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Small Plates: Local Chef Booted From Food Network

After losing his train of thought and stumbling over his words at the microphone during a presentation, Granville Moore’s executive chef, Teddy Folkman, was voted off “The Next Food Network Star.—

The chef, who recently took over the menu at Capitol Lounge, left town for six weeks during the winter to film the series in New York. In the end, Folkman’s cooking was often praised, but the judges panned his overly animated TV persona. The chef lasted for four episodes before being voted off two weeks ago.

“There’s definitely a possibility in the future for TV, but I really did miss the restaurants,— he says.

Folkman says his favorite challenge was cooking on the Intrepid, the old warship docked on the Hudson River, despite the fact that it took place during the episode that got him voted off the show.

“It was just amazing being on the ship,— Folkman says, adding that the challenge made him think of his grandfather, who was a World War II veteran. “I got to thinking, Oh crap, here I am at this great opportunity and I didn’t really get to know my grandfather well enough.’ All these emotions are going through my mind.—

Those emotions got the best of Folkman when he stepped up to the mike to present his food to dozens of troops returning from Iraq. While the show aired only a few seconds of the speech in which Folkman tripped over his words, the chef says there was more to it. He says he spoke of his grandfather’s service and at one point saw a person in the audience crying.

“When I was talking about my grandfather and I saw someone crying, maybe because I was so horrible or crying because they felt something. Who knows? It kind of caused me to get choked up and lose my train of thought.—

The judges commented that Folkman’s food — a duck breast BLT — was tasty but said his presentation was not good enough to earn him a spot on the Food Network. While this news may have been disappointing, Folkman says he is relieved that his time on the show has ended. While the show aired, Folkman says he was constantly worrying what people were going to think and say about him.

“All of a sudden now, it’s like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders and I really want to focus on cooking,— he says.

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