The Truth About Paras Shah From Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets

When fans are watching "Chopped," it's always fun to see what ingredients are in each mystery basket. The mystery baskets are usually assembled by host Ted Allen and the show's producers, but in "Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets," you can expect something a little different. "Good Eats" host Alton Brown's fans on social media get to make basket suggestions, and we'll see chefs like Paras Shah rise to the occasion. Before the show airs, get to know Shah.

This isn't Paras Shah's first appearance on Food Network. If you're an avid watcher of "Beat Bobby Flay," you may have already seen him cooking along with Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon in season 15. Aside from cooking on television, Shah has spent time in numerous kitchens, but he actually went to school for business before going to the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), according to a blog post from the school.

The Institute of Culinary Education explains that before he attended culinary school, Shah opened an Italian restaurant "with an Italian man from South Africa," which was a short-lived venture. But through the Institute, his career began to blossom.

Paras Shah's current restaurant projects

Through connections made at the Institute of Culinary Education, Paras Shah landed jobs at David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar, La Fonda de Sol in New York, and several restaurants in Spain including the notable El Bulli. He also spent nine weeks cooking Filipino food for a touring pop-up (via ICE). Shah later went on to open Valencian Gold, a Spanish fast-casual restaurant in Las Vegas, which he owned with Jeff Weiss. According to Eater, Valencian Gold closed for renovations in March 2020. The front page of the restaurant's website currently reads "Coming Soon," with links to social media pages. Chef Shah shared with Mashed that, as of late-June 2021, he amicably parted ways with the Las Vegas restaurant.

If you want to keep up with Chef Shah, you can follow his Instagram, @chefparasshah, and watch out for him when "Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets" starts airing on Food Network starting June 22.