Category Archives: Food Personality

NYC Wine & Food Festival 2014 – CHOPPED! Best Bloody Mary Brunch perfected by ABSOLUT


NYC Wine & Food Festival 2014

CHOPPED! Best Bloody Mary Brunch perfected by ABSOLUT

Join Dinah Surh and other favorite Food Network celebrity chefs as they judge these unique recipes. Past Chopped cheftestants will be serving up delicious and satisfying brunch dishes that will be worth waking up for, no matter how late you were out the night before!

New York Hilton Midtown, Grand Ballroom – 1335 Sixth Avenue at 54th Street
Saturday, October 18, 12:30PM – 3PM

Website Link:

The Big Day Is Here

Menu: Korean Sweet and Spicy BLT


I recently participated in the exciting NYC Food and Wine Festival “Food Network Chopped Bloody Mary Brunch” at the Manhattan Hilton. I was among a dozen former Chopped Champions who were asked by the Chopped Cast to present signature brunch items.

I made a Korean Sweet and Spicy Bacon with a Pine Nut Mayonnaise that was raved about. Some attendees even asked to take a photo with me.The Best Absolut Vodka Bloody Mary Contest was held by Thrillist at the brunch with a sold out crowd of 800 attendees.

The Chopped judges along with the attendees voted to crown the best Bloody Mary cocktail. At the brunch I met Vevlyn Wright,a former NY Times editor who has a fresh and new perspective on covering art, lifestyle, culture, fashion, film and food in a unique way adding an irresistible appeal in her writing and coverage.

Here’s an article that Vevlyn Wright of Vevlyn’s Pen wrote about me as well as a video interview she conducted at the brunch event. It was thrilling to meet Vevlyn since she is such a dynamic, supportive and creative person! I hope you visit her site for more news at

Shane my Italian Stallion and Noelle my fabulous daughter were my chef assistants. I couldn’t have done it without them!



1)There Is Room for Two Marthas at the 2014 Food Network NYC Wine&Food Festival

2)NYCWFF Day 3: A Bloody, Jamaican Crazy, Stacked and Fit to be Thaied Smoke Revival

Meanwhile, the “’CHOPPED’ Best Bloody Mary Brunch” has also presented an opportunity to catch up with one of its chefs and former “CHOPPED” champ, Dinah Surh.


CHOPPED ‘Best Bloody Mary Brunch’ Hits NYCWFF

Dinah Surh: “Korean Sweet and Spicy Bacon BLT“


Pillsbury Bake Off 47 Nashville, Tennessee – November 2014

Dinah Surh Bake Off Finalist

Pillsbury Bake Off 47 Nashville, Tennessee – November 2014

Click Here For More Information

Dinah Surh, a local resident of Staten Island has been named as one of 100 Finalists in the freshly redesigned 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in the Savory Snacks and Sides category for her recipe “Spinach Turkey Sliders with Lemon Yogurt Sauce”. The Bake-Off finalists will compete in early November in Nashville Tennessee where one lucky finalist will walk away with a $1 million dollar grand prize.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest is one of the most iconic competitions in the United States. It originated in 1949, with the first competition at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. This year, to encourage simpler, original recipes, submissions including Surh were limited to seven or fewer ingredients and must take 30 minutes or less to prepare, not including baking or cooling time. Surh will be competing for her last chance to win the Bake-Off since finalists can only compete a maximum of three times for the contest. For more information go to where you get the recipe and write a review.

Watch Dinah compete in Food Network’s Ultimate Chopped Champions Tournament on September 2nd 2014 at 10 PM


Watch Dinah compete in Food Network’s Ultimate Chopped Champions Tournament on September 2nd 2014 at 10 PM

Food Network will be launching an Utlimate Chopped Champions Tournament with amateurs, professionals, celebrities and heroes. Dinah Surh will be in the amateur round. Hope you can tune in.

Chopped Episode: “Ultimate Champions: Amateur Champs”
Season 21, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: Part 2 of 5. Amateur winners return to compete for the “Ultimate Champions” title in a battle that begins with salsa and cheese blintzes as appetizer ingredients. Later, two chefs vie to use a certain piece of equipment in the entrée round; and grapefruit shows up in the dessert basket.
Original Air Date: Sep 2, 2014

Dinah Surh – Korean cooking and the epic diversity of flavors

Korean cooking and the epic diversity of flavors


Dinah Surh – Korean Chef

Dinah Surh is a native New Yorker who is a hospital administrator by day and a culinary diva at night! Inspired by her mom’s mouthwatering Korean cooking and the epic diversity of flavors in NYC she enjoys creating new taste sensations. She loves trying new ingredients, pouring over cookbooks from the public library and avidly watching cooking shows. Dinah has turned her passion as a home cook into competing and winning cooking contests.
She became a Food Network Chopped Champion in the “Ambitious Amateurs” episode in 2014 and has competed in the Tournament of Chopped Champions. She’s also a two time national Pillsbury Bake Off finalist for her Mediterranean Chicken Vegetable Galette and Meatball Minestrone Bake recipes.

She was the ultimate winner of “The 10 Ingredient Challenge Cooking Contest” on ABC’s Rachael Ray Show; named the grand prize winner in the Staten Island Advance Newspaper Cooking Contest for “Scallop Up”, a bay scallop and potato pancake appetizer and a General Mills category winner for her “All Day Breakfast Sliders”.

Dinah has also appeared on NBC’s The Martha Stewart Show and cooked Korean BBQ Beef. Martha Stewart called her, “The Korean Martha Stewart”. Dinah dreams of having her own TV show so she can share her prize-winning recipes and comfort food.

NYC Food and Wine Festival 2014

NYC Food & Wine Festival 2014

CHOPPED! Best Bloody Mary Brunch perfected by ABSOLUT

New York Hilton Midtown, Grand Ballroom – 1335 Sixth Avenue at 54th Street
Saturday, October 18, 12:30PM – 3PM

Dinah Surh – Food Network Chopped Champion


Dinah Surh
Food Network Chopped


Chopped “Ambitious Amateurs” Recap (2/4/14)

Tuesday’s episode of “Chopped” featured the following talented home cooks: Jackie Khanich, Entertainment Atty, from CA; Jaime Montalvo, Jr aka Soraya Sobreidad, Loan Specialist & Cooking Show Host; Tommy Werther, Stay at Home Dad & Retired NYC Police Detective; and Dinah Surh, Senior Exec. Administrator competing for the title of Chopped Champion and $10,000.

These “ambitious amateurs” were asked to create 3 meals, Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert, using the mystery basket ingredients and any additional pantry and fridge items.

The Appetizer Round required the home cooks to use Chicken Tenderloins, Paprika Peppers, Fennel, and Ginger Preserves.

Dinah made Asian Fried Chicken with Fennel and Ginger Sauce
Jackie made Ginger Middle Eastern Chicken Salad with Paprika Vinaigrette
Tommy made Chicken and Fennel Paprika Dumpling with Ginger Dipping Sauce
Soraya made Relleno de Papa with Chicken

Chopped: Soraya. The judges could not taste the fennel and peppers in her dish. She also failed to use the ginger preserves.

For the Entrée Round, the home cooks were tasked with preparing a dish using Tiki Masala Sauce, Asian Long Beans, Hanger Steak, and Serrano Ham Croquettes.

Dinah prepared Grilled Tika Masala Hanger Steak with Linguine Carbonara
Tommy prepared Hanger Steak with Tika Masala Cheese Potatoes
Jackie prepared Tiki Masala Malfatti with Croquette and Bean Sauce

Chopped: Jackie. The judges loved the risk she took, but her pasta was undercooked and she forgot to include the hanger steak in her dish.

The Dessert Round featured the following mystery basket ingredients: Guava Shells In Syrup, Cottage Cheese, Couscous, and Candied Chickpeas.

Dinah made Guava Cottage Cheese Sabayon with Candy-Infused Berries
Tommy made Guava Cottage Cheese Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce

Chopped: Tommy. The judges felt his execution was poor in the first round and his ice cream was overchurned in the Dessert Round.

Chopped Champion: Dinah Surh. She wins the $10,000 prize.

Dinah Surh Food Network
Chopped Champion


Tune In to See an HHC Employee Compete on Food Network’s Chopped

HHC Insider

Tune In to See an HHC Employee Compete on Food Network’s Chopped

Dinah Surh, a Senior Executive Administrator at Morrisania Diagnostic and Treatment
Center, will appear on the Food Network’s hit show Chopped on Tuesday, February 4.

Click Image To Read Article


Last Word: In the Kitchen with Dinah


Barnard College – Columbia University News


Last Word: In the Kitchen with Dinah
May 08, 2012

barnard_doughboy01_finalIt was a poppin’ fresh idea—“Meatball Minestrone Bake”! That recipe that brought me to the biggest cooking contest in the world this year—the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off. With a grand prize of $1 million dollars and $10,000 in kitchen appliances, I was ecstatic to be among the 100 finalists.

How did I get involved in cooking contests? It started with a love of all things food related, including the Jewish cooking traditions of my suitemates from 616, which gave me insights on how to make the best matzo-ball soup. While I studied for a master’s in public health at the University of California, Berkeley, I tried organic food for the first time and visited San Francisco’s farmers’ markets. As a hospital administrator in New York City, food became a way to connect with staff and patients of different cultural backgrounds. I devoured cookbooks and food magazines, watched cooking shows, and soon discovered a world of cooking contests. I decided to put all my food experiences to good use.

For my first contest, the Staten Island Advance newspaper’s annual “Taste-off,” I combined bay scallops with shredded potatoes and carrots for color and health appeal, parsley, eggs and flour as a binding agent, along with spices. After pan-frying the patties in corn oil, I added pizzazz with chopped green and red hot and sweet peppers. Scallop Up (named by my daughter, Noelle) won the appetizer category and took the grand prize, which helped to replace my broken oven.

ABC’s Rachael Ray Show was in its first season when the show launched the “10-Ingredient Challenge.” Not long after I submitted a DVD describing and showing my recipes for Korean Grilled Skirt Steak with a Blueberry Glaze, Apricot and Blueberry Cannolis, and Korean String Bean Pancakes, Rachael Ray called to congratulate me as one of three contestants selected from hundreds. “Who makes a skirt steak with a blueberry glaze?” she asked, complimenting my creativity.

A film crew came to my house to film a segment of me cooking up wontons and chatting with my husband, G. Shane Triano, a Columbia School of Engineering graduate, my daughter, and my son, Alex. The night before shooting the “Challenge” I was called by the show and told I’d have 30 minutes on the show to cook a new “3-Ingredient Challenge” using tomatoes, corn on the cob, and apple cider, along with other pantry ingredients. Picking figs and Parmesan cheese as my pantry items, I cooked up Asian Grilled Pork Chops with a Tomato, Corn, and Fig Glaze served on a bed of arugula salad with Crazy Corn Parmesan Chips. When Ray opened the judges’ envelope, she called out, “Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah!” I had just won a trip for two to Mexico.

Now I felt ready to enter the Pillsbury Bake-Off, which is held every other year. My family loves my Italian meatballs so I knew I wanted to feature them. Progresso Soup, a sponsor, had several products as eligible ingredients including its high-fiber Minestrone soup. Eureka! Pour the soup in a casserole, layer it with meatballs, bake, and top with a generous amount of a shredded Italian cheese blend and a breadstick topping using Pillsbury Crescent Rounds. I tweaked the seasoning and submitted Meatball Minestrone Bake in the Dinner Made Easy category in April 2011.

Five months later, Bake-Off public relations called to say I was a finalist, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone or talk about or cook my dish again until it was officially revealed in January 2012. Adding to the thrills, fellow alumna Martha Stewart would host the Bake-Off contest and televise the award winners on The Martha Stewart Show at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, in March.

The red carpet was rolled out as I arrived with my mom, my husband, and son, and the other contestants. At 7:45 a.m., on March 26, the 100 finalists lined up to make the traditional Bake-Off March into the “cooking arena.” We started our “engines” (ovens) and prepared our recipes for the judges amid video crews and food writers; celebrities and sponsor executives tasted and took photos of the dishes. After four hours of cooking, we submitted our best dishes to the judges.

On Tuesday morning, Stewart began the awards ceremony by narrating the history of the Bake-Off with vintage film clips and TV footage. As each award winner was announced in the four categories—Entertaining Appetizers, Breakfast and Brunches, Dinner Made Easy, and Sweet Treats—I remained hopeful. But, the Dinner Made Easy award went to Chicken Empanada Cones, not Meatball Minestrone Bake. The Grand Prize went to Sweet Treats—Pumpkin Ravioli and Salty Caramel Whipped Cream.

I was surprised to find I didn’t feel disappointed, and I couldn’t help but think about my next entry for the 2014 Bake-Off. Sweet or savory? What will be the sponsor ingredients? But that will have to wait. There’s this burger contest coming up. Time to fire up the grill. —by Dinah Surh ’79