From Nashville M Street chef to ‘Chopped’ champion: Jordan Arcuri

M Street’s senior manager of kitchen operations takes home a winning title for season 46 of the acclaimed Food Network cooking competition.

Jordan Arcuri and her prepared meal as a chef at Kayne Prime. Photo courtesy Jordan Arcuri

Jordan Arcuri and her prepared meal as a chef at Kayne Prime. Photo courtesy Jordan Arcuri

Grace Delmonte

Who doesn’t love cooking competitions? High-pressure cheffery and mouthwatering food mixed with the dramatization of reality TV makes for great entertainment. As Nashville restaurant patrons, we’ve tasted enough entrees to know that our chefs could take on the challenge.  

Nashville chef Jordan Arcuri did just that, recently being named the winner of “Chopped,” the Food Network’s longtime premier cooking competition. Arcuri works as the senior manager of kitchen operations for M Street—the group that owns dine-out favorites like Virago, Cucina Moto Enoteca, Kayne Prime, Saint Añejo, Whiskey Kitchen and Tavern Midtown.

Originally from Florida, Arcuri practiced her culinary skills all through high school, went to Le Cordon Bleu and completed her culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America. She came to Nashville when her family relocated and started working on M Street, and after working in the industry for about five and a half years, she made a name and reputation for herself in the esteemed group. As Senior Manager, she conducts the training, ordering and menu innovation at all restaurants housed under M Street. In addition to her managerial role, you can find her in the Kayne Prime kitchen on Fridays and Saturdays where she serves as the executive chef.   

She was originally invited to participate in “Guy’s Grocery Games,” but the pandemic prevented the show from ever being filmed. She then got the chance to participate in “Chopped,” which worked out in her favor. 

“It was my dream to be on ‘Chopped.’ It’s every chef’s dream to be on a competition on TV,” Arcuri said. 

According to Arcuri, the unknown of the competition made it all the more exciting, as she only had her tools and no knowledge of what ingredients would be selected. Arcuri said she is naturally competitive and used her ability to handle chaos under pressure which she has experienced from team leading at Kayne Prime. The judges on the show even commented on her calmness. 

“When I found out the main ingredient was beef, I knew she had the competition in the bag since I work at a steak restaurant and know how to work with meat,” Arcuri said. 

In regard to the filming of the competition, Arcuri found the experience surprisingly authentic. As soon as she walked in, the cameras were rolling—there was not much time for preparation, Arcuri said. 

“You take a tour of the pantry then go to your stations. You have your hands on the basket, open it up to see the ingredients inside, then the time starts,” Arcuri said. “You do not have tons of time to brainstorm, so you have to know the pantry and what you want to make. It was very real.” 

According to Arcuri, the most challenging part about being on television was filming the interviews and remembering what she said. Since she is such a bubbly person, she had a hard time not laughing during the interviews. 

Overall, Arcuri said her ‘Chopped’ experience was enriching and fulfilling, ending in a great win for this fun and talented chef. Luckily, we’re in just the right city to try her award-winning cooking, so make your weekend reservation at Kayne Prime before Arcuri becomes a household name.