Viewers from around the country and the world tuned in to the Food Network on Tuesday, February 26th to watch a special episode of Chopped. Marc Lamash, who worked as a chef at Graymoor for many years, was one of the contestants on the show where chefs compete against each other by making creative dishes using very specific ingredients.

Within the first three minutes, viewers were introduced to the Friars and the grounds of Graymoor as Marc fondly recalled his time working in the Graymoor kitchen. Minister General Fr. Brian Terry, SA, had a brief cameo with Marc working in the Friars’ kitchen. Marc shared how he enjoyed the variety of dishes that he made for the Friars – utilizing a number of different culinary techniques and cultural influences.

Marc worked at Graymoor as a cook for the Friars for nearly 15 years. While he helped to prepare daily meals for the Priests, most of his creative cooking was enjoyed by retreatants at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center, and on special occasions like the Friars’ Jubilee celebrations.

Marc shared that he enjoyed cooking for the Friars, but he feels the most impactful part of his job was working with and training the men (Brothers Christopher) from St. Christopher’s Inn, the Friars ministry at Graymoor that provides, housing, treatment and healing for men with substance addictions.

During their time staying at the Inn, in addition to participating in addiction treatment, the Brothers Christopher are also asked to complete assigned tasks to contribute to the meals, the program, the community and the grounds of Graymoor. Marc found that the men from the Inn who worked in the Friars kitchen and dining room were the hardest workers he had ever seen. These men were an integral part of the kitchen, and they participated in every aspect of preparing and serving meals, including cleaning and upkeep of the kitchen.

“The men at the Inn worked with a passion, and I think it was because they felt like they were working for their lives.  They weren’t working for a paycheck or for a promotion, but rather they were working to rebuild their lives and this gave them an opportunity to be productive,” Marc shared.

Marc trained the men as sous chefs, and particularly enjoyed the build-up and excitement for special events like the Jubilee celebrations. They started early in the week chopping and peeling vegetables, preparing stocks and seasoning meats for slow roasting. By the day of the event, the men looked forward to dressing up and showcasing their hard work as they served the guests.

You’ll have to watch the episode of Chopped here to see who won the competition, but we can tell you that Marc’s dishes will make you hungry!