Hanna Haar of Montauk was a contestant on Food Network's...

Hanna Haar of Montauk was a contestant on Food Network's "Ciao House." Credit: Food Network

She made it to the final six on Food Network's Italian-cooking competition “Ciao House” before her elimination Sunday. But Montauk private chef Hanna Haar says it ain’t over till it’s over.

“I have more shows in the works coming out, so keep your eyes peeled on Food Network,” Haar, 29, who has run kitchens at Lake Grove’s Le Vin and at The Montauk Beach House, says by phone two days later. “And I would say stay tuned to 'Ciao House' because it definitely gets more interesting. There might be some exciting things happening next weekend. So I'll say that much,” she teases.

The show, in which 12 chefs prepare dishes in competition while living together in a villa in Italy’s Puglia region, awards its winner a culinary education from Italian masters billed as "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Sunday's episode was down to Haar; Ivan Barros, of Los Angeles; Austin Cobb, of Playa Grande, Costa Rica; Devan Cunningham, of Phoenix; Phuoc Vo, of Tampa, Florida; and Stikxz Williams, of Queens. (Haar's elimination episode will be rebroadcast Wednesday at 2 p.m.).

Broken into two teams of three in the episode, each team in turn prepared a three-course dinner for chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Gabe Bertaccini and the three other contestants. Haar worked with Vo and “capo” (team leader) Barros, who, noting her experience as a pastry chef, assigned her dessert. He liked her suggestion of a grape and bergamot gelato with a garnish of roasted grapes.

But the judges felt the grapes weren’t roasted enough and that the cream and fruit blend in the gelato had not fully mixed. With fault also found with the other two courses, Barros’ team lost the challenge and had to choose someone to leave. Complaining that Haar worked her dessert independently and did not feel like part of the team, Barros and Vo voted to eliminate her.

“I really thought I was doing my team a favor by handling one entire course on my own and giving them one less thing to worry about,” says Haar, who was born in Bethpage and raised in Islandia. “If they needed help with the other dishes, they could have asked me and I would've done my best to help them. … I kept saying. ‘I have hands,’ which is kitchen talk for having free hands. … But three chefs working on one dish sometimes is too many cooks in the kitchen, as we like to say.”

Haar for each episode has held a viewing party at Montauk’s Inlet Seafood, owned by local fishermen. Continuing to work for private clients, she says she is writing a “Kitchen Confidential” type of book and has “a few international culinary residencies this winter” on her plate. As well, “I’m going to be producing my own culinary series on my social channels.”

Competing on “Ciao House” was “just a phenomenal experience,” Haar says. “It taught me to cook intuitively, to use all my senses. It taught me cooking competitively. It's taught me to look back to move forward. It taught me about myself as a person and as a chef.”

She adds, “All the chefs were really talented, so to be able to make it that far undefeated, including being capo twice and winning those rounds, I feel good. It was a good run.”

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