Maria Petridis is a chef and co-owner of the family-operated Maria's Mediterranean Seafood and Grill in Bayside, New York, which is located on Bell Boulevard. She was named champion on chopped during the latest episode that aired on December 27 on the Food Network. Author and television personality Ted Allen serves as the host.

Chopped competition

In the first round, four chefs (Lien Lin, Brendan Neville, Renée Fox, and Petridis) were given 20 minutes and the following ingredients to make their appetizer: branzino, testaroli pasta, cava and cucamelon.

Following the judging, chef Lin was eliminated.

In the second round, the three remaining chefs (Fox, Petridis and Neville) were given the following ingredients to prepare their main course: lamb couscous, white eggplant, chewy cinnamon candies, as well as gorgonzola dulce. They all had 30 minutes. After an intense competition, the judges eliminated chef Neville.

For the third and final round, the remaining chefs (Fox and Petridis) had 30 minutes to make dessert. They were given such ingredients as grape leaves, wild blueberries, tahini ice cream, and cherry gel candy. After yet another stiff and competitive round, Petridis was declared the winner of "Chopped."

Petridis donates prize money to charity

A "Chopped" champion, Petridis shared that she donated the $10,000 prize to the charitable organization, Make-A-Wish Foundation, especially since she wants to make other people's dreams a reality, children in particular.

Petridis came from Greece to America, and her wish was to someday own a restaurant, and that dream has been fulfilled. The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps children with life-threatening conditions.

A celebration followed at Maria's restaurant

As Petridis was announced as the winner, a celebration followed at Maria's Mediterranean Seafood and Grill, where friends and family members were gathered to root for Petridis. She went on to thank everybody for being there, treated them to homemade Greek food that was prepared by her family at the restaurant, and they celebrated with Greek music and dancing.