Vinson Petrillo on Chopped: You’ll need to watch it again after this.

On Tuesday night my brother, Chef Vinson Petrillo competed on the Food Network Series CHOPPED.

If you have never seen the show contestants must complete 3 rounds of cooking: an appetizer, entrée, and desert using a basket of mystery ingredients. After each round the contestant with the weakest dish is eliminated until the final 2 chefs battle the dessert round and the chance to win $10,000.

During the battle, the panel of 3 judges try to get into the heads of the chefs and we get to know a little more about them. Most of the biography the audience gets is created in the editing room. It seems like each season the show tries to make the chef bios more and more endearing giving each one a purpose and even an obstacle. One chef had Rheumatoid Arthritis, another was engaged and expecting a baby, the third chef was adopted. My brother candidly spoke about starting in the food industry when he was 15  and his battle with Fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression and how the long intense hours keep his body and mind focused.  (After the show, he revealed that he thought his bio would be about he, his girlfriend, and the sacrifices it takes to be a chef because the network spent an entire day filming them!) I am sad to see the cute couple on the cutting room floor.

The appetizer basket contained sardines, rice cakes, mandarinquats, and wax beans. Vinson, who had never watched the show before competing, did not have his strongest round creating a less than unified dish of seared sardines on toasted rices cakes with blanched wax beans and sliced mandarinquats. He was the only one who served the quats with the skin. He also appeared to be the only one who knew that the skin was edible.

Consider this: Everything in the kitchen is designed to remove the chef from their comfort zones. Products are packaged differently, and I it seems the like ovens are not calibrated correctly. However, Vinson pulled to the second round when another contestant forgot to have a mystery ingredient on her plate. This is usually grounds for being CHOPPED unless everything else on the dish is superb.

Getting to the next round gave Vinson the confidence to overcome the appetizer round jitters. He turned a basked of Yak, mustard greens, dried shrimp, and mangosteens into a dish that left the judges, Conant, Zakarian, and Samuelsson, stunned and beyond impressed at the young chef’s abilities when they marveled at his plate of perfectly grilled yak served with mustard green pesto, mustard greens sautéed with dried shrimp and mangosteen. Usually, when a chef serves a product 2 ways it is the kiss of death. A judge will typically say there is  disconnect between the two. However, while Vinson prepared the greens two ways, he served them harmoniously. The pesto and the sautéed greens were both made utilizing the dried shrimp as was the aioli. All served to enhance the yak steak.

As each round progressed it was easy to see Vinson applying all of the skills and tricks that he has learned in his 12 years of restaurant experience and culinary training. In my opinion, I have noticed that the chefs who do not own their own restaurants have a tendency to do better in this competition because of the broader range of experiences (but that’s just me).

Vinson makes it to the dessert round along with the young woman who was adopted. Here he creates a whimsical almost breakfast inspired dessert out of chamomile flowers, kefir, plums, and black pepper crackers. He makes beautiful vanilla french toast, plums poached in balsamic vinegar, and a chamomile, honey and kefir custard with pepper cracker struesel. In this round he makes Conant almost wet his pants when Vinson uses Ultratex (“a modified tapioca starch”) to thicken the custard instead of putting in the blast chiller (which never works!).

Throughout the entire competition, Vinson is humble, modest, and completely appreciative of the constructive criticism the judges give him. He was kind to his competition. He shows a grace under fire that I have never seen on this show. So many chefs come on trying to cook a name for themselves and their egos, hoping that this will be a big break. Vinson, despite his nerves, was himself and that brought him farther than all of the other contestants when he won the title of Chopped Champion and $10,000.00!

In a the intimate back room of a New York City bar, I had the pleasure of watching the competition with the Chef, our family, and friends. As the show progressed my phone began to go crazy. By the end of the night I had dozens of tweets and G+ comments from well wishers across the country. People from Oregon to Ohio, made a point to find some way to contact Vinson for everything from giving  him advice for treating his Fibromyalgia to thanking him for the best episode of Chopped they have ever seen, and he even inspired one young man to want to cook.

The kindness of a country of viewers was as amazing as the pride and happiness I felt for my brother as the show unfolded.  Obviously, it doesn’t matter to me if he won. I’m proud of him not only for taking the chance but for conducting himself with poise and for being himself, all with the cameras rolling. My favorite messages came from those who told me that they recorded the episode and want to watch it with their families again to show their kids a positive role model.

And then, to top it all off he proposes to his girlfriend right after the show because as he put it, “during the show it was about me, after it’s about her.”

I wonder if kindness and humility could ever be a mystery ingredient?

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91 thoughts on “Vinson Petrillo on Chopped: You’ll need to watch it again after this.

    • Hi Vinson,
      My husband and I just watched you on chopped.. you rock! Congratulations!

      Now the important part of my post — my husband suffered with fibro for many years. His pain was constant and terrible. He is now fibro free. He found a doctor who let him try low dose Naltrexone. LDN took his fibro away literally overnight. He has to take 4.5 mg every night but it is a miracle. It does not work for everyone with fibro (many different conditions seem to get labeled as fibro). But you sound just like he did and it changed his life. You can read about LDN in several online groups.
      I now want to shout about it from the rooftops because LDN changed his life completely.
      It is not easy to find a doctor who will prescribe it for fibro.. but it may be worth it for you to try. My husband was taking morphine and still suffering. Now he is off morphine and on Tylenol. He still has his arthritis pain but that 60% less than he had from the fibro. His life is changed.
      I hope this info helps you.

      Best of luck!


      • Hi Debbie. My name is Cheryl Heyward. Just read your post about your husband’s fibro. I’m so glad that he’s getting some relief from his meds. We have found a natural product that has been helping many people with their fibro. If he ever wants to try a natural product, please check out my website. Please do a little research first and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with what you find. Take good care. Here’s the link to my website:

    • This message is for Vinson: My name is Cheryl Heyward. I enjoyed watching you on Chopped recently. Loved how you made a great comeback! I was sorry to know about your fibromyalgia and depression. I have found a natural product that has helped many people with these ailments. It’s natural, but it’s so powerful, it’s listed in the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference). Please check out my website and do a little research on the product. Your health and well-being is worth at least trying it. Please contact me if you have any questions (347.985.0530). Here’s the link to my website:

    • Vinson, I saw that you suffer from fibromyalgia like I do. I have had great success in managing my symptoms simply with vitamin D3 (I am currently taking 13,000IU/day) and magnesium (I am taking 1200mg/day). The combination has eliminated most of my pain and keeps me feeling pretty darn good. I wanted to share this, in hopes that maybe you’d give it a try and see if it helps you. I’m on FaceBook, Donna Wilson Loux ~ Troutdale, OR
      PS- congrats on your Chopped win!

    • Congratulations, Vinson. I just watched the episode of Chopped and I think you truly deserved the win. Your entree and dessert were excellently executed and you found perfect harmony in the ingredients. It was very inspiring.

    • Vinson,

      I just watched the episode and I was rooting for you to win after your 1st round. You kept your cool and were nice to the other chefs competing (as were the other chefs on it which I enjoy seeing). This is the first time I have looked up a winning chef from the chef after it aired to see if I could write a message because you truly were a nice guy to see win. All my best to you and your fiance;-)


    • I watch chopped all the time, and honestly I’ve never actually been inspired enough to look up someone from the show. You did such a fantastic job! No matter what obstacles get in your way, never lose sight of what a great chef you are! Congratulations to you (AND YOUR FIANCE!).

    • Vinson,
      I watched this episode also and you touched my heart . I have a son about your age and you reminded me so much of him. Not the illnesses that you have been suffering with but your humbleness and your gentle personality. You seem like the kind of guy that I would like to know.
      Congrats on your win and your upcoming marriage. And, of course, you made those ingredients look delicious!!! Great job!!

    • I just watched this episode of “Chopped” in my hotel room while on business in the northern Virginia area. I’ve seen a number of them, but never enjoyed one as much as I enjoyed this one.

      Watching Chef Vinson come alive after under-achieving on the appetizer course was positively inspiring! Great creativity, great commitment to personal excellence, modest and gracious in his dialogue with the judges. Wonderful winner, congratulations!

    • My dear Mr Petrillo,
      I have been watching “Chopped” since its inception. I did not see the original release of this show until today 1/22/2013. I have never repeated a show except for yours, not once, twice, but three times. Your authenticity brought me to tears….I have never, ever seen Conant respond to any chef on any show like he did you. I am in “awe” but have to stop typing now as I am watching Samuellson and Zakarian enjoying your “YAK” again. G-d bless you and I hope the drug lords of the pharmaceutical companies come up with a med or a natural remedy or even a cure to rid the world of “Fibromyalgia!” Congratulations on your upcoming marriage…..please take a few days off…..

      Namaste, Carol Catching MSRD

    • i know this may be pretty late but i watched the episodes were you competed(the 1st one and the champion rounds) damn you’re really good and just so kind and down to earth like what your sister just said thats why i appreciate it more. i can sense you were pretty nervous just the way you talk but then the cooking did the talking for you. i hope i get to meet you and probably work for you one day. im also a cook in midtown and just busting my ass everyday to be as good. goodluck on the championship! i bet you’ll get it! salute chef!

  1. I’m not super familiar with the show but this was a great, very inspiring watch. I’m a little confused, however, by the title, intro, and conclusion of this post. I actually googled Vinson’s name out of curiosity because his characterization of being out of control anxious seemed pretty over the top, even for Bravo, and I thought your post might address that. Parts of the episode seem pretty group therapy-esque and heavily edited. I actually suffer from Fibromyalgia as well and would cringe at being cast as so effected, though the challenges associated with Fibro are very real. But I guess I wonder what everyone’s take is on the editing process… I suppose I don’t completely blame you for eliding that, as one wouldn’t want to bite the hand that feeds, so to speak.

    • Vinsons, issues of anxiety and depression are not from the fibro although it may cause them to be worse they are two seperate issues. Foodnetwork may have made them seem one in the same, but along with the fibro vin has been battleing severe anxiety and depression for years and I can assure you foodnetwork did not over do or overplay his anxiety. At times its so bad it cripples him to the point after the first round he was about to walk off the show and had to be talked down by producers. The episode did seem to group the people with medical issues into one episode and it may have come across as therapy esq. But all thier own individual issues are true and sincere and I would never question if foodnetwork played up their symptoms or issues especially with something thousands of people can relate to. On another note this blog was beutifully written and brought a tear to my eye thank you syrena for being in our lives and being a supportive loving sister. Love you

  2. Vinson my hubby and I are big fans of the Chopped and enjoyed watching you come alive! Congrats on a well deserved win! May God continue to bless you and your life’s journey. We KNOW we are going t hear your name again! Best regards, Trish & Rich Angeli -Union, NJ

  3. Just watched the show Vinson, and I was impressed with your cooking and so glad you won!! I was surprised to read that the producers talked you into staying after the first round, and I am sooo proud of you!! My niece also suffers from fibromyalgia, and she has depression along with the pain. You overcame those obstacles that day and I was very happy you continued the competition. You were spectacular in the entree round!!! Your sister and family are very blessed to have you in their lives. You seem to be a very kind and gracious person. Very well done!!! I live in Mississippi and am only 30 minutes from New Orleans. Our food here is notorious for being delicious. I’m sure you would totally rock cooking at ANY restaurant in NOLA!! If I ever get the opportunity to visit New York, I would definitely come to your restaurant just to eat your food and to congratulate you for being the Chopped Champion. God bless you and your family!!! Thanks, Melissa

  4. I just saw you on Chopped and was struck by your statement about having fibromyalgia.

    I am an independent distributor for a line of nutritional and energy-drink products from Zija which many users have found work well to combat fibromyalgia and other medical conditions involving inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    I know personally some people who have found Zija products – which are rich in anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants to be effective.

    I invite you to check out the products at

    The products have a 30-day money back guarantee.

    Bill Hobbs
    Brentwood, TN (Nashville)

  5. I just watched Chopped then I promptly googled Vinson. It’s so cool to find this blog. I am simply inspired by Vinson and to be honest, I was not listening to every word said on Chopped tonight because I was busy googling like mad for a vegan polenta dish. His vibe made it over the airwaves, out of my TV and into my head for sure. I was inspired by Vinson’s attitude in general and genuine nature. I’m feeling anxious about a big change I’m making in my life and worrying if I am good enough. Vinson’s experience is something I’ll hold onto and remember when I need a lift. Thanks!

  6. Just watched the show and Vinson was great! Had to google him because I missed the first 10 mins and didn’t get the judges’ references. I think he managed to improvise 2 very elegant looking meals from crazily diverse ingredients. Glad he didn’t let his issues overpower his dream. Best of all to you Vinson. :)

  7. I was channel surfing when I cam e across a man with the most gorgeous blue eyes I have ever seen. I stopped surfing and watched CHOPPED. Those eyes were yours, Vinson. I watched you cook and every segment was afraid that you would be CHOPPED. Not because you should have been, but because sometimes I feel the judges chop the wrong people. I was s-o-o-o-o glad you won. You are a true master in the kitchen and such a wonderful gentleman (you even gave your opponent an egg she wanted). Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

  8. I just watched the Chopped episode in which your brother competed. I jumped in just after the bios so I had no idea what Vinson’s ‘personal issues’ were (as was stated by the judges at the end of the show). After the appetizer round I turned to my husband and said, “Don’t you just want to hug him [Vinson] and tell him it’s okay?”. Vinson was so humble, sweet and kind and showed exemplary sportsmanship. He really didn’t seem to realize he was talented and a great man. I practically jumped to my feet cheering when he trounced the competition in the entree round and my husband said, “Ah, he’s got this in the bag” when Vinson completed his dessert. So many male chefs on that show are egotistical a$#holes but Vinson was just the opposite. He has it going on, so to speak, and doesn’t even know it. Not only is he incredibly handsome, he’s talented and gracious and kind. If anyone actually deserved to talk smack it was him and yet he was the exact opposite. So glad to see someone who deserved to win actually do it! Congratulations Vinson! I nearly cried when I saw the look of utter shock on your face when you realized you’d won. So amazing. Congrats to you and your fiance. She’s a lucky gal!

    • I agree with everything you wrote, Amy. I missed Vinson’s intro both times I watched and had to Google ” ‘Chopped’ Vinson”, which brought me here. I’m thrilled to hear he really is a nice guy and I wish him all the best. And yes, he also has the most gorgeous eyes I’ve seen in a long time.

  9. I was recently diagnosed with lupus. Its currently in my kidneys and joints. I want to become a chef and seeing your brother on chopped made me feel better about everything. About having the dream and going for it. Thank you for writing this. And I am glad to post this comment :)

    On a personal note: is your brother {vinson} currently single? He’s very handsome and talented.

    • I just watched Chopped and was immediately enamored with Vinson. Not only is he infinitely handsome, I could tell he is a kind soul, humble, talented, and someone who is going to stick in my mind for a very, very long time. I would be honored to meet him. Elated he won Chopped, I knew he deserved it from the very beginning.

    • Hello there. My name is Cheryl Heyward and I just read your post. I’m so sorry you have lupus. Please don’t despair. I am here to let you know that there is help available that is not a pharmaceutical drug, but a natural product called Immunocal that can really help you to feel better. Please do some research on my website and get some help. Please don’t take my word for it. Here’s the link:
      Sure hope you get to feeling better real soon.

  10. I recorded the entire episode I loved watching chef vinson grow stronger but yet so humble. I been a fan of chopped for over a yr n that episone is for far my favorite.

  11. best contestant of chopped ever that I have seen. One of the few that are competing to better themselves and not mention the prize money at all. Also one of the strongest people out there by far and I hope he goes a long way

  12. Hi Folks,

    Thank you so much for all of your comments and well wishes. Please know that I send every message directly to Vinson as well. Thank you all for your kindness.

  13. I literally just watched this episode last night, and google’d “Vinson, Chopped” and found this. That episode is my favourite one so far (and I really love the show). When Vinson was first introduced and we got a sense of his sense of humility and trepidation, I thought, “this guy’s gonna win, I’m rooting for him!” His struggle with depression and anxiety and the attitude and demeanor he displayed were the things that I connected with the most. I have had similar struggles and I know what it’s like to never quite feel good enough, and I also know the confidence that comes when someone recognizes something good in me that I’d never before. It can be such a game-changer! Congrats Vinson- on the win and the engagement! :)

  14. My daughter was diagnosed with Fybromyalgia last year . She is turning 18 next week, she is not excited about her birthday .Deborah is very depressed and discouraged, I think talking to someone who has been there would be a tremendous help. She has tried to get on support web sights without any luck. If your brother could give her any time it would be appreciated. I believe his success would be a real encouragement to her .

    • Hi Glenda. Just read your post about your 18-year old daughter being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have found an amazing product that is promising for people with this ailment. Please do a little research and check out my website which highlights a product called Immunocal. It is a natural product and is having very good results for so many of my friends. Please don’t take my word for it. Please check out my website. Here’s the link:

      Take good care and hope that things work out with your daughter.

  15. I literally am in love with Vinson! Hahah he is the best chef I have ever seen in my life and I would love to meet him, just to shake his hand. If I wasn’t 15 I would love to marry him <3 LOVE YOU VINSON

  16. Honestly the BEST episode of Chopped I have seen, and I watch them all. I truly enjoyed each chef, which is not usually the case, as many are way too egocentric. This was great bunch but Vinson stood out, even among them. He has so much obvious talent and passion that it was so fun to watch. Good luck with your car

  17. Yeah I saw that episode
    He seemed very humble, soft spoken, dedicated, nervous, determined, talented and oh so sexy! he was like amazing!!!
    Is he single lol???

  18. CHOPPED is my favorite show, I DVR everything and just finished watching the Yakety Yak episode. Moreover, I immediately fell in love with Chef Vinson’s nervous, shy, timid demeanor. He is soooooooooo cute when he’s unsure of himself. I was extremely excited when he found his “MOJO”, and proved to the judges, himself and the world that he is an AWESOME CHEF, as well as a CHOPPED CHAMPION. I was compelled to look him up and offer some kind words of encouragement.
    To Vinson:
    You are so much more capable and talented then you give yourself credit for. Dont ever doubt or second guess your abilities. Whenever you are
    faced with uncertain adversities, trust in your
    instincts and always remain confident in the skills
    you have obtained thus far. The Sky is the limit for you, you just have to reach higher. Dont EVER
    settle or become comfortable with mediocre, because you are capable of soooooo much more. On the contrary, dont lose the humble, appreciative
    personality that captivated this Texan Girl. Good luck in All you do and you are Forever in my prayers. God Bless you and your family.

  19. I saw Vinson on Chopped the night that it aired. I’m a social worker and fell in love with his sensitive side…of course, his great cooking is pretty cool, too! LOL But I’d love to email chat with your brother…if he didn’t mind conversing with a gal down in Austin, TX (native NYer). He just seems so sweet!!! Vinson: CONGRATS! And sis – pass my email along to him ;-)

  20. Hi there!

    I am a Californian currently working on a PhD in London and occasionally I indulge my homesickness by watching TV from home. I’ve never seen an episode of Chooped and I just watched this one on a lark. Please tell your brother that there is nothing in this world he can’t do. The beginning of the episode broke my heart as clearly here is an inspired man with warmth, heart, and mad cooking skills, who doesn’t seem to believe in himself. Why would he not see all the good in himself, clearly all of America does!

    I am so sorry he struggles with fybromyalgia. I too suffer from a debilitating auto-immune disease, but I’m pushing through it as a Maritime Archaeologist despite the fact that technically I shouldn’t be able to dive. I think that our personal battles make us stronger, better people and I encourage Vinson to use life’s challenges to his advantage as he so clearly did on Chopped.

    I wish your family a very merry Christmas and thanks to your brother for putting a smile on my face today.


  21. I did see that episode, and it was very incredible! I was cheering for him from the very beginning. His bio was extremely touching, and brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad to see how far he went! I know several people who deal with the same thing he does, one of them being an old, dear pastor of mine. He swears by this supplement called Protandim. I’m not trying to sell anything, I just heard his testimony and thought about it. I hate people suffering, and that’s all I thought about when he said he was in constant pain. I thought his performance was incredible, and his dishes looked amazing! I am a “home” chef, and cooking is a passion of mine. “Chopped” is something my husband and I watch together, and your brother was one of the best contestants I have seen on this show!

  22. I came across your blog after watching chopped I googled Vinson because I was amazed that someone on this show with so much talent was also so very humble. I found myself rooting for him after round one. He was so down to earth and so soft spoken and I was so pleased that he won. He truly deserved it.

  23. Just saw one of the re-airings of the show. I’m just a regular middle-aged married guy living in the middle of the country that watches not only Chopped a lot but other cooking and competition shows. I just wanted to congratulate Vinson and tell him how touched I was by his story and his demeanor. He obviously has a lot to offer those fortunate enough to be involved with his life. I hope this entire experience can be an ongoing positive influence for him. He deserves it.

    All the best,
    Lee in Kansas

  24. Hi, it is gratifying to see all the great responses Vinson got for his participation on the show. I know I was moved by his incredible talent, humility, and ability to just persevere. I am much older than Vinson and have only had fibromyalgia for a few years but I can relate to the anxiety and pain that are so often associated with it. I can also relate to the incredible drive that is often there. Long hours focused on doing what you love can make it all come close to being bearable. Please tell Vinson to remember to take care of himself along the way! I hope to taste his creations one day. In the meantime I am glad he has an incredible sister like you!

  25. Unfortunately, I missed the first round. But, I was very impressed by Vincent…..his humility and grace. I love to cook, but only discovered this passion about three years ago. I wish I had learned to cook much earlier. But, Vincent is definitely inspiring….so much so in fact, that I googled him. That’s how I ran across this blog.

    YOU are such a sweet sister, apparently equal in humility and grace. I am dyslexic and struggle greatly with reading. However, I will have to check out your book. I wish you great success with this.

    God bless you both!

    “Wanna-be chef” Ken Roberts

  26. So great to “meet” such a totally kind, gentle and utterly together person. I watch a lot of Chopped, and the chefs so often have egos as big as the moon. It was so refreshing to see such a talented chef who would be wonderful to have as a neighbor and friend. Good luck to him!

  27. i am a front of the house restaurant manager turned chef by necessity and have been struggling with the transition despite my passion for food. Watching Vinson the comeback kid gave me a sense that I can overcome my obstacles and succeed. I also suffer from shoulder and back pain which sometimes hinder my performance and contentment. However I also have a very supportive sister as well as vinson. He is an inspiration to chefs and just plain human beings in general. From the previous posts i read im sure that he is probably the most popular contestant ever to appear on Chopped. He should get an agent and try to get his own show. I’m sure the network would love to bring him back soon. Vinson gave me an inspiration that is hard to find in a 30 minute show. All the best to the whole family!

  28. Just saw this episode last night. I watch Chopped all the time and I don’t think I’ve ever been so drawn to a contestant as I was with Vinson. His demeanor, his humility, his amazing turnaround after the app round, his focus. I just LOVED him. LOVE. I’m so glad he won. Congratulations to him, you and anyone else lucky enough to be in Vinson’s inner circle!

  29. Hi
    I ve seen the episode several times…I like the way Vince progressed throughout the show.
    Showed a lot of poise… Obviously a talented chef..
    He should be made aware
    Fibromyalgia is a bogus diagnosis when doctors cant find anything wrong with a patient so they lump a dozen symptoms togeather spin your blood note an elevated ESR (big deal.).Tada you have blah blah blah. …I ve treated a bunch of FM cases with great success….anyone reading thiis with FM. Find a competant ABC chiropractor , get treated and watch how quickly your symptoms disappear….The mechanism for correction is too long to explain here ..But Form and function in all the world go hand and hand….Get your spine and nervous system straight and functioning correctly , the rest will follow.
    Dr Dom
    P.S i m going to check out his resturant this week …

  30. So many people here seem to have been drawn to the wonderful human quality humility that Vinson exhibited. It’s a quality that is sadly rare, and was so wonderful to see on one of my favorite shows. When humility is combined with confidence, awesome things can happen. Being a great chef is one thing. Being a great human is ever so much more. Best wishes to Vinson for much success and happiness.

  31. I’ve been watching Chopped since it debuted and I have to say Vinson is truly worth imitating. He was humble, sincere, honest and refreshing to watch. I too am a man who suffers from fibro, anxiety, and at times, depression among other things. I want Vinson to know that I stand with him in solidarity as we both strive to cope with fibro and those side effects which accompany it! You rock, Vinson…

  32. I was moved by chef Vincent so deeply! He seems to be an amazing man and a wonderful chef. He needs and deserves a show on the food network. I would be a dedicated watcher!!!

  33. I JUST watched your brother on food network. Chopped is one of my favorite shows, but I’ve never really felt “connected” towards the competitors. Vinson changed that; watching him was amazing! I hope he’s doing great things because he sure as heck did on tv.

  34. Just happened to catch this episode! I loved your brother Vinson and found myself thinking what a lucky girl-his girlfriend must be-if he had one and yes he does! I admire his courage facing the fibromyalgia and depression and still going on to conquer and win this and have a great career! I have battled depression for years and also have essential tremors, extreme exhaustion. His story is inspiring, Congrats to Vinson, his girlfriend and your family! Happy for you all!

  35. Wow! Congratulations to your brother! I really enjoy watching CHOPPED, but have never been motivated to watch the same episode twice…well, I watched this episode twice. And that was before I found your article. Vinson is not only handsome but has beautiful artistry in his cooking and a spirit that touches you. Maybe one day we’ll see him on IRON CHEF, he reminds me of Chef Marc Forgione. Best wishes to you and congratulations to your brother on his engagement as well!

  36. Couldn’t sleep, and love the show, “Chopped”, so just watched it. Your brother, Vinson, just totally blew me away and touched my heart. I wanted to google his name, along with “Chopped”, so I could learn more about him. I completely understand how fibromyalgia can affect someone (mine’s mild now), and the depression that comes with it. I was so worried for him with the appetizer and the difficulty w/the ovens; really reminds me of the brain fog I get which is worse than the pain, and my heart was racing for him throughout the show. Vinson, you overcame your anxiety, you focused, you had some serious competition, and you won it! I think you’re brilliant! Trisha (above) mentioned that she’d never really felt connected to a competitor on the show…me either, but I did with you. I wish you had your own show because I’d watch! I’m so glad to hear you have a girlfriend. :-) Wishing you much joy and happiness and success with your career! Looks like I’m not the only person you’ve inspired and touched. Just wanted to say congrats, thanks, and you’ve got another fan!

  37. Another Vinson fan here. I just watched his episode and was so impressed with his grace and humility that I wanted to find some connection to him online to say so. Luckily, he was easy to find via Google and your blog. I wish him and his wife-to-be all the best in wherever life takes them.

  38. just watched the episode! damn those yak were perfect.. i would love to work with an amazing chef like vin! salute!

  39. Even the judges said that they’d never seen such a transformation in the kitchen before, as did his competitor, Kate Squibb. It’s a good thing Vinson wasn’t playing a game of pool or cards – people might have thought he was grade A Hustler. What was the name of the movie? The Usual Suspects?

  40. i watch chopped at least once a week and this was by far by favorite episode. I liked it So much that I even looked up “Vinson Petrillo” immediately after watching. I was just soooooo impressed by vincents humility, his turn-around, and obviously his extreme talent. don’t know anything about fibro but I was touched none the less. really inspiring and shows the importance of “mind over matter”

  41. Go Vinsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!! I cried on your episode of Chopped when you were announced the winner. You seem like such a great person. Good luck in all of your endevours!

  42. Just saw you on “Chopped” I have to say this has been my FAVORITE episode EVER. You are a gentle soul, you brought tears to my eyes, can you imagine a grown woman crying watching Chopped?? I have never wanted anyone to win as much as I wanted you to win, your kindness and lack of ego to the other chefs was heartwarming, and when you told the other chefs that you “did not come there to beat them, you came there to win” I was overwhelmed, you brought such warmth and compassion to this Episode. Please do not ever loose your kindness and humility…… Best of luck in your future

  43. Its July 2012 and This is the Second Time I have watched this episode I wuld never change the channel because I loved the Passion Vinson had and how quickly he became adaptable to his great intuition of food Love you in Scottsdale, Arizona

  44. I just saw this tonight and my whole family was clapping and yelling for Vinson. My freaking HUSBAND cried. I don’t know why he touched us so much, but he did. Best of luck!!

  45. Vinson, what an inspiration you are! Obviously an exceptional chef. I love that they found your main dish perfect! They never say that! And you are so clearly kind, humble and warm which matters even more. I wish more people had the traits you so obviously possess. They just broadcast this episode and it made me cry with pride for you and your talent.

    As an aside, in case you are interested, for both anxiety and depression I have finally found a couple of things that are profoundly helpful remarkably. Vitamin B3 Inositol and Omega 3’s can work beautifully to take away the constant and annoying buzz of worry in the background, as well as the depression that can come with it. At least in my opinion.

    Inositol is Vitamin B3 – 4grams in powder form, tossed into water (Some brands are slightly sweet which I like but any reputable brand will do eg Now brand or etc etc) going up by 2 grams each week til there is enough benefit, to a max of 16 grams. It really is noticeable after 30 days. (Take a less if you get GI complaints eg 6- 10 grams may be enough.)

    Also high levels of Omega 3’s with high EPA – not any omega 3 works – look for high quality and one that has around 300 mg of EPA per pill or more so you don’t have to take so many or try a liquid form. (eg I like because they are the Harvard doctors behind the research on this but also health balance or Webber Naturals or Nordic Naturals or Omega Joy seem to work well). Starting at around 900 or 1200 mg of EPA / day and going up to 3500 mg of EPA / day if you find it helps – again I would try it for a month before deciding if it is helping. Check with your doctor first on both of these, of course.

    Anyway, all the best. Congratulations on your engagement / marriage. You deserve all happiness.

  46. Hello, Vinson!

    I have to chime in here with congratulations on winning Chopped. My family and I enjoy the show and were especially impressed with your poise and talent.

    I’m an author in the field of preventive medicine and during my research over the past couple of years I’ve discovered a great deal of anecdotal evidence that wheat sensitivity can play a significant role in a variety of autoimmune conditions, including fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia sufferers are posting on the blog of Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly,” that their symptoms have abated within one to two months of going wheat-free.

    Many who never would have thought they were sensitive to wheat, and indeed even those who test negative for all traditional wheat sensitivity markers are finding relief from a variety of symptoms upon going wheat-free. Many people confuse wheat sensitivity with Celiac disease and believe that they cannot possibly be sensitive to wheat unless they’ve been shown to have Celiac disease. This is not true. Many are sensitive to wheat without testing positive for Celiac. In fact, the July 24, 2012 issue of American Journal of Gastroenterology calls for non-Celiac wheat sensitivity to be formally labeled as a new disease, stating “Our data confirm the existence of non-celiac wheat sensitivity as a distinct clinical condition.”

    There are a number of other great suggestions here, too, I see, including vitamin D optimization.

    In addition, neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter in Florida writes and speaks of significantly reducing fibro symptoms with glutathione, an inexpensive substance that is synthesized in the body from the amino acids L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine but can be lacking in Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia patients.

    All the best!

  47. Vinson, I just saw this episode … and it is my favorite of all the many I’ve seen! Not only are you an EXCELLENT chef, you are such a humble and sincere man. To see you settle your nerves, focus on the challenges at hand, and concentrate on winning rather than beating the others was really inspirational. Thank you also, for sharing your vulnerability with us … you helped a lot of people. I admire you and hope that life has been kind to you and yours. If you’re looking for a place to open a restaurant you could always come to Nashville! :)

  48. I am glad to see so many people felt the same way I did after watching Vinson on Chopped.I have never looked up anyone on Chopped but, I just had to know more. I am so glad Vinson has a soon to be wife and he has people who obviously love and adore him…Thank god.He has such a kind and warm heart …It makes me happy to know he is in the company of good people.Congratulations on the success and I wish only the best.

  49. First off. I think the show is completely biased to the judges. And does try to place them all at significant disadvantage What chef would try to promote themselves with unfamiliar ingredients? No one; The episode with the abalone and amaranth grain – which I had never hear of, was sad to watch – especially in the case of Vinson
    He is a highly skilled, improvisational chef devoted to an industry that challenges the greatest of chefs in respect to anxiety.
    Regardless of working against the odds with such a condition – admitting fault pre-judging could never work in someone’s favor – its like going up to a boss and saying “fire me”. Though his rationale was “this is my thought process” – out loud, honesty has its time and place when you are under scrutiny.
    Overall – once he has his own restaurant, I hope this show only serves to him a means to strengthen his skill, and in no way discourage him from what appears to be a true gift in the culinary arts. Ps – what could impress the judge in blue. Ridiculous ….

  50. Vinson you were so freaking awesome on Chopped! I was rooting for you for the beginning and I was so thrilled to see you win. Your humble-ness was so refreshing, and your food was amazing! Good luck with you in your future endeavors. I hope to see you win Chopped Champions! :)

  51. My wife and I had watched this episode before but it was aired again last night and we were frankly thrilled. Vinson is a superb chef but his humility and humanism is very nearly astounding, both in its own right but particularly so in the context of a profession well-known as replete with malignant egos. At the same time, and I imagine for many reasons, he carries a level of pathos that is painful, no irony in my comment whatsoever. Admittedly from some distance, we hope that he’s able to get all the caring that anyone of his ilk rightly deserves. One would be hard-pressed to find a better, more genuine human being.

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