As the owner of Cracked Pepper Bistro, chef Vatche Moukhtarian doesn’t have much to prove.
Moukhtarian competed in “Guy’s Grocery Games” on the Food Network, with the first episode airing Wednesday and repeatedly over the next two months. Keep reading for air times.
“Fresno never gets any love or any representation,” Moukhtarian said. “We have so much produce that comes out of Fresno, we have a lot of good restaurants. We get skipped over, so when the opportunity came up … I think it was exciting that I could represent Fresno.”
“Guy’s Grocery Games” pits four chefs against one another in Flavortown, the northern California grocery store-like setting where the shows are filmed. Typically, the contestants are given limited ingredients, or certain ways of preparing food that they must use to see who can come up with the tastiest dish.
Moukhtarian is constrained in what he can say about his time on the show, including who won. He sticks mostly to the network’s description of the episode, which is titled the Ultimate Grocery List.
It says: “Four chefs visit Flavortown to tackle Guy Fieri’s worst grocery list yet, featuring ingredients they’d never dream of putting in the same dish. The chefs must use every item on the list during the three rounds of competition or face elimination, but Guy adds lots of extra twists. The chef with the skills to turn the groceries on Guy’s worst list into the best dishes earns a shopping spree worth up to $20,000.”
“It was pretty challenging,” he said. “When you have all those cameras coming at you, you got to make decisions.”
Moukhtarian connected with the show after representatives of it reached out to him. After several interviews, he was given the OK to compete.
Since then he’s heard of other local chefs getting calls too, he said.
Moukhtarian‘s episode (episode 12 of the latest season) of Guy’s Grocery Games will air at 9 p.m. Wednesday; midnight April 24, midnight Thursday, April 25, and 8 p.m. May 19 and 3 a.m. May 20.