Cleaning supplies don’t make a tasty burger.
That was the dilemma faced by Pittsboro chef Sera Cuni — tasked with making an on-the-fly burger from the supermarket picks of a total stranger — when she stared into grocery bags filled with Swiffer products.
Cuni stars in the latest episode of Food Network’s “Supermarket Stakeout,” where chefs create dishes based on the grocery bags of shoppers. The episode, dedicated to fast food and food trucks will air Tuesday, May 30, at 9 pm on the Food Network.
For Cuni, who owns The Root Cellar with his wife Susan White, this will be her third brush with stardom, following two previous Food Network appearances on “Guy’s Grocery Games.”
In the episode, Cuni and three other chefs from across the country compete in burger, taco and ice cream challenges.
“I had a great time, it was a lot of fun,” Cuni said about the show. “It’s really interesting to see what’s in other people’s carts.”
The episode was filmed in the parking lot of a grocery store outside of Los Angeles, Cuni said. With a chef eliminated after each round, Cuni could only talk about his burger without revealing any spoilers.
“I went for the bag with the buns on top, thinking, ‘Oh this is going to be good,’” Cuni said. “Then I’m going through it and it’s all Swiffer, just everything you could ever want for a Swiffer. I’m like what the heck!”
So Cuni had to dip into the $500 chefs allowance to pick up odds and ends through, hopefully, three rounds of dishes.
“I made a very non-burger burger,” Cuni said.
Cuni has a history of grocery games
Cuni’s Food Network appearances have a through-line of grocery shopping, the game before the game of meal creation. She believes her previous stints on “Guy’s Grocery Games” put her at ease for her latest stop in the spotlight.
“I feel really comfortable; it helped that I had been on a show before,” Cuni said. “I thought the whole show was wonderful.”
Cuni, originally from Connecticut, owns and runs two Root Cellar locations with White. The popular cafes focus on hyper local sandwiches, salads and baked goods.
There will be a watch-party tonight at 9 pm at the Pittsboro Root Cellar, located at 35 Suttles Rd. in Chatham Park.
“I wish I did North Carolina proud,” Cuni said.