Chef Shannon Bard, owner of Zapoteca Restaurante y Tequileria in Portland, took home $25,000 Wednesday night during her appearance on a new Food Network TV show, called “Kitchen Inferno.”

The competition, hosted by chef Curtis Stone, has four rounds. Bard won $5,000 competing against a “rising star chef” in the first round and then had to decide whether to keep the money or move on to the next round. Bard competed in all four rounds, along the way creating dishes such as a soy sauce dessert and a dinner made from leftovers. She knocked out increasingly talented chefs before facing off with celebrity chef Michael Chiarello for the $25,000 jackpot.

Bard said she lost focus momentarily in one part of the competition, but quickly re-centered herself and concentrated on her own food and “strong, bold flavors.”

“I wanted to just make sure I stayed true to what I do,” she said.

Bard invited her staff, family and friends to a viewing party Wednesday night at Glass at the Hyatt, a cocktail lounge in the Old Port, where they celebrated her win.

The chef, who appeared on “Beat Bobby Flay” last spring, told the Press Herald earlier this week that she would use the “Kitchen Inferno” prize to take her family on a big vacation. She said she wants to thank her four children for all of the support they’ve given her over the years as she pursued her dream of becoming a chef and opening her own restaurant.


In addition to running Zapoteca, Bard, her husband and their business partner have a Mexican restaurant in Durham, New Hampshire, called Mixteca. Bard also has a catering business called Salud Catering.

Her first cookbook, “The Gourmet Mexican Kitchen,” is set to be published in February.

Bard’s episode of “Kitchen Inferno,” called “Holiday Heat,” will air again at 5 p.m. Saturday.

This story was updated at 9 a.m. on Saturday December 13 to correct the rebroadcast date of the “Holiday Heat” episode. It will be re-run at 5 p.m. on Saturday, not Sunday.

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