Eric Williams of Momocho and El Carnicero (among others) will test his luck and talent Sunday, January 17th on “Guy’s Grocery Games” which airs on Sunday evenings at 8pm on the Food Network.
Guy Fieri chose 16 of his favorite “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” (DDD) chefs to compete in a five-week tournament with winnings to support local charity/charities, purchase new equipment for their restaurants, pay off any debt or a family vacation.
The series began this past Sunday, January 3rd and will conclude with the championship on January 31. The tournament features four talented-chefs from DDD episodes. They compete head-to-head each week at a chance to win 20,000 dollars while showcasing their unique cuisines and personalities. The four winners meet in a final championship round for an opportunity to win an additional 20,000 dollars and the chance to be proclaimed “Champion of Guy’s Grocery Games.”
“It’s a mash-up of Grocery Games, Chopped and Guy’s huge, twisted personality. I’m representing El Carnicero and Momocho. I was excited and honored to participate. I understood I had the chance to gain more exposure for the restaurants, shine the spotlight on Cleveland and possibly win some cash for some charities. As a fan of the show, my goal was to showcase my restaurants for as long as I could. Especially, since the first Chef was eliminated in the first 15 minutes. Hopefully, I can make Cleveland proud and bring home a winner.” Says, Eric Williams.
Fieri, for his part, does what he can to increase the pressure and challenge of the competition through a series of demands. He selects the entrée for each chef to prepare. Contestants are under the gun to shop for their ingredients in an actual grocery store and to prepare the dish in 30 minutes.
“Guy increases the pressure by throwing in an ingredient from a claw machine, making a sandwich with ingredients not in the dairy or bread aisle or rolling the dice to see what piece of kitchen equipment we can use. It’s completely exhausting both physically and mentally!” Says, Eric Williams.
Although, Williams could not discuss how he fared in the contest, he did share how he intends to utilize his winnings.
“Recently Heather and I purchased a home and during some remodeling this past spring the basement completely flooded. We had to start all over and waterproof the house. Part of the money would help to offset that debt. I also hope to upgrade some restaurant equipment. Momocho is nearly 10 years old and El Carnicero opened with a lot of used equipment. I also intend to help those who really need help. We’ve often helped our local churches, shelters and soup kitchens. Those efforts were always short term and limited by what we could afford at the time. If given the opportunity, I can help a lot more people.” Says, Eric Williams.