Armed with a Brooklyn accent, abundant talent and deadpan delivery, Long Island chef Allison Fasano aced an episode of Food Network's "Supermarket Stakeout" that aired last week.
Fasano — the chef at Salted. On the Harbor in Northport, who also cooks meals for COVID-19 test sites and works as a private chef — won over the judges during three frenetic rounds cooked in a California supermarket parking lot. She took home the grand prize of $10,000.
"I'm always excited to be a part of TV shows, and it doesn’t matter if I win or I lose," said Fasano, who has also appeared on Food Network's "Chopped" and "Beat Bobby Flay." "At the end of the day, you're in a competition within yourself. It's a learning experience, and about seeing how hard you can push yourself. It was fun."
"Supermarket Stakeout," hosted by chef Alex Guarnaschelli, pits four chefs against one another, giving them $500 to spend buying groceries from shoppers as they exit a Los Angeles supermarket. The chefs unpack the bags at outdoor cooking stations in the parking lot, then have 30 minutes to cook a dish for each of three rounds. "You don't want to scare the people," Fasano can be heard saying off-camera at the beginning of the challenge. Later in the episode, she shouts "girl power!" a few times as she dashes away with groceries purchased from the mostly female shoppers.
Fasano, who cut her teeth at New York City restaurants such as Del Posto and Bar Americain before migrating to the Long Island restaurant scene (where she won three stars from Newsday at Harleys American Grille in Farmingdale), employed grace under pressure during the 11-hour filming. For the first round, themed "sky-high sandwich," she built a breakfast Monte Cristo that made judge Eddie Jackson swoon; for the second, which called for a French dish, she used pork and salmon for a spin on surf-and-turf ("I'm actually working with a little potato hash type of situation," said Fasano as she cooked during the round). Judge Stephanie Boswell, a pastry chef, called the dish "flippin' delicious."
For the last round, "Something cheesy," she outbid a fellow competitor for a packet of shredded "Mexican cheese," and then made a twist on fonduta, the Italian version of fondue usually made with Fontina. "You knocked it out of the park," said Jackson.
"I just cooked from my heart," said Fasano from the kitchen at Salted on New Year’s Eve. The episode was filmed in October, she said, and she's had to remain mum about her win until now. It doesn't seem to have changed her much. "I've been very fortunate to keep my apron on" during this tumultuous year.
The episode, the first one of season 3, can be streamed from the Food Network's website, and will air again on Jan. 19.
Find chef Allison Fasano at Salted. On the Harbor, 14 Woodbine Ave., Northport, 631-651-2600.