Actor / writer Saugerties to appear in Top Chef spin-off


Lorenzo Beronilla

Lorenzo Beronilla, resident of Saugerties, will participate in the inaugural season of The best amateur cooks, a spinoff of Bravo’s long-standing staple Excellent chef. The new series, filmed in Portland alongside the upcoming season of Excellent chef, sees two amateur chefs compete each week with advice from renowned professionals.

“Enter and cook in the Excellent chef the food was mind blowing and such an honor, ”said Beronilla. “Everything is still hazy; it was all going so fast and I was just in awe that I was even there. My heart was beating so fast with nervousness, but soon the passionate cook in me kicked in and I was ready to compete.

Born in Pittsburgh, Beronilla has lived in Saugerties for about six years, has been in the Hudson Valley for two decades. Actor and writer, Beronilla is no stranger to marrying his love of cooking with his likeable on-screen personality.

“Since I’m comfortable in the kitchen, I’m always drawn to concerts that include cooking, good knife skills and chef-related roles,” Beronilla said. “About two years ago I had the opportunity to cook on the Epicurious pilot show 4 levels. The series was a hit, several shows went viral with millions of views and even led to another popular show I’m called on Pro Chef vs Home Cook Swap Ingredients which also became a viral hit.

Beronilla found the way to The best amateur cooks through a casting.

“Last September I saw a listing for an opportunity to appear on a new spin-off cooking show. I am a big fan of Excellent chef so when I saw the message my eyes popped out of my head and I couldn’t believe they were opening it to home cooks, ”he said. “Usually I wouldn’t put myself in there for that sort of thing, but being in the midst of the COVID pandemic, I needed something to look forward to and I was like, ‘Why not give it a go? To my surprise, they actually chose me.

Unlike the one-season competition seen on its mother show, The best amateur cooks pits two home cooks against each other in a one-on-one competition, with the help of celebrity chefs along the way. Viewers will also have the option of playing a role, with online voting, and influencing whether contestants take part in the Seven Deadly Sins Challenge (featuring dishes inspired by one of the Seven Deadly Sins) or the Aphrodisiac Challenge (auto – explanatory).

Beronilla’s episode, which premiered Thursday, July 8, features guests Excellent chef Stars Richard Blais and Melissa King. The program is hosted by longtime food writer, cookbook author and Gail Simmons Excellent chef judge.

Beronilla’s onscreen presence didn’t just lead to a spot on The best amateur cooks; his first cookbook, Let’s do this folks: cooking at home with Lorenzo, was published in early June by Page Street Publishing.

“Being on Epicurious gave me the platform to show my cooking skills and my personality to the world,” Beronilla said. “It allowed me to get noticed and to be approached by editors who are fans of the series… When writing the book, I loved the creative aspect of composing family recipes with my own twists to share with everybody. I wanted to write it as if I was next to you in the kitchen to help you cook. Editing, however, was a very long, tedious and tiring process, but it was well worth it for the rewarding result.

Beronilla’s love for cooking dates back to her youth.

“The best memories I have from my childhood are always being in the kitchen watching my family cook,” he said. “Growing up, I knew I wanted to be part of the fun and be the cook. Cooking relaxes me and takes me back to the good old days of being that kid on the counter.

The episode of Beronilla will be broadcast on July 8 at 9:30 p.m. on Bravo. For streaming and replay information, visit:

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