Sarah Murray, Sous Chef at La Cuchara, to Appear on ‘Chopped’

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Courtesy Sarah Murray
Courtesy Marlayna Photography

Next week, one of the top cooks at Woodberry’s La Cuchara will be representing Baltimore on a nationally televised stage.

Sarah Murray, a sous chef at the Basque Country-inspired restaurant in Meadow Mill, will be one of four chefs battling on an episode of the Food Network’s cooking show, “Chopped.” The show features cooks from various backgrounds competing on a timer to produce their best dishes with baskets of mystery ingredients.

The episode has already been filmed and will air on Tuesday, Nov. 22. This one in particular is a protein-focused edition of “Chopped,” Murray said. She of course couldn’t provide any details on the outcome, but she could confirm that being on the show is about as taxing as it looks.

“It’s definitely a pretty stressful experience,” she said. “When you’re doing it all by yourself and just coming up with things on the fly, it can be pretty stressful in that timeframe.”

While Murray has had plenty of experience working with various types of cuisine and cooking styles in her six years in the food industry, she said there were some surprises. “It was a learning experience getting to work with things I’d never seen before,” she said.

Murray, who is from Bel Air, joined up with head chef Ben Lefenfeld at his restaurant in July 2015, shortly after it opened. In their 16 months working together, La Cuchara has earned plenty of great reviews and acclaim for its southern French and northern Spanish cuisine.

And even so, Murray said is happy to bring some additional exposure from outside the region through her appearance on the Food Network.

“Any publicity is going to be helpful for sure,” she said. “It definitely will be a great experience to get our name further out than just in the Baltimore and D.C. area, to bring awareness to this different kind of cooking in America.”

Ethan McLeod
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