Columbian Susanne Dillingham Competes on “Extreme Chef” on Food Network

Columbia native Susanne Dillingham, now an acclaimed chef based in Charlotte, NC, competes in the 2nd season of Extreme Chef, premiering tonight (Th. Aug. 16th) on the Food Network at 10 PM EDT.

While her business The Tiny Chef is located in Charlotte, Dillingham grew up in Columbia, and performed in many Calvert-Brodie recitals and Workshop Theatre productions, often along with her older sister, Dorothy Dillingham Blue, and mother Candy Canter (a dedicated backstage production volunteer.)

Susanne Dillingham (in glasses) in “Big River” at Workshop Theatre, mid-90’s. (Sister Dorothy is seated at far left; behind her is Carol Beard, and to Susanne’s left is Jonathan Whitton.)

Dillingham studied Italian cuisine and culinary arts at Apicius, The International School of Hospitality, in Florence Italy, and in 2007 opened her own business, The Tiny Chef, where she teaches cooking classes, conducts chef demonstrations, and cooks for private parties.  Her website is  From the press material for the competition:

Susanne Dillingham

Tonight, Food Network takes seven of America’s most fearless chefs out of their kitchens and drops them into some of the most extreme locations in the second season of Extreme Chef.

Over the course of five episodes, from the scorching deserts of California to the exotic jungles of Thailand, the chefs test their physical prowess, mental toughness and culinary skills as they compete in grueling and seemingly impossible culinary challenges including pulling out needles from a cactus pad to create a tasty dish, and creating a meal in 60 minutes on a floating dock, while the chefs rescue their ingredients from a capsized fishing boat in the ocean. Hosted by TV veteran and seasoned world traveler Marsh Mokhtari, each episode features the chefs competing in challenges judged by a rotating panel of notable guest judges, with the bottom two chefs facing off in a final showdown challenge to determine which chef goes home. In the end, one chef is able to consider themselves the most Extreme while taking home a $50,000 grand prize.  Special guest judges this season include Simon Majumdar (Next Iron Chef  judge, food journalist), Ben Sargent (host of Cooking Channel’s Hook, Line & Dinner), and Troy Johnson (host of Crave, food critic and journalist).

Episodes include:

“Doomsday Survival” – Premieres Thursday, August 16th at 10:00pm ET/PT

Seven chefs begin their culinary adventure of a lifetime when a helicopter drops them into Salton City, California, an abandoned post-apocalyptic wasteland, where they’re left to scavenge for ingredients and tools. The chefs have only 60 minutes to raid a deserted tent village for non-perishable ingredients, build their own cooking stations, and use items like steel wool, batteries and tumbleweed to start a fire. After a tough round of judging, two chefs are sent into the Final Showdown, where they must create the perfect bite – only one will survive the apocalypse and advance to the next location.

Competitors: Scott Brandolini (Mass.), Susanne Dillingham (N.C.), Terry French (N.J.), Lance Knowling (N.J.), Viet Pham (Utah),  Isadora Sarto (Vt.), Tiffany Ward (Hawaii)

Wishing lots of luck to Susanne!




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One Response to Columbian Susanne Dillingham Competes on “Extreme Chef” on Food Network

  1. Lorie Gardner says:

    Watched the Tiny Chef last night on Extreme Chef — it’s obvious that she is BY FAR the most likeable chef. Not to mention sassy, adorable and fearless. Can’t wait to see her with her own show on Food Network. Surely that will be next.
    (Great article btw)

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