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Two Virginia chefs make it to the semi-finals on ‘The Big Brunch’

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Two Virginia chefs — Daniel Harthausen of Richmond’s popular Young Mother pop-up and Charlottesville’s Antwon Brinson — have made it to the semi-finals on HBO Max’s ‘The Big Brunch.’

The other three semi-finalists include J Chong from Asheville, N.C., Danielle Sepsy from New York City, and Roman Wilcox from El Paso, Texas.

Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” fame hosts the reality cooking competition “The Big Brunch” where 10 contestants — now down to five — are vying for a $300,000 cash prize.

Daniel Harthausen 1 (Credit - Jeremy Kohm, HBO Max).jpg

Richmond chef Daniel Harthausen from the Young Mother pop-up is vying on Dan Levy’s “The Big Brunch” on HBO Max.

"I'm so thrilled and honored to appear on this show and to get to cook with and learn from so many amazing contestants," Brinson said. "Being a semi-finalist is a little bit surreal! I'm just excited and grateful to get this chance to share my story and tell the world about Culinary Concepts AB and our commitment to making culinary workforce training programs accessible to all."

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Culinary Concepts AB empowers aspiring culinarians, from high schoolers to former inmates, by teaching them skills they need to thrive in the restaurant industry.

"Dan, Sohla, Will, and the whole team behind this show have been so gracious, caring, and kind throughout this experience. They offered real feedback that helped us learn and grow as chefs, but always with a deep belief in each of us and our vision for changing the culinary world. This show has been a life-changing experience and I'm so lucky to be part of The Big Brunch family," he added.

“Seeing Daniel Harthausen and Antwon Brinson crushing it episode after episode has not only been entertaining, it's also made me proud to be a Virginian,” Justin Lo, Richmond Times-Dispatch dining critic, said. “Of the six episodes that have already been rolled out, Harthausen's won three ‘Best in Brunch’ titles and Brinson has scored another. Between the two of them, that's more than half of the episodes dominated by a Virginia chef.”

Rather than a "Hell's Kitchen" type of cutthroat reality cooking competition, "The Big Brunch" aims to celebrate inspiring, undiscovered culinary voices from around the country and share their business dreams.

The two final episodes will be released on HBO Max on Thursday, Nov. 24.

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