When Al Roker was a little boy, he didn't dream of being a famous television personality. He dreamt of becoming a chef.
And although the weather forecaster still dabbles in creating restaurant-worthy fare, he's never lived out the life he craved as a youngster ... until today. In a new TODAY series, "When I Grow Up," Al got to test out his chops with head chef of New York City's Henry, J.J. Johnson.
Before Al became the Al Roker, he would sit and think to himself, "You know, wouldn't it be great to be good enough to cook in a professional kitchen? I mean, yeah, you can cook at home and that's great, but can you — can you cut the mustard, no pun intended in, in a professional kitchen?"
While Al joked he might just come "running out of the kitchen flames," his bacon-wrapped scallops say otherwise:
"I hear Al Roker always talkin' about how he wants to be a chef," Johnson said. "I look at his Instagram. He's, like, whippin' and flippin'. But I'm not sure, you know? It's tough in the kitchen."
The only way to find out if Al could hack it was to put on his chef's hat (and coat) and give it a try. Johnson put him to the test the same way he does sous chefs or chefs de cuisine at his restaurant.
"If you can't do these things, you can't be in my kitchen," Johnson said.
It's a chef-eat-chef world out there, Al.
Al started out showing off his chopping skills at the request of some medium-diced onions and passed with "flying colors." That is, until he cut himself. (Don't worry — he's OK.)
Johnson then taught Al to make egg rolls before moving onto an omelet with scallions and linguiça (Portuguese pork sausage), which Al flipped like a pro.
Although Al's egg rolls did come out to his mentor's liking, Al struggled with the pressures of chef life.
"I think — as — as a chef, I'm a fantastic weatherman ... I mean, the pressure in there is ... I could never do this. Maybe — maybe if I practiced for years, but that is, I mean, it's a dance ... just the memorization," Al said. "The keep callin' out items. Things keep spittin' out constantly. It's crazy. I mean, I'd be in a knife fight every day."
We guess it's back to the anchor desk for Al! But we're sure he'll continue cooking — just in the comfort of his own home.