A Philly cop finds new life after 'Chopped'

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Chefs Ted Torres and Diana Sabater of The Kitchen Barrio.

The Food Network will show a rerun of a Chopped competition featuring Philly's Diana Sabater (8 p.m., Sept. 17).

Called "Momumental," it's a Mother's Day episode that featured four everyday moms, rather than pro chefs. Much was made of the fact that Sabater was a cop and a mom.

Since the episode was taped last December and first shown in May, Sabater left the Philadelphia Police Department and obtained a master's degree in psychology. "I've closed that chapter in my life," she said.

She also has gone pro. Although she is not a chef, she and partner, chef Ted Torres, are developing a project to reach out to Latino youths to get them into culinary programs. It's called The Kitchen Barrio. Video is here.

"I've always cooked," Sabater said. "It's always been a creative outlet for me since age 10. But I didn't always have guidance and I struggled to make my way alone in life."

The Chopped experience, she said, "made me reach down and find the strength to pursue other goals. Being on Chopped confirmed that I could overcome every single obstacle you could throw at me."

The ingredient list was the usual hodgepodge:

Appetizer: coffee, pheasant, escarole, peanut butter blossom cookies (this became escarole salad with pheasant cooked in sofrito)

Entree:: carrot baby food, pork butt, mustard greens, red quinoa (she made pork guisado)

Dessert: bison grass vodka, guava paste, pistachios, crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (she made a tart out of it)

"This really inspired me, and I want to inspire others," she said. "So many young people don't have a support system."

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