The One Ingredient Amanda Freitag Hates Working With

Amanda Freitag may be most well-known for her role as a judge on Food Network's "Chopped," but there is one ingredient that even the celebrity chef would prefer to avoid.

Freitag has a long history in the restaurant and food business. In fact, according to her website, she began her career studying at the famed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Soon after graduation, she worked for several important chefs where she honed her skills and knowledge, including time spent under chef Alain Passard in Paris, where she learned to master the art of relying on seasonal produce and products. 

While we often think of chefs being comfortable with every type of ingredient whether it's organ meat, cleaning a fish, or preparing sweetbreads, even celebrity chefs have certain products that they would prefer not to use, if possible. But what Freitag shuns may be surprising because it's not an everyday food people eat.

Amanda Freitag isn't a fan of this spiky sea creature

When Amanda Freitag was asked by Food Network what ingredient is her "Achilles' heel," and that she'd prefer not to use for a dish, she had one very specific answer in mind. "I would have to say sea urchin," the chef revealed. "Unlike many other chefs, I am not a fan. I am not skilled at cleaning it or cooking it."

Although sea urchin may not be a common menu item in many restaurants, it is considered a delicacy when it's in season. According to The Guardian, the way it feels in your mouth is similar to foie gras — but unfortunately, it's been in such high demand that stocks have been reduced significantly. Still, the taste and texture of sea urchin isn't for everyone, and it has a flavor of taking a big drink of the sea. Plus, if you consider the yellowish part that is eaten, it's the sea urchin's gonads, per the outlet.

Fans can surely appreciate Amanda Freitag's honesty about having adverse reactions to this spiny sea creature. And in her defense, considering that sea urchins are being depleted due to too much demand, maybe it's not a bad thing that this celebrity chef prefers to cook without it.