The Truth About Mohan Kulasingam From Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets

On June 22, Alton Brown, and his strong opinions, returns to the Food Network for a five-part special tournament series of "Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets." He will be joined at the judges' table by Maneet Chauhan and Marcus Samuelsson. According to the Food Network, the series has Brown teaming up with his legion of fans to come up with "maniacal ingredients that are sure to have the competitors in disbelief" as they battle it out for a $50,000 cash prize. One of 16 competitors is Mohan Kulasingam from New York City, who has a somewhat unusual former career.

Originally hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, chef Mohan Kulasingam initially trained as a professional dancer, and is currently still a yoga/Pilates instructor and a Modern and Indian Dancer (via hisĀ website). But don't count him out of the competition just yet, as he also has more than two decades of culinary experience, and has worked in fine dining restaurants in Italy, Malaysia, and the United States. Plus, he has a secret weapon up his sleeves.

Kulasingam has the training, experience, and his senses to count on

Chef Mohan Kulasingam studied at the International Culinary Center in Italy, earning diplomas in Italian culinary experience, Italian culinary arts, and food journalism. He followed up his studies with stints as a chef at Relais La Sommita in Italy, and Chateaux De Varambon and Chateaux De La Mazure in France. He has also worked as an executive chef at Favela Cubana and Calle Dao in New York. He also works as both a private chef in New York and an instructor with Global Kitchen, teaching others to cook with sometimes unusual and rare ingredients (via LinkedIn).

Kulasingam also brings with him a slightly different cooking philosophy from home, which could really help him in the competition. As he explained in an episode of Global Kitchen, his mother taught him to "look, feel, touch the ingredients" and to really use all his senses to see how that ingredient fits into the bigger picture and why you should use it. Sounds like a skill that might come in handy with those diabolical baskets of ingredients, especially since the episode description already warns of a "surprise ingredient with a challenging texture." Tune in on the Food Network and Discovery+ to see if Kulasingam's all senses approach succeeds!