The national accolades keep rolling in for chef Cindy Wolf.
On the heels of being named a James Beard Award finalist, the Charleston chef and co-owner of Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group will be featured on an episode of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay this week.
Now in its eighth season, the tournament-style series pits two chefs from different cities against one another in hopes of ultimately going toe-to-toe with famed chef Bobby Flay in the final round.
Although this week’s episode, airing March 31 at 10 p.m., will mark Wolf’s first experience competing on television, she’s no stranger to working with Flay. The duo has collaborated previously to co-host charity events, and Wolf even served as a guest judge on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay that filmed in Baltimore in 2010.
“I know Bobby,” Wolf says. “He’s eaten with us and I thought it would be a lot of fun to compete against him.”
While details about all of the prepared dishes are under tight wraps until the episode airs, a synopsis posted on Food Network’s website reveals that Wolf will be duking it out against Mississippi-based chef Stacie Vande Wetering in the first round.
“It was a new experience for me and I really enjoyed it,” Wolf says. “The high energy made it pretty exciting and I liked getting the chance to interact with the crowd. In my family we’re pretty competitive when it comes to game-playing, so I always enjoy a good, [healthy] competition. Now I really want to do Iron Chef.”
Food Network personalities Anne Burrell and Curtis Stone will keep score during the matchup. Wolf says that she particularly appreciated Stone’s feedback, praising his “good insight” regarding her dishes.
To celebrate the chef’s first televised food battle, Foreman Wolf is hosting a viewing party at Pazo on March 31 at 8 p.m., offering a special selection of wines and passed hors d’oeuvres for guests. A suggested donation of $100 per couple is recommended, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Share Our Stength’s No Kid Hungry initiative.
The episode’s air date comes at a particularly exciting time for Wolf, as she has once again been named a finalist for the 2016 James Beard Awards. The list of contenders, which was released in February, lists Wolf as a nominee in the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic category along with Aaron Silverman of Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia's Greg Vernick. Her Lowcountry restaurant Charleston was also recognized, clinching a semifinalist nomination in the Outstanding Wine Program category. Wolf was the only chef in the state to make the cut this year.
“We live in an amazing city and I am proud to represent it,” she says. “I’m thankful for any attention that we get about the wonderful things that we have to offer here.”