Turning watermelon into masterpieces: A lesson in fruit carving

MILWAUKEE -- When you thing of carving, pumpkins come to mind -- but what about watermelon? Kasey spent the morning turning fruit into artwork.

About Chef Chanse (website)

Chef Chanse started his career at the age of 15 as a humble dishwasher at a truck stop in Fond du Lac, gradually working his way up to executive chef at the Central House in Chilton. After three months, at the age of 23, he purchased the Central House. Four years later, Chanse embarked on a new venture when he opened a banquet hall at the Juneau Community Center, which he has owned for 10 years.

Chanse’s experience includes hosting gun shows, weddings, and company parties. After the meal is prepared, Chanse often exchanged his chef outfit for a three-piece suit and DJs for the event as well.

Chanse has taught numerous cooking schools and has given live cooking demos in front of 20 to 6,000 people, but his true passion is watermelon sculpturing. To date, he has carved over 1,300 unique watermelon sculptures. This past summer, he has the honor of being one of the lead chefs at the U.S. open at Erin Hills, where he carved 17 watermelon sculptures and was the lead chef for the celebration meal for the final day of the tournament.

Chanse loves food, but most of all, loves the variety of people his career has led him to. He likes to put his own twist on the truth in the old song: it’s not what you know – it’s who you know, and how you treat that person you do know.

You'll have the opportunity to see Chef Chanse in action during the Dodge County Fair. He’ll be showcasing his work at the fairgrounds next Wednesday, August 15 at 3 p.m.