A Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island chef who appeared on the “Rachael Ray Show” for a Veterans Day themed cook-off left a Lowcountry mark on the national daytime show.
Sgt. Jacob Ballard’s pimento cheese fritters won the “Most Likely to Be Ripped Off By Me” award from Food Network star Sunny Anderson, an Air Force veteran who judged the five chefs competing on Tuesday’s episode.
Ballard, who has served in the Marines for eight years, told Ray and Anderson he chose to make the pimento cheese balls to highlight Beaufort’s cuisine.
“They’re little cheese balls of goodness,” Anderson said. “It was delicious.”
Attempts Tuesday to reach Ballard for comment were unsuccessful.
One chef from each branch of the military participated in the cook-off. Anderson gave an award to each one of them, with names like “Most Likely to Be Found in a New York City Restaurant.” The selections had a Southern feel — red snapper, and shrimp and grits were two of the other three entrees prepared.
Before the show, Ballard said he was nervous, joking that he would “get on the stage and pass out.” In that interview, he spoke of having to improvise while cooking out in the field, using Tabasco sauce packets from ready-to-eat meals as flavoring.
“You have to be creative, got to be adaptive and use what’s in your environment to put out the best product for your Marines,” he said.