Remember our secret mission in NYC last December? Well, we accompanied our dear friend Chef Rene Rodriguez to the Big Apple to shoot an episode of Beat Bobby Flay.

To say it was exciting would be an understatement. In a very non-descript studio in Midtown Manhattan, paid audience members gathered in a green room getting prepped on their role on the show and we watched monitors for at least half a dozen cameras and got a glimpse of one of our culinary idols, Lidia Bastanich.

Worst Cook’s Anne Burrell and comedian Jay Pharoah were the co-hosts for this episode called “Challah at Your Boy” and Chef Rene’s competitor for the first round was Chef Michael Kramer from Greenville, South Carolina.

Jay Pharoah seemed to have taken quite a liking to Chef Rene…It was total man-crush bromance action. We were able to watch the episode unfold from backstage and the sidelines. The secret ingredient was (you guessed it) Challah bread and Chef Rene DESTROYED the competition with his version of a latin panzanella salad with guanciale and fried challah croutons. It smelled SO good in that studio. After winning the first round – he moved on to the head to head with Bobby Flay — and he put Huevos Rancheros up for the challenge.

It was stressful. We were filled with anxiety the whole time but at the end, Chef Rene won. It was an amazing experience and we were so very proud of our friend.