LEWISTON — Boba chef Zachary Pratt will be on an episode of the Food Network’s “Chopped” next month.
Pratt, 26, filmed it in New York in January, his first time applying to the show.
“The experience was intense,” he said Friday. “I was going up against a lot of people who were older than me with a lot more experience, but also, it was very nerve-wracking because I’ve never been on television before. I can’t talk about the ingredients, but I can tell you they were pretty bizarre and exotic and you had to think very quickly.”
The episode will air July 3 at 9 p.m.
Pratt is a 2010 graduate of the Lewiston Regional Technical Center Green Ladle program.
He and Keshia Thanephonesy founded Boba, an Asian fusion restaurant, three years ago offering pho, dumplings and bubble tea, and quickly built a loyal, local following. They’ve moved from a gas station to pop-up shops and now a location on Scribner Boulevard.
The restaurant is moving to 27 East Ave. in October, in the Shaw’s plaza, for its biggest space yet, with seating for 30 to 35 and a full bar.
“I’m super excited,” Pratt said. “It’s going to be a full-fledged restaurant instead of a little takeout eatery. We’re going to be able to have much more exposure, much more volume. We’re just excited.”
He hopes to open seven additional Boba locations in the next five to 10 years in a franchise model.
Details are still coming together for a viewing party for Pratt’s “Chopped” episode. He’s excited for customers to see that, too.
“Customers know, I’m pretty raw,” he said. “They’ll see me be myself on TV and they’ll see my charisma and it’s going to be awesome.”
Boba chef Zachary Pratt (Submitted photo)