“Let’s fry this thing up, every chef needs one of these,” said Chef Jernard Wells.
Meet the local and internationally known Chef Jernard Wells, the Chef of Love. Wells says he’s been cooking since he turned 10 and is a self-proclaimed “foodie.”
“I actually opened my first restaurant in my mother’s kitchen to help support my family after my father passed away,” said Wells.
He then worked to perfect his skills at Culinary Arts School. He has cooked with Paula Deen and for people from Tyler Perry to the First Lady of Bermuda to folks in Chattanooga. He has already been a featured chef on the Food Channel Network, but “Cutthroat Kitchen” is a whole different kettle of fish.
“It’s not a cakewalk, Alton Brown comes out with this briefcase of $100,000. Each chef has the opportunity to take $25,000 but not for you to keep,” said Wells.
They yell out a dish, then chefs get 60 seconds to run into the pantry to “grocery shop” and 30 minutes to cook the meal. This is when the obstacles and sabotage come into play and Chef Wells says think crazy.
“Hey, you know what, you gotta cook while riding on a tricycle or something like that or cook while laying in a bed,” said Wells.
Chefs use the $25,000 to bid so other competitors have to do the challenges while cooking. He cannot share specifics about the episode, but he can give a hint.
“I had to do a lot of crazy stuff and the thing is it’s not Alton who makes you do it, it is your opponent,” said Wells.
His competition was intimidating to say the least, from Chefs featured in Forbes Top 30 to one who has cooked for the Prince of Dubai.
“But you know the thing of me being from Chattanooga, we have our own Chattanooga pride anyways,” said Wells.
He hopes this will help get Chattanooga on the culinary map.
“I take pride in representing the scenic city,” said Wells.
and here’s the best part…
“I’m still waiting to find out if I won … I don’t know yet,” said Wells.
He leaves all the chefs-in-training with a few pieces of advice.
“Cooking is more about family, fun, and friends and that’s the ultimate thing, I always call it the three ‘F’s.’ They can be compiled in so many ways: ‘family, fun and food’ or ‘food, family and fun,'” said Wells.
“We lost one but see that one was for me. Every great chef always tastes his products,” said Wells.
Chef Jernard Wells is hosting a viewing party tonight at the Chatt Inn. This is where he and Chef LeMont Johnson recently opened LeMont’s Southern Cuisine with Chef Jernard Wells. The festivities, including food, entertainment, and viewing of “Cutthroat Kitchen,” begin tonight at 8 p.m.