A Midlands chef who appeared on a Food Network show beat out three other chefs to win, taking home a cash prize of about $5,000.
Gary Uwanawich appeared on Sunday’s episode of “Cutthroat Kitchen” and won for his version of a white macadamia nut cookie.
Uwanawich said the win caught him by surprise because he burned his cookie. But the judge liked his use of citrus zest, even noting he would use it in his restaurant in the future.
“I was expecting to lose by presenting that cookie,” he said. “When I won ... it was just a great, big relief.”
Contestants start off the show with $25,000 and are able to bid on sabotages, with the winner keeping the remainder of the money.
Uwanawich spent about $20,000 of his money to ensure he won – and he said he would not go back and change that.
“I’m sure a lot of people were money-minded going in,” he said. “... But I think the title was worth more than the $25,000. That never goes away.”
He said he is investing the prize money in his business, Rent-A-Chef, and a well-deserved vacation for his family.
Uwanawich said he would not change anything about his appearance on the show, including his at-times devious strategies.
“All my life I was the nice guy, always giving a chance, always taking the bow down,” he said. “But this time on this show, it sort of invoked a spirit of winning. ... (It was) my one chance to be bad, and I picked the perfect time.”
Watch Gary Uwanawich compete on ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’ 10 p.m. Sunday on Food Network