interview with the Food Network, he was eventually selected and found himself back in his hometown of New York City for the competition.  Although he didn’t bump into any celebrities at the Chopped studio, he did have a chance to stay with his parents and get a few home cooked meals.

O’Shane, who is studying political science and human and social development, is the chair of the 2015 Homecoming Executive Committee, vice-chair for the Committee on Student Affairs, co-chair of the Black Awareness Month Committee and a delegate to international and cultural organizations.  In addition, he helps manage Sebastian the Ibis’s schedule of appearances throughout the year and is a huge Hurricanes sports fan. 

His newfound cooking success has garnered him the respect of fellow college “chefs” across the country and may lead to more meals for family and friends.