The former executive chef of Santacafe, Fernando Ruiz, brought pride to Santa Fe in 2016 by winning the night in Food Network’s 400th episode of Chopped. Chopped is a reality-based American cooking show that airs on the Food Network. The show features four chefs competing against each other to win a $10,000 prize. Contests compete over three-rounds, attempting to use unusual ingredient combinations in their dishes. A panel of three judges eliminates one chef each round until only one is left. Ruiz was the last man standing in the episode that aired November 1, 2016.
Ruiz hasn’t always been a talented chef. Earlier in life, he got mixed up with the wrong crowd. After spending several years in prison for drug and gun dealing, Ruiz decided to turn his life around. That’s when he enrolled in culinary school. He became one of the top chefs in Santa Fe and the nation.
Business at Santacafe greatly increased after his Chopped victory.
Ruiz Wins Guys Grocery Games and Beat Bobby Flay
Chopped isn’t the only food competition victory by Ruiz. He also won a 2015 episode of Guy’s Grocery Games and won a 2019 head to head competition against Bobby Flay in Beat Bobby Flay.
Media Coverage of Fernando Ruiz
Santa Fe Chef Wins Big on Popular Cooking Show
New Mexico Chef Wins Two Food Network Shows: About to Make Debut on Beat Bobby Flay