SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Giuseppe "Joey" Fanelli gambled his culinary talents against three other chefs on The Food Channel's "Kitchen Casino" winning a $9,000 prize in an episode that aired Sunday, June 1 at 11 p.m.
Fanelli, a Sleepy Hollow resident and Elmsford native, discussed his appearance on the challenging cooking show in an interview with Daily Voice last week. Fanelli, who said that it was one of the toughest challenges in his career, swept through the first two rounds as two of the other four chefs were eliminated.
"I want to win this for my wife Lisa," Fanelli said during the show. "Our 10th anniversary is coming up and I want to take her on the vacation of a lifetime."
In an ironic twist, chef Jill Rose of Tarrytown's Chiboust was one of the three contestants facing Fanelli.
"Kitchen Casino" pits four talented chefs in a high-stakes game in three rounds of gambling-themed challenges -- slots, roulette and poker. The food prep and cooking require high levels of skill, speed and adaptability in a test to win the ultimate $30,000 prize.
In the first round "slots" event, Fanelli created a beef kabob with peppers, Greek yogurt sauce and a coconut cocktail for a score of 7 out of 10 points to stay in the challenge with the leader Chris Randall of Long Island who had eight points.
In the second round, a difficult test in which the chefs played "roulette" and had their dishes and cooking station spun three times and had to adapt to the changes the other chefs had made, Fanelli excelled again with seven points knocking out neighbor Jill Rose.
The final round of "chef poker" offered Fanelli ham, pork chops, Korean spicey kimchi, pop corn and Fiddlehead fern. The chef stuffed apork chop with pop corn and kimchi, made loaded mashed potatoes that included ham and other ingredients and finished the dish off with some of his signature onion rings.
Fanelli earned a score of 7 to edge Randall's 5 points for a stuffed fish dish. He won $7,000 and then added $2,000 on a roulette wheel spin.
"Coming this far and to be dubbed 'The Champion' is tremendous, but to give my wife the vacation of a lifetime. I have no words for it," Fanelli said in the show's final segment.