A press release announces that Wade Burch, chef at under-the-radar waterfront restaurant Steamer’s Landing and a newly crowned champion of Chopped, is moving on to become the executive chef of Neely’s Pig Parlor, the barbecue joint that Food Network personalities the Neelys will soon open in the former Merchants NY space at First Avenue and 62nd Street. Burch, a Texas native, beat out Patricio Sandoval (Mercadito), Kenneth Collins (Gospel Uptown), and Laura Simpson (a Pennsylvania chef) to take home Chopped’s $10,000 prize. Update: We’re told the restaurant will be renamed Neely’s Barbecue Parlor and will likely open in February. Wade will retain his post as executive chef at both Steamer’s Landing and South West NY.
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