Christian Hayes, chef and owner of Dandelion Catering in Yarmouth, will compete on the March 20th episode, entitled “Pork on the Brain”
Maine native Christian Hayes began Dandelion Catering almost a decade ago with his wife and co-owner, Christine Hayes. This March, the long-running, massively popular tv show will pit Hayes against 3 other chefs from around the country to compete not just for the cash prize of $10,000 but also for the much sought-after title of Chopped Champion.
Tune in to the episode's premiere on Food Network on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 10pm EST.
“I am excited for the chance to be a part of such a cool experience, and incredibly humbled to represent Maine in the Chopped kitchen” says Hayes. Initially, he was reluctant to jump on board when urged by many to answer the casting call. Finally, he had a change of heart, and before he knew it he was booking a flight to New York to film the episode.
“I fought applying. Mainly because it’s so far out of my comfort zone, and I knew it would mess with my head,” Hayes laughs. “It’s sort of against my philosophy of cooking. I don’t chase plaudits or try and compete with anyone else but myself. I’m very internal. I enjoy the art, and the practice, and the outlet. Cameras are NOT my thing. BUT - once I got in there I simply just tried to soak in every second. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was so wild to be there.”
Viewers will have to tune into Food Network’s Chopped on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 10pm EST to find out which ingredients Hayes was challenged with and the results of the competition.
"It was by far the most disorienting experience I've ever been a part of in terms of my culinary career. It's jarring. So much so that you make fundamental mistakes and just pray that the person next to you messed up a bit more." Hayes adds "You find yourself doing things that you previously had yelled at the tv at previous contestants for doing. Haha. But, you just have to trust your gut, have fun, and ride the whole thing out. It was a blast."
About Dandelion Catering Co.
Dandelion Catering Company officially launched in 2009 in Portland, Maine when lifelong Maine residents Christine and Christian Hayes decided to chase a dream that led them both out of their restaurant and foodservice careers and into the world of catering.
Their ultimate goal was to not only produce restaurant quality, freshly prepared food in an industry that is far too dependent on frozen and premade ingredients, but also to create a company steeped in their principles. Quality, fresh, handmade cuisine that is prepared with the best ingredients. Locally sourced products. Humanely raised livestock. Utilization of local and regional sources for seafood, meat, dairy and produce. Small farms. Local vendors. Seasonal menus. Community. A small business that cultivates and inspires their team through respect, positivity and genuine gratitude. A business where all involved can feel proud of their part, and feel appreciated.
Their vision was to celebrate the amazing resources that Maine and New England has to offer, and build a team of like-minded individuals who understood that through hard work and high standards come success and fulfillment.
Years later, the humble beginnings of a bootstrapped small business, built on the foundation of a tireless work ethic and an iron-clad commitment to service and quality, has evolved into one of the most talented and respected catering companies in the region.
In the end, they have created a company that reflects very much how they live their lives. Simple, approachable, and humble, yet very unique. No smoke and mirrors, just a pure passion for cooking, food, community, family and service.