The chef of Olympia’s Chicory Restaurant, Elise Landry, will appear in an episode of the new discovery+ show Chopped Next Gen on Tuesday, June 1, casting a spotlight on the eatery that she and husband Adam Wagner opened last July amid the pandemic.
In the show, next-generation chefs put their creativity to work creating dishes from surprise ingredients — “a new twist of the fan-favorite culinary competition series that has defined competitive cooking,” according to a show news release.
Chopped Next Gen began streaming on discovery+ May 25.
“Watch as these young competitors bring the flair and flavor to the Chopped kitchen through three rounds to solve the algorithm of mandatory, mystery basket ingredients,” the release says. “Each basket requires the right mix of innovation and ambition, with the winner of each episode earning insta-fame and $10,000.”
Until the show streams, Wagner, Chicory general manager and beverage director, could only acknowledge that Landry was picked by a talent agency to appear. But he’s excited about the exposure.
“It’s a great opportunity to … raise some awareness of the fact that we’re here and doing what we’re doing, especially for a new restaurant that’s got the odds stacked against us in the last year,” Wagner said in a phone interview this week with South Sound.
Wagner bills the restaurant — the first the couple has owned after years of working in the industry — as casual fine dining.
“It’s thoughtful but approachable,” he said.
The menu draws inspiration from Landry family members from Southern Louisiana. As it taps those traditions and flavors, “we also focus on the produce and seasonal ingredients available to us in the Pacific Northwest,” working with local farms on food that celebrates seasonality, Wagner said.
“Our menu changes pretty frequently with the seasons because we work with local farmers so much,” he said. “Working seasonally is that you are subject to what’s available at any given moment, so … we try to embrace that.”
He acknowledged that opening during a pandemic required the couple to “stay light on our feet” and adapt to changing circumstances.
In Chopped Next Gen, actress, producer, and creator Liza Koshy challenges a new guard of rising, Generation Z chefs in the ultimate culinary arena, the release says.
A panel of some of the culinary world’s up-and-coming stars — Nyesha Arrington, Darnell Ferguson, Mei Lin, Esdras Ochoaand Kwame Onwuachi — judge each competitor’s dish based on taste, presentation, and how creative their vision is, according to the release.
Chicory, located at 111 Columbia St. NW, is open for lunch and dinner from noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.