Monday, 08 July 2013 08:43
Jericho High School Freshman Tyler Bloch recently spread national awareness on Tourette Syndrome to a vast audience of viewers on the July 2 episode of the Food Network series “Chopped” in the episode “Teen Invasion.
At 14 years old, Tyler has many interests and passions, including tennis, piano, foreign languages and of course, cooking. His inspiration began by watching cooking shows on the Food Network. After watching various episodes of the show called “Chopped,” Tyler thought: “Wow, they should do a teen episode,” and went on their website to inquire.
About six months later, he discovered they just finished taping one teen episode and were in the process of casting for a second teen episode. Eager to get on the show, Tyler completed a casting application with the hopes of securing an interview. After not hearing back within the week, Tyler took it upon himself to contact the casting director himself.
To his surprise, the “Chopped” casting director called him back and he had his first phone interview, which was later followed by a second on-camera interview in Manhattan. Several months later he was told he didn’t make the cut but that it was very close. As luck would have it, a month later, he received notification that he indeed made it to the final level of casting and they wanted him for the show.
According to Tyler, “The entire ‘Chopped’ journey mimicked reality; there were rejections, there were acceptances, and there were times when hard work and diligence paid off.” Tyler told the judges, “At the age of 7, I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. It’s really a blessing because I wouldn’t be who I was today if I didn’t have it. If you put your mind to doing something, anything is possible.”
In the first round, the teen chefs were asked to create an appetizer out of grapefruit, tuna loin, hen of the woods mushrooms and graham cracker cereal. The episode with Tyler was scheduled to re-air on July 11 at 9 p.m., July 12 at 12 a.m. and upcomg on July 13 at 12 p.m. - check local listings to confirm.
Tyler was trained in 2012 as Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Syndrome Association and is very involved with the local Long Island TSA chapter. He visits schools to educate other kids and to raise awareness about the disorder. Brookville resident Jen Zwilling co-founded this program along with her two siblings to develop this peer advocacy curriculum. For more information and resources on Tourette Syndrome, visit the website at LI-TSA.org.