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Pine Island chef Andrew Hamilton appears on Cutthroat Kitchen

January 9, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Andrew Hamilton, the chef and manager of Saltwater Smoke-house, made an appearance on the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen, which finally aired on Nov. 23. The TV episode was filmed more than two years ago.

The theme of Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen is four chefs sabotaging their opponents. Alton Brown is the host and Hamilton appeared on the second episode of the 15th season entitled "A Very Cutthroat Christmas."

"My wife Jennifer and I, with our son Christopher, were sitting around watching Cutthroat Kitchen one day when Christopher said, 'Why don't you go on Cutthroat Kitchen dad?' "I explained that it's not that easy and then checked it out on my phone," Hamilton said.

Article Photos

Chef Andrew Hamilton, left, with his son, Christopher, and wife, Jennifer.


Hamilton filled out the application online not expecting to hear back from the show but within a day heard back from the producer of the show. After a brief Facetime chat, and a few months' wait, Hamilton and his family received their plane tickets in the mail.

"We were out in L.A. to film in July 2016," Hamilton said. "The show was titled 'A Very Cutthroat Christmas' and was supposed to be aired in December 2016. I don't know why it wasn't and I didn't hear back about the airing."

On the show, Hamilton prepared pan-seared beef tenderloin with roasted potatoes, salted asparagus with a sweet potato crab meat reduction which received high praise from host Alton Brown. Unfortunately Hamilton was sabotaged in the second round.

"It was a great experience and one I'll never forget," Hamilton said. "I never would have thought to be on the show except for that comment from my son Christopher. Everything was paid for and it was a great experience but it's also something my children can be proud of years from now. I'm really glad I did it."

Hamilton was born and raised on Pine Island. His mother owned and operated Anne's Cafe in Bokeelia. His father was a commercial fisherman until the net ban (1995) and then a charter captain.

"My first job was working in my mother's restaurant," Hamilton said. "When I was 15 I worked at Lazy Flamingo as a dishwasher. From there I worked on the line and worked my way up from there. I've worked in every restaurant on Pine island, several in Fort Myers, in the Keys and was executive chef in Islamorada. I've been in this business for almost 20 years."

As a third generation Pine Islander, Hamilton was glad to return to Pine island and the opportunity to be at Saltwater Smokehouse.

"A lot of people rave about the ribs and think we're all about smoking meat," Hamilton said. "But I'm also concentrating on the saltwater part with fresh seafood dishes including Pine Island Crab, Gulf Shrimp, fresh tacos, scallops, shrimp po boys and gumbo.

"It's not that I love to cook, what I like most about the restaurant business is cooking for the people of Pine Island," Hamilton said. "I like to make people happy and hearing compliments is why I like really enjoy what I'm doing."



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