Chef Steven Weiss makes sixth appearance on Food Network

April 12, 2011|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • Submitted photo Local chef Steven Weiss and two other pastry chefs took on the challenge to build a Rube Goldberg machine out of sugar, on an episode of "Food Network Challenge." The episode airs Sunday on the Food Network.
Courtesy of Food Network

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. —  Sugar is sweet.

And so is a $10,000 prize.

"Food Network Challenge" regular Steven Weiss competed against other chefs for a chance to take home the large check.

Weiss, who is Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program coordinator for Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg, will appear in the "Sugar Inventions" episode airing at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 17, on the Food Network.

Weiss' specialty is sugar work, a process that melts sugar and then molds it into artistic pieces. In "Sugar Inventions," Weiss  — and two other pastry chefs — took on the challenge to build a Rube Goldberg machine, which is a complicated machine that performs a simple task (think of the board game "Mouse Trap").

We asked Weiss five questions about his upcoming appearance.

HM: You seem to be becoming a Food Network regular. What count does "Sugar Inventions" make for your appearances?

WEISS: This is my sixth appearance. Well, you hope the wave continues but as everything goes it will all come to an end at some time. I hope it lasts a little longer, though.

HM: These "Challenge" shows are popular with Food Network foodies because of the potential for disaster. What is it about being on the other side that makes this so alluring?

WEISS: The chance to do something not everyone does, I'm putting myself out there, win or fail. You see me at my strongest and weakest points throughout the day. This makes for a great show.

HM: In this challenge, you were asked to build a Rube Goldberg machine —completely out of sugar. Um, no pressure. How much planning and finger-burning went into preparing for this challenge?

WEISS: We had a couple of weeks to prepare, and I'm known for flying by the seat of my pants  —  this one was no different. I did practice on some components of my piece, but I never completed the whole thing.

HM: How do you think these shows have made you not only a better chef, but a better instructor?

WEISS: They give me insight into myself and how far I'm willing to go. The shows make me better only for the fact that I play a part, a part not many get the opportunity to try. We are cast as actors, there are specific chefs with specific talents. I'm the one they usually call for sugar.

HM:We know you can't tell us the outcome, but what do you think you learned from the last Food Network shows that prepared you for "Sugar Inventions?"

WEISS: I learned not to give up. Even if you are having a bad day, others may be as well. In the end, if you complete your task and had fun doing it. That's all that matters. I try to pass these thoughts along to my students when under pressure to complete a task. You need to try no matter how difficult the task. If you don't try, the end result is always a mystery.

See Steve in action

Watch Steven Weiss on "Food Network Challenge: Sugar Inventions" airing at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 17, on the Food Network.

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