A Profile on Lisa Keys, Chopped Champion

My aunt, Lisa Keys, is an extraordinary woman. She is a mother, former physician’s assistant, a certified food competition judge….and a Chopped champion.

Keys was selected to be on the Food Network hit show back in 2014 for a special “Mother’s Day” episode, so she was competing as a mom, not a professional. Spoiler alert: she won the episode and a $10,000 cash prize. Since then, she has continued cooking, competing, and winning many cooking contests. Below is an interview with Keys, discussing filming the episode, who inspires her, and what she is up to now:


1. When did you first start cooking? Who inspired you?

"Inspired by my grandmothers, aunts, and parents, I started cooking at a very young age. It was routine for all the girls to gather in the kitchen and learn."


2. How were you selected to be on Chopped?

"At the encouragement of family and a few friends, I applied to be on Chopped, as they were casting competitive cooks. An interview followed, and then a few months later, I learned I was cast to be on a Mother's Day episode. So I was cast as a mom, not a competitive cook."

Keys' reaction to winning Chopped


3. What benefits came with winning the show?

"The main benefit for me personally was to increase my confidence in the kitchen. I felt very proud of myself for doing something so scary and then winning it. A bit of celebrity status follows me now, and when people find out I am a Chopped Champion, I get a bit of respect, like, “Hey, this girl can really cook.” I have been recognized in restaurants and on occasion, people want a selfie with me. Haha!"


4. Describe what filming the show was like.

"Filming was very organized. First, they came to my house and spent an entire day watching me cook, garden, and make jewelry. On the set was another long day, because I never got 'chopped.' But the whole experience flows and it went by quickly for me. Lots of interviews in between cooking and presenting to the judges."


5. Who inspires your cooking?

"My cooking is inspired by the people I love and the places I have been. It really comes from a place deep in my heart. I try to reinvent memories or maybe bring them back through my food."


6. Where can we keep up with you and view your current cooking endeavors?

"I'm still a competitive cook, but these days I am known as a food athlete, as I often have sponsors who endorse my travels or like me to use their products. I never knew I would come this far. All my recipes are originals and can be found on my blog: www.goodgriefcook.com."


To see the next time Lisa Keys’ episode will air, check here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/chopped/episodes/mothers-day.