LAKE PLACID - Chef Rob Borden has become something of a local culinary celebrity.
He makes his home here with his wife Suzie and children Sage and Remi, he works as a private chef in Manhattan, and he recently went to San Francisco to compete in the Food Network's fast-paced reality show, "Guy's Grocery Games."
Hosted by the outrageous Guy Fieri, the supermarket-themed game show pits four talented cooking professionals against one another in a gastronomic showdown that involves feeding four people on a limited budget. The competitors are given a certain amount of time and money to shop for groceries and then must prepare their best dishes following the show's guidelines.
Chef Rob Borden (Photo — Scott Mirop)
Borden and the others were given three cooking challenges: best meat dish, best American lunch using tilapia, and best gourmet meal. The three episodes are full of twists and turns between the contestants and judges, and when all is said and done, the winner receives a prize of up to $20,000.
Borden first became interested in cooking as a youngster, while working with his father in a family-owned restaurant. By the time he was 13 years old, he had come to realize that good food is essential for quality living. After high school, he began cooking professionally and later went on to attended Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America and the French Culinary Institute. He then furthered his food education by taking various workshops with noted pastry chefs throughout the world.
Borden honed his culinary skills by working in several upscale Michelin star restaurants, including Le Cirque, Restaurant Daniel and WD-50 in New York City, as well as The Ranch in Malibu, California. As a private chef he has traveled extensively throughout Europe, New Zealand and the USA - yet this globe trotter is no stranger to the Lake Placid food scene.
With his creative and cutting-edge approach to food preparation, a style he likes to call "new American," he and his wife Suzie, (the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Butler of Howard Johnson's fame) opened their first restaurant, Le Bistro Laliberte, in 1995. Then in 2001, R-Chocolate made its debut, and in 2003 he opened Lumiere Bistro & Wine Bar on Lake Placid's Main Street. Those who used to frequent Lumiere may be delighted to learn that Borden has future plans to open another local eatery called R.B. Lumiere.
As for his Food Network career, Borden will appear in three of 20 episodes during the upcoming season of "Guy's Grocery Games," which airs on Sunday evenings at 8 p.m.