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Local chef heats up competition

Producers and magazine editors may have been fascinated by his cutting edge cook wear, but the cameras loved Beale and he loved them.

"I think one of the things they really liked about me was the fact that I come across really fun and flamboyant and I'm very creative," said Beale. "A lot of chefs out there are kind of very conservative and don't do a lot of talking. They're not social butterflies, but that's how I've always been you have to be able to get up in front of a lot of people and powerful people and make your demonstration fun and come across in the right way."

Beale was so comfortable in front of the camera that he almost forgot to cook. Without his wife's urging to "get back to work," he may not have finished in time.

"I had a couple syndicate news groups doing video as I'm cooking and they were asking a lot of questions and I'm just talking away and demonstrating and having a good time. My wife came up and was like, 'You can't talk anymore, you've got to finish and plate up.' She kept me moving," said Beale.

He's no stranger to competition. While he's never done anything at this caliber, he's won awards at Chowderfest and has won Best Gumbo at Mardis Gras Festival for four years. Beale wanted to be a competitor on the Food Network show "Chopped" but the timing was off and video deadline was around the same time as the Firestone competition. He said once things die down he'd think about pursuing "Chopped" again.

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