Charleston-based chef and caterer Demal Mattson recently took home the big prize on Food Network’s reality-competition series Cooks vs Cons. A graduate of the Culinary Institute at Trident Technical College, Mattson pulled from his Lowcountry roots for the challenges.
The episode “Egg Fight” (Season 4, Episode 6) originally aired on the Food Network April 26, but will air again on May 17 and May 18.
Judges advanced Mattson to the final round of Cooks vs Cons, where contestants selected secret ingredients pertaining to the word "egg": quail eggs, duck eggs, salmon eggs, Cadbury creme eggs, and eggplant. Mattson prepared Carolina jumbo lump crab cakes over eggplant succotash, which won him the $10,000 prize.
The winning dish was special to Mattson because it was his father’s favorite. His father Demal Ignatius Mattson Jr, who passed away in April 2016, introduced Mattson to the joys of cooking.
Inspired by his father’s work as a specialist in child education law, advocating for students with disabilities, Mattson donated all of his $10,000 winnings to the Demal Mattson Jr. Special Education Fund.
At one point in the Cooks vs Cons competition, Mattson is seen pointing to the sky and saying, "Dad, I think we just won.”