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OU alumna to appear on 'Chopped' after success with YouTube channel

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Contestant Stephanie Clinton during the appetizer round, as seen on "Chopped," Season 43. 

What started as Stephanie Clinton and Christine Hrubik cooking an odd recipe for their YouTube channel — a tomato soup spice cake — turned into a delicious dish that will be served at a watch party for Clinton’s appearance on “Chopped” Tuesday night. 

Clinton, a Norman resident and OU graduate, co-hosts the channel “Recipe Archaeology,” which is devoted to cooking old, retro and vintage recipes, with Hrubik. 

“Chopped” is a national cooking TV game show where four contestants prepare a three-course meal. For each course, they are given a basket of ingredients and must use them all in each dish. The last chef standing wins $10,000.

Last fall, a “Chopped” producer found her way to their channel, contacted them and asked if they would be interested in applying for a special amateur series of the show, Clinton said.

“I thought, 'Yeah, why not?'” Clinton said. “It would be awesome exposure for our YouTube channel. We’re always looking for new subscribers and taking it to the next level, so this seemed kind of like a no-brainer.”

Clinton flew to New York City in April to film the episode along with three other contestants, and the episode featured “The Brady Bunch” actors Barry Williams, Eve Plumb and Mike Lookinland as judges.

“One of the best parts was just getting in the zone and realizing, ‘I can do this in 30 minutes,’” Clinton said. “Doing it and making it under the clock was a really good feeling.”

If she wins, Clinton said she wants to use the money to further “Recipe Archaeology.”

Clinton said their equipment is amateur, and she would like to upgrade to a professional camera or two and have better lighting.

The overall goal for Clinton, though, is to broaden the reach of their channel through the episode and get more followers. 

“It’s just such a fun show,” Clinton said. “We just want to be able to get it out to more eyeballs.”

Clinton and Hrubik started “Recipe Archaeology” out of a love for cooking vintage recipes that they found in Clinton’s grandmother’s cookbook, yard sale cookbooks and, now, from subscribers. 

They started recording their reactions for friends and family and had a lot of fun doing it, and the channel grew from there.

Recipes they make include the spice cake with canned tomato soup — which Clinton said turned out really well — but other recipes include gelled foods such as chicken salad, which she said can turn out bizarre.

Hrubik and Clinton are having a watch party at Hrubik’s house for the show, which airs at 8 p.m. Sept. 3 on the Food Network.

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