Tim Witcher won Food Network’s Chopped reality cooking show now he is opening his first restaurant.
Tim Witcher stopped watching the Food Network for an entire year. He couldn’t bare to turn on one of his favorite channels after losing a cooking competition in 2015 on Chopped, one the network’s top-rated shows.
“I couldn’t watch it,” Witcher said. “I was bitter. Now I can enjoy it again.”
His joy returned after he won the competition in 2016 in a cookoff of former contestants. Witcher said he was simply the best prepared the second time around and he has used the experience ever since to propel his career.
The grand opening for his first restaurant The Wing Kitchen is scheduled later this month. The eatery at the Wedgwood Country club in WashingtonTownship, Gloucester County had a soft opening two months ago working toward the ribbon cutting.
Witcher said he was born, raised and chef-groomed in South Jersey and describes his cooking style “classical American with ‘soul’ and Spanish influences.”
“We take regional and international flavors, mixed with local fresh ingredients,” Witcher said.
The menu features six flavors of wings, including: honey jalapeno, garlic parmesan, smokehouse BBQ, Buffalo, Sesame ginger and Chimichurri.
He gave us a sneak peek.
Fried cauliflower from The Wing Kitchen (Tim Witcher)
In addition to wings, other menu items are buttermilk fried chicken tenders, a box of crispy fried cauliflower, fresh cut fries and chili lime slaw.
Witcher also includes a touch of humor in his offerings with a menu item called “The Wife Pleaser.” It includes bucatini pasta, shrimp, baby spinach, and fresh herb olive oil tossed in a champagne blush sauce. He joked it was perfect for the weekend golfer who needs something to take home after they’ve chowed down.
Meals can be topped off with a touch of decadence with a fried buttermilk doughnut in caramel sauce.
Witcher credits the Food Network’s Chopped for sparking his creativity.
The competition always includes surprise, last minute twists in recipes that require creativity.
The final round of his winning show the judges tossed in South-Asian Dorian fruit as an ingredient to combine in a recipe.
“It smells like inside of a dirty gas station bathroom,” Witcher said. “It’s pretty gross. But I did a raspberry doughnut with Dorian glaze, coconut mousse and chocolate shavings.”
He was able to mask the smell and taste of the Dorian and he won the show. He promises the buttermilk doughnut is much better!
The Wing Kitchen also features a roster of burgers and smoked meats and sandwiches, like the smoked barbecue chicken tender.
Witcher also adds specials to his menu, like this lobster and corn bisque.
Smoked meats are a speciality.
Weekend special: Grill pork chops with smoked tomato sauce and chimichurri.
Another special, Buttermilk fried oysters
Witcher, 39, was born in Willingboro and now lives in Clementon with his wife, daughter and son. He is also a culinary arts teacher at Camden County Technical School. Before opening his first restaurant he worked as head chef at several four star hotels and was top chef for VIP boxes at the Wells Fargo Center sports arena in Philadelphia.
The Wing Kitchen is located in the same building as Divots, the country club bar.