A Chopped champion living in the Hudson Valley is now working with a New York sports legend.

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About five years ago, Dutchess County chef Dafna Mizrahi was declared a Chopped champion on the Food Network's cooking challenge show.

The episode which aired on Thanksgiving in 2015 pitted Mizrahi against three men. The challenge was a "Gastro Pub": all four chefs had to create a three-course meal using mystery ingredients and a pub theme.

The Amenia chef impressed a panel of celebrity chefs and judges who determined her meal was the best to win a $10,000 prize. The judges were especially appreciative of the young chef's presentation and innovative techniques.

At the time of her win, Mizrahi believed her background of being Mexican and Jewish set her up for success in the cooking world because food from both cultures was a huge part of her upbringing. She was born in Mexico and moved to Atlanta, Ga. as a child, were she had to teach herself how to speak English. Mirzahi says she knew at the young age of seven that she wanted to be a chef.

Mizrahi came to the Hudson Valley for college, graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. In 2014, she helped open up Monte's Local Kitchen and Tap Room.

The former chef-owner of Monte’s Local Kitchen and Tap Room in Amenia, who later worked at Silo Ridge Field Club in Amenia is now teaming up with an unlikely partner.

Dafna and her Dafna’s Kitchen program has joined arms with former New York Rangers captain Mark Messier. Messier, who led the Rangers to a 1994 Stanley Cup win, co-founded Honeycomb, an online fitness resource.

Mizrahi will provide cooking recipes and tips for Honeycomb members. Due to Covid-19, the chef will first provide virtual classes on the Honeycomb website but will later present live demonstrations at the physical Honeycomb locations as they open.

"The concept of Honeycomb struck me as an opportunity to share my passion for high-level performance with like-minded people. Building a community to help people reach their full potential is something I feel very fortunate to create with the help of my partners," Messier said.

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