anthony jones

HUNTINGTOWN, Md. — Anthony Jones, a Huntingtown High School graduate, took home the $10,000 prize and the title of “Chopped Champion” on the show’s February 22 episode.

Jones, 32, graduated from the Career Technology Academy (CTA) in 2007. He entered the program with very little knowledge or skill in the kitchen, but he was very interested in the craft.

“I originally got the passion for the culinary arts just by watching the original Iron Chef. Just seeing the skill, the love, and the mindset behind food opened my eyes to the idea that food can be more than simply random things on a plate and eating it and putting it in your mouth,” Jones told before the show aired. 

“My favorite thing about cooking and just the restaurant industry, in general, is the human interaction. It’s like sports because you have your teammates and a team behind you, the cooks, the dishwashers, the prep cooks, and even the servers. It’s harmonized chaos sometimes, it looks perfect, but there’s chaos behind it,” he explained. “It’s amazing because of how when it’s right, it can just flow beautifully, and I think the human interaction with not just the person working beside you but also with the guest enjoying your craft is amazing.”

Jones is currently working at a restaurant in Overtown, Miami called the Red Rooster. While he was filming for a documentary covering the restaurant, he met some producers, and the idea of appearing on Chopped came up. Jones then applied and received an opportunity to compete on the show.

“There’s a lot of magic behind the scenes to make any TV show work…It was great, I had a blast, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and it was an amazing learning experience,” Jones said.

Jones then went on to describe his time spent in the CTA’s culinary arts program and how it helped kick start his career.

“I would recommend it to anyone that is trying to pick up a trade. Whether it be culinary arts, masonry, mechanics, anything. To be great at anything, you need to have the proper foundation, and something like the CTA or any vocational school allows you to build that proper foundation. It’s like building Lego’s, once you build a foundation you can go as high as you want, the sky is literally the limit,” Jones said. “I was very green when I started attending the CTA. I didn’t necessarily know much about food, but being there taught me to never be afraid to ask a question and that you can learn a lot just by paying attention and just watching other people sometimes.”

Jones hopes to build what they already have going at the Red Rooster since he’s been there since the beginning. However, he hopes one day that he can start a restaurant to cook the food that he’s passionate about and impact whatever community that he settles into.

And his “Twosday” night victory will now likely kickstart his dreams.

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