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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Thomas McCurdy Wins 'Chopped Sweets,' Changes Channel to Pandemic Food Delivery

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 1:30 PM

Thomas McCurdy with a tray of profiteroles - NINA FOSTER; COURTESY OF THOMAS MCCURDY
  • Nina Foster; courtesy of Thomas McCurdy
  • Thomas McCurdy with a tray of profiteroles
It's been a busy spring for Thomas McCurdy. The professional pastry chef, who owns Ardelia Farm & Co. in Irasburg with his husband, Bailey Hale, became a TV star and started a new online food delivery business in a matter of weeks.

McCurdy proved his pastry skills — which some Vermonters are familiar with from Ardelia's stand at the Burlington Farmers Market — by winning a recent episode of "Chopped Sweets."

It's the first season of the Food Network culinary competition's "sweet spinoff," hosted by chef Scott Conant. McCurdy conquered the mystery boxes on an episode titled "Breakfast for Dessert," which aired on Monday, April 13.

"I learned right away that 'Chopped Sweets' is very real," McCurdy told Seven Days in a phone call the week after the show aired. "The secret ingredients are secret, the time constraints are real, and we have no recipes."

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Friday, March 6, 2020

TV-to-Table at Parkway Diner

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 4:05 PM

Cooks on television at Parkway Diner in South Burlington - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Cooks on television at Parkway Diner in South Burlington
Parkway Diner in South Burlington has given new meaning to the term "TV dinner."

Two large-screen televisions behind the counter broadcast one show from breakfast through lunch: Parkway cooks frying eggs, grilling burgers, plating  roast turkey sandwiches and serving fries.

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Sap! Makes a Run in Los Angeles

Posted By on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Chas Smith pitches Sap! on "Shark Tank" - COURTESY OF DISNEY ABC
  • Chas Smith pitches Sap! on "Shark Tank"

Update, January 29, 2018: Sap! did not strike a deal Sunday night on "Shark Tank," though the Burlington-based company did receive an offer of $600,000 for a 30-percent ownership stake. The local entrepreneurs countered with 20 percent, but in the end no deal was made.

When the founders of  Sap! got an email last summer  about the possibility of being contestants on "Shark Tank," a reality TV show that matches businesses with ultra-rich investors (sharks!), they thought it was a joke. But a follow-up phone call convinced Chas Smith, who owns the Burlington-based soft drink company with his cousin, Nikita Salmon, that the email was not a scam.

Smith and Salmon decided to give TV-entrepreneurship a go, and they completed an application to compete on "Shark Tank." Within three weeks, the Vermonters found themselves in front of the cameras at Sony studios in Culver City, California. They pitched their product — carbonated beverages made from maple sap and birch sap — to five tycoons who either did or didn't make a deal with them.  The segment will air Sunday, January 28, at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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