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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Reds Chef In ‘Chopped: Impossible’ Finals

Food Network

Not just a home run, but an inside-the-park home run. That’s how Great American Ball Park executive chef James Major advanced to the “Chopped: Impossible” finals airing 8 p.m. Nov. 12 on Food Network.

Judge Geoffrey Zakarian called Major’s walnut and balsamic sponge cake with peanut butter cream “a well done dessert, an inside-the-park home run.”

The “Chopped: Impossible” contestants had to concoct a dessert using a meat lover’s sub sandwich, ostrich egg, chunky peanut butter and balsamic vinegar.

Major also will compete on "Cutthroat Kitchen" 10 p.m. Sunday on the Food Network in an episode called "The Hunt For Bread October," says Michael Anderson, Reds public relations manager.  

Judge Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible,” said he loved the peanut butter cream. Earlier on the show, Major impressed judges with his fried crawfish and grits with chicken rillette.

Major, a former U.S. Navy cook, and 11 other “Chopped” champs have returned to compete – four at a time -- for a place in the finals, as I reported last week.  He will cook against winners from the Oct. 22 and Nov. 5 episodes in the finale.

The Nov. 12 winner gets $15,000 and a cook-off against Irvine. If Irvine loses, the “Chopped: Impossible” champ wins an additional $25,000.

“I want to go against Robert Irvine,” Major said on the show last week. “I think a U.S. Navy man against a British naval man (Irvine) would be a heck of a battle.”

Major started as a dishwasher at 14 before going into the Navy. In 2014 he won a "Chopped" competition against three other baseball park chefs working for Delaware North Companies Sportservice. 

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.