Local chef heats up competition

Scott Beale might be the next local to leap onto Food Network.

The chef and owner of Grey Gelding Bistro and Bar in Saratoga Springs participated in an iron chef-like competition in California last weekend in the hopes of winning a trip to Peru. Taped by Food Network, it's unclear exactly what will air but Beale said he's excited to find out.

Beale has been competing in the competition hosted by Firestone Winery in Santa Barbara, Calif., since September. Originally one of more than 75 chefs competing, he became one of the top three chosen to participate in the final leg of the race to win a trip to Peru and film a Food Network segment on the Inca Trail. Beale finished second with only one point separating first and second place. He said he's a little bummed out but feels fortunate to have participated in such unique experience.

It was a fabulous experience, something I'll definitely look at doing again. A lot of people and magazines have since asked me to participate in other stuff going forward, so it was great exposure, fun and really different, said Beale.

The other two chef competitors were from Chicago. Being from a small town in New York that many people weren't familiar with added to Beale's intrigue and he said he loved being able to bring attention to Saratoga and pump it up.

Beale prepared a unusual Peruvian dish for 50 guests and six judges. He made a baked shrimp cake with a Peruvian roasted red and yellow pepper sauce to be paired with a Merlot. Something else besides his cooking made him a hit with the judges and Food Network producers. Beale helped develop and patent nonstick cook wear that he used in his preparation. A flexible Teflon baking mold and baking sheets caught the eye of producers, who said they were interested in finding a way to incorporate it into one of their shows.

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