SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento’s own Chando Madrigal, owner and executive chef of Chandos Tacos, nearly took home the top prize on the Food Network’s popular “Chopped” TV show.
“It was probably the most awesome experience in my life,” Madrigal told us during a video call from Atlanta on Wednesday.READ MORE: Record-Breaking Temperatures Posted Around Sacramento Region Friday
Madrigal’s episode aired on Tuesday. Like all other episodes of the popular TV show, he was pitted against other chefs – this time for a taco-themed competition.
“I was in my complete element,” Madrigal said.
His run nearly started in disaster, though, after Madrigal cut his finger while preparing his first course.
“I thought I was cool, just going to town on onions, [and] I look up at the clock and I took out my thumb a little bit,” Madrigal said.READ MORE: Sacramento Mayor Joins Group Pushing For Reparations For Black Communities As Country Celebrates Juneteenth As Federal Holiday
Despite the setback, Madrigal moved onto the dinner course round and made a version of Chandos’ famous Ensenada Tacos. It was enough to get him into the final round.
However, he tripped up on dessert.
“I ended up getting chopped,” Madrigal said. “I made a tamale instead of a taco.”
Still, Madrigal says he had fun and said he would have given his $10,000 prize if he won to his employees.MORE NEWS: 'The Heat Is Unbearable': Friday Night Out Brings Sacramento Crowds Inside To Beat The Heat
Further, Madrigal was speaking to us from Atlanta as he plans to expand Chandos Tacos into Georgia. Madrigal said he plans to open two locations in the Atlanta area, including one in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood, and also has plans to open a tortilla factory.