Chef at N.J.’s Cardinal Bistro to appear on Food Network’s ‘Cooks vs. Cons’

A New Jersey chef whom Craig LaBan called “one of the young chefs to watch ... at the Shore” will test his cooking mettle on the Food Network.

Chef Michael Brennan, 24, of Ventnor City’s Cardinal Bistro will appear on Food Network’s Cooks vs. Cons at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. The episode will feature judges Daphne Oz, a Philly native and daughter of Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Justin Warner, winner of season eight of The Next Food Network Star.

Cooks vs. Cons debuted in March. The show pits two professional chefs against two amateur cooks. Neither the judges nor host Geoffrey Zakarian know which contestants are pros and which are amateurs.

The goal is for amateurs to fool judges into thinking they’re professional chefs, while the actual professional chefs attempt to stave off a loss to an amateur. Amateurs take home $15,000 if they come out on top, while chefs win $10,000 and save themselves some professional embarrassment.

The young Jersey chef may stand a good chance of winning. In July 2016 Shore restaurant roundup, LaBan noted that Cardinal Bistro's “pan-roasted Lancaster chicken was just perfect” and its “dry-aged duck was also exceptional.”

A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Brennan previously worked at The Rittenhouse, Le Bec Fin, and Lacroix here in Philadelphia, and opened Union Provisions in Charleston, S.C. (It closed in 2015.)

Find more about Brennan’s episode of Cooks vs. Cons here.