Where There’s a Will…

When viewers watch Chopped, they are treated to great input from the judges, interesting ingredients in the basket and intense competition between the contestants. One individual who showed his competitive spirit was Chef Will Artley. We caught up with Chef Will to learn more about him.

Chef Will Artley. Photo courtesy of Eater DC.

FP: How did you get your start with cooking? 

WA: I got my start cooking at an early age with my mom. She taught me so much about Mexican cooking and the soul of food. My first job was cooking and butchering on a pig farm.

FP: When did you decide you wanted to be a chef? 

WA: I’ve known since I was a little kid..maybe six years old. I remember at that age that I loved food and loved learning about it from my mom.

FP: We bet your mom is a great chef!

What do you enjoy most about cooking?

WA: I enjoy the ability to change someone’s mood instantly without having to say a word. No matter what happened to them throughout their day I feel like I can help them.

FP: Nothing better than a nice meal after a long day…

Name some chefs that have inspired you. 

WA: Seth Bixby Daugherty– He won best new chef and gave up his restaurant career to help with the healthy school movement. He is also my mentor.

Bob Kinkead– He taught me how to taste (and work my rear end off!)

Julie Jordan- She taught me “OHIO” which stands for only handle it once…keep it simple and keep it real!

FP: We read that you’re currently the Executive Chef at Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, VA, How is that experience going so far? 

WA: I love it! The support I get from management is incredible! It is definitely the best career move I have made thus far.

FP: Tell us about your experience on Chopped from casting to filming. 

WA: Ya know…I interviewed a couple times and wasn’t sure if I was going to be chosen. When they called to have me come to NYC I was excited…I thought redemption! Filming is interesting…editing is funny too 🙂

FP: What was it like to compete with the other chefs? 

WA: I thought it was great. I really enjoyed getting to know them…we all love food..it’s amazing to find out how they found their way to cooking.

FP: What will you remember most about the experience?

WA: That my team is who makes our restaurant so great! Ive had so many great moments in my career from cooking at the White House to cooking at the Beard House to cooking on Food Network…..all because of how dedicated, loyal and hard working my team is. I owe them everything

FP: We’re sure it’s completely different being on Chopped all by yourself without your team.

When you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places in Virginia or other cities/states you’ve visited.

WA: In Virginia…2941 Bertrand does amazing work. I always feel inspired after eating there. Honey Pig for the pork belly. In DC Toki Underground, The Source(Scott is a stud), and Ripple are my favorites. In NYC, definitely Ippudo. On my last trip I  ate there three times in two days….noodles and pork buns!

FP: We keep hearing about Ippudo so we definitely will have to check it out sometime!

What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 🙂 

WA: All kinds of biscuits! Also tortillas…my mom would make them fresh for us every day…I crave them!

FP: Name three individuals you would want to invite over for dinner and what you would prepare for them.

WA: Chris Farley and George Auguste and I would prepare Escoffier. For Vince Lombardi I would prepare Neapolitan Pizza.

FP: In three words, how would your friends and family describe you? 

WA: Funny, crazy, determined.

FP: If you hadn’t become a chef, what would you be doing? Any non-cooking hobbies? 

WA: I’d be a farmer no question. I try to spending as much time as possible with my girlfriend Kimberly and our dogs Raiyna, Chip, Levi and Todd.

FP: Thank you so much for your time. We wish you continued success at Pizzeria Orso. If we are in the VA/DC area again, we will make sure to swing by! 

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