Two SA pitmasters to go head-to-head on Food Network's 'Chopped'

Local chefs will represent Texas-style barbecue

SAN ANTONIO – There will be more than one San Antonio chef on this season of "Chopped Grill Masters."

Caterer and competitive barbecuer Carlo Casanova will compete alongside Esaul Ramos, of 2M Smokehouse, on season 4 of the popular Food Network show. 

They're not only defending the Alamo City, but Texas barbecue in general.  This season aims to prove once-and-for-all which region of the country makes the best barbecue: Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina or Texas. 

"He (Ramos) is up-and-coming and has a great business while I'm more from the catering and competition world," Casanova said.

Read: 2M Smokehouse pit master Esaul Ramos competing on 'Chopped'

Casanova said he started the audition process last fall. A buddy saw something online and urged him to enter. He filled out a questionnaire and had several Skype interviews. By February, he was shooting the series.

Casanova is used to competition. He competes in barbecue contests across the country and just last month he won the 2018 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis in the chicken wing category. But he admits he was still a little intimidated by "Chopped." Not only was he competing against 15 other top pitmasters, on TV, in a studio where a lot of great chefs have cooked before, he also was asked to cook on the fly with ingredients that aren't typically in his repertoire.

"As a caterer, you know what you're going to cook, " Casanova said. "The adrenaline was high. My heart was pumping." 

Casanova said his girlfriend helped him practice beforehand by bringing home unusual ingredients for him to grill.

Of course, the contestants aren't allowed to say who brings home the $50,000 grand prize. But Casanova says he doesn't have any regrets.

"To be bold, I'm really good at what I do," he said.

Casanova says he plans to have a viewing party when season four of "Chopped Grill Masters" fires up on July 31. 

Read more about fellow contestant, Esaul Ramos here.


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