Bill Clifton of The Counting House will appear on Food Network show

A Sussex County chef will enter a world of dramatic culinary competition on The Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay.”

The episode will air on The Food Network Thursday, May 2, at 10 p.m.

Bill Clifton is the 38-year-old chef and owner of The Counting House in Georgetown, on The Circle inside The Brick Hotel. He’s from Milford and graduated from Milford High School in 1998.

Clifton’s culinary career started in Rehoboth Beach. After going to Kendall College culinary school in Chicago he did some traveling, honing his craft and working with some of the best chefs in the country. He worked with Chef Paul Kahn at Blackbird in Chicago and Chef Thomas Keller at French Laundry in Napa Valley, California.

Before opening The Counting House, Clifton was the executive chef at Henlopen Oyster House in Rehoboth Beach for almost ten years.

He describes The Counting House’s menu as “a Delaware hodgepodge.”

“Delaware cuisine is not definable by any means,” he said. “It grabs from Pennsylvania Dutch, the northeast and the south and mixes it all together to make a kind of jambalaya, so to speak.”

The Counting House menu is a perfect example of that mixture, featuring dishes like oyster stew, blackened catfish and venison stroganoff.

The Food Network contacted Clifton to invite him on “Beat Bobby Flay.” They regularly hand-pick chefs from all over the world to compete against Flay, a celebrated restaurateur and cooking show veteran.

The show first takes two guest chefs who compete to make the best dish using an ingredient Flay chooses. The winner goes on to challenge him with their own signature dish.

Flay wins about two out of three challenges. When a guest wins, it’s definitely something to brag about.

Clifton traveled to Brooklyn to film his episode about a year ago and was recently given permission to publicize it. He’s not allowed to reveal who he competed against and if he did indeed beat Bobby Flay.

Find out more about The Counting House at thecountinghouse.net.