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Friday, June 5

7 Questions for Eddie Gilbert - Next Food Network Star Contestant

The season 5 premiere of The Next Food Network Star is this Sunday, June 7 at 9pm ET. All this week, Food Network Addict will be featuring mini, 7-question interviews done with each of the contestants.

Meet...EDDIE GILBERT


Why did you decide to apply to be on The Next Food Network Star?
I thought it would be an amazing challenge to push myself and see where I stood against others in the culinary arena. I have watched Food Network since college (it was one of the only cable channels we received), and I always thought it would be fantastic to be a part of an organization dedicated to spreading the knowledge of food. I have always been willing to take risks, and although I am a newbie to the culinary world, I couldn't dream of a better way to begin my culinary adventure.

Who are your chef / TV cooking star idols?
Marco Pierre White (who at 28, was the youngest chef ever and first British chef to acquire 3 Michelin stars), Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, Gabrielle Hamilton (who is the chef at Prune in New York... my favorite restaurant), Mario Batali, Paul Kahan, Donald Link, John Besh, Jose Andres, and Ferran Adria. My culinary learning adventures would be complete if I could work with each of these chefs... even if it was only for one day!

What does it take to be a great Food Network star?
To be a great Food Network star, I think you have to be able to reach through the camera and grab the audience and get them excited about food. You have to share yourself completely, not being afraid to show all the pieces of who you are, so you can connect with anyone who is willing to listen. You have to eat, sleep, and breathe food, and you have to be true to yourself.

Did you feel prepared for the types of challenges you endured on the show? Anything in particular you struggled with?
I think the biggest struggle starts from the moment the judges say go... the pressure is on, the cameras are rolling, and everyone is watching. 400 covers on a sunny summer Saturday in Manhattan Beach is tough, but it is nothing like hearing, "Your time starts now!"

The need to have a clearly defined culinary point of view is brought up again and again by the judges. What's yours and how is it different from what we've seen before?
My culinary point of view is "California Comfort Food." My cooking style is ingredient driven, trying to use the freshest ingredients while incorporating new techniques to traditional comfort dishes. My point of view is different because I cook for a different audience. I want to reach out to my peers -- those 20 to 30-somethings who eat at random hours, cook dinner for two on a budget, yearn to savor and taste new ingredients, who don't believe there is a "right way to do something", and just love to cook for the sake of cooking.

You were judged by lots of Food Network stars over the course of the show. Which star(s) were you most excited to meet and why?
Wow, so many stars to choose from. Duff Goldman, Alton Brown, Michael Symon, Tyler Florence and Paula Deen... just to name a few.

Apart from winning this competition, what goals do you have for the future?
To continue learning something new about food every day. To continue challenging myself to become a better chef and a more creative chef. To keep studying the power of heat and its effect on food. To open my own restaurants and become a successful restaurateur. And to share my love for food with anyone who wants to come along for the ride.

******************

Thanks Eddie!

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18 Comments:

At 6/05/2009 8:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet if he combed his hair forward, he'd be a dead-ringer for Kate Gosselin.

 
At 6/05/2009 8:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I find it funny that his favorite chefs, on the whole, would have NOTHING to do with the Food Network.

 
At 6/05/2009 9:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give him credit for admiring real chefs. But odd that he would get excited about meeting Paula Deen.

 
At 6/05/2009 11:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Bruno!

It's funny that everyone mentions they like Anthony Bourdain, who craps on the FN daily.

 
At 6/05/2009 12:07 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

I know this is nitpicky, but it really annoys me that everyone on the show talks about getting viewers excited for food. Look, if I turn on the FN, it's because I'm ALREADY excited about food. You know, being the FOOD NETWORK and all.

I want to be excited about allowing *YOU* to tell me how YOU feel about food.

 
At 6/05/2009 1:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Culinary Point of View"....that makes me giggle. How about we see if you can even cook first, then we can see what your view is all about. (If you have a decent one).

 
At 6/05/2009 1:58 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

What do you think Duff Goldman brought to the "judging" table ?

Why would Duff Goldman be at the "judging" table ?

Can you say farcical ?

 
At 6/05/2009 2:03 PM , Blogger Kristin Stocksdale said...

"I know this is nitpicky, but it really annoys me that everyone on the show talks about getting viewers excited for food. Look, if I turn on the FN, it's because I'm ALREADY excited about food. You know, being the FOOD NETWORK and all.

I want to be excited about allowing *YOU* to tell me how YOU feel about food."


LOL - good point Mike - I was annoyed by the statement being repeated over and over again but couldn't pin point why. You said that perfectly.

 
At 6/05/2009 3:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call Mike!

 
At 6/05/2009 3:37 PM , Anonymous Turtle said...

Major points to this guy for admiring real-world chefs and not just television personalities.

And if he's worked 400 covers then he knows about pressure and working a crazy kitchen and just the hard work involved in running a restaurant and cooking in volume. Valuable knowledge.

Good point about ALREADY being excited about food because I'm a FN fan.

I'd add that contestants (hell, everyone) should be banned from saying "I only use the freshest ingredients" or some variation. Yeah, I would HOPE THAT YOU DO.

The original intent was farmer's market ingredients or fresh greens/fruit as opposed to canned, boxed, prepared food. But let's all just assume you would want to use "only the freshest ingredients" as a starting point no matter your culinary POV, okay?

 
At 6/05/2009 5:40 PM , Blogger Single Serving said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/05/2009 5:47 PM , Blogger Single Serving said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/05/2009 6:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SS, speaking of "chillaxing"...
breathe. sheesh!

Remember that the enter key is your friend. It could be the difference between a complete thought and the ravings of a lunatic.

 
At 6/05/2009 8:05 PM , Blogger Single Serving said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/05/2009 9:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was right... the ravings of a lunatic...

 
At 6/05/2009 10:16 PM , Blogger Single Serving said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/07/2009 9:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:16 - No worries. Next time I'll give myself a handle that tells the world about my loneliness, and create a profile that screams "notice me, FN, I'm posting comments!"

...*wink*

 
At 6/09/2009 2:12 AM , Blogger Single Serving said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

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