Celebrated ‘Chopped’ Alum Chris Burnett is Executive Chef at Meadowlands Racetrack 

The Meadowlands Racetrack is tapping “Chopped” contestant and celebrated chef Chris Burnett to head food operations as the new Executive Chef. After being hired in May, Chef Burnett will take over menu planning and food execution effective Friday, June 9.

“We are excited for our guests to see what Chef Chris can bring Pink and Trotters dining rooms,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GMO of the Meadowlands Racetrack. “Chef loves utilizing seasonal ingredients and prime cuts of meat, which is exactly what our clientele enjoys.”

Chef Burnett is no stranger to the N.J. food scene with his resume, including stints at Asbury Ale House, Tinton Falls’s Brickhouse Tavern and Tap as well as Old Town Pub in Bordentown. Burnett has also operated his own catering business, Handsome Creations Catering, LLC since 2015.

Burnett’s journey with food and cooking began at an early age and has always been with him.

“I was always cooking, from age 3,” said Burnett, who is the father of an 11-year-old daughter. “My mom showed me; the first thing I cooked was an omelet.”

Burnett began his professional cooking journey in high school after completing a vocational culinary program. He went on to study culinary arts at Essex County College and trained at the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean counties’ culinary program.

Burnett is a former contestant of the famous television cooking show, “Chopped.” Burnett was a contestant during Season 32, Episode 2, which premiered in 2017. He was critiqued by renowned chefs Aarón Sánchez, Geoffrey Zakarian and Chris Santos.

“I came a long way,” he said upon his competition exit, “and to make it on ‘Chopped’ was one of my biggest accomplishments.”

On the episode, Burnett was tasked with different challenges surrounding the episode’s title, “Whiskey and Wings.” Burnett cooked up an appetizer consisting of Japanese whiskey barbecue wings with Chinese broccoli salad. Aarón Sánchez praised Burnett’s dish saying, “It’s pretty easy to fall in love with this sauce.” Burnett was eliminated in the entrée round of the contest.

Chef Burnett enjoys traveling and trying new foods in his free time in addition to giving back to his community through chef competitions for children.

To view Executive Chef Burnett’s upcoming menus, click here.

Tyler Iglesias is a production assistant and writer for Meadowlands Media. He is currently studying Journalism and Mass Communication at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.