BAY SHORE

Bay Shore families featured in Food Network show 'Kitchen Crash'

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If you can’t take the heat – move the kitchen to a suburban street in Bay Shore!

Three Bay Shore families went head- to-head in the latest episode of Food Network’s “Kitchen Crash,” an hour- long series where chefs – each repre- senting one suburban family – compete in an outdoor cookout in the street.

In Season 1, Episode 5 (“Sabotage... to Advantage”), three chefs knocked on the doors of the Rodrigues, Kahl and Fricione families, all of Thompson Drive in Bay Shore.

The catch? Family members are given 10 minutes to fill a bin with as many ingredients from their own kitchen as they can. The chefs can only cook using those ingredients.

The episode was filmed in September 2020, months after Jason Fricione, the self-described “newcomer on the block,” discovered Food Network was taping. After he noticed a casting direc- tor’s post in a community Facebook page, he contacted the team. By July, the team had expressed interest in filming, Fricione said.

“They wanted a friendly rivalry between the neighbors,” Fricione said. “That was their main focus.”

And a rivalry there was: since each family has a different favorite hockey team, they’ve formed a playful, competitive edge – so much so that the competition’s losers were forced to fly a New York Rangers flag outside of their house. (No spoilers on who that might be, though!)

“The show encouraged trash talk, which I’m really good at,” Fricione joked. “But it was all in good fun, and it was such an incredible experience.”

Lifelong resident Chris Kahl, whose family was represented by Philadelphia-based chef Chad Rosenthal, said he had no idea what the show entailed until the filming crew arrived.

“Until they knocked on our front door that Saturday morning, we still didn’t know what the show was actually going to be,” Kahl explained. “The minute they knocked on our door, they basically explained the rules of the game to us and what was going to happen. There was literally no time to prepare.”

Kahl said Rosenthal may have gotten the short end of the stick – his family hadn’t gone grocery shopping in a while.

“There was no warning. It’s not like we could prep and make sure we had a bunch of ingredients,” Kahl said. His fridge was “barely stocked for us to eat, let alone enough to have a celebrity chef cook three meals from it,” he said.

The chefs are first tasked with preparing a boozy brunch for celebrity chef and host Jeff Mauro and guest judge Nilou Motamed. As the episode plays out, the chefs create a tailgate-style dish, with the winner of the first challenge getting an advantage. The winning chef splits a cash prize with their host family.

Fricione said he’s been tight-knit with the Rodrigues and Kahl families for the year and a half that they’ve lived on the block. But participating on the show brought them even closer together.

“We were close before this – but this whole experience was so much fun with them,” Fricione said.

Season 1, Episode 5 of “Kitchen Crash” premiered Wednesday, Jan. 20. Check local listings to view the episode.

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