Barbecue pro Megan Day made it to the finale of Food Network's "Chopped Grill Masters," see her prepare for the appetizer competition. Food Network
Barbecue pro Megan Day made it to the finale of Food Network's "Chopped Grill Masters," see her prepare for the appetizer competition. Food Network

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From ‘Chopped’ to the ‘Today’ show — this KC BBQ pro is TV famous

By Sarah Gish

sgish@kcstar.com

August 30, 2017 05:07 PM

UPDATED August 30, 2017 05:11 PM

Early this month, Megan Day of Lee’s Summit smoked three other chefs to win Round 1 of Food Network’s “Chopped Grill Masters.”

The victory scored Day a spot in the finale of the five-part series, which aired Tuesday. Spoiler alert: Day survived the appetizer round, but was chopped after her entree, a venison and chorizo burger with heirloom tomato and fiddlehead fern, failed to wow the celebrity judges.

Day took the loss in stride. In a phone interview on Wednesday, she said being on the show was “awesome” and that she has “zero” regrets.

“They said my fiddlehead fern didn’t pop,” she said. “Whatever, I’m a barbecue girl! I felt like I made Kansas City proud.”

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At the end of the show, the $50,000 prize went to Joseph Johnson, a chef at Charcoal Venice in California.

But Day’s TV fame isn’t over just yet. Producers from NBC’s “Today” have invited her to come on the show for a grilling segment pegged to the kickoff of the NFL season. Day said she’s scheduled to appear on the show Thursday, Sept. 7 — the day the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots.

This weekend, she’ll compete with her team Burnt Finger BBQ at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. Day said she’s entering every category, including a new one, Turkey Smoke.

The American Royal, she added, is much more stressful than grilling on TV. Instead of competing against three other chefs, she’ll be up against hundreds of teams, and they’ll all smoke the same ingredients — ribs, brisket, chicken, etc.

“With ‘Chopped,’ there’s no time to stress, and none of us knew what was going to be in our baskets,” Day said. “At the American Royal, you’ve been perfecting your recipes for years.”