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Tuesday, June 9

7 Questions for Jamika Pessoa - Next Food Network Star Contestant

Last, but certainly not least, we meet Jamika, whose shrimp was referred to as "the gatekeeper of badness" by Alton Brown in Sunday's premiere episode of The Next Food Network Star.


Why did you decide to apply to be on The Next Food Network Star?
Hosting my own show has always been a dream of mine. Becoming a cooking show host is an obvious gig for me because it combines some of my favorite things—cooking, entertaining, and teaching.

Who are your chef / TV cooking star idols?
I remember growing up watching Justin Wilson, the Cajun Cook. I loved how he had great stories, good food, and a glass of wine with every recipe. He has always been one of my “old school” favorite cooks. I also like watching Giada De Laurentiis cook. She has an amazing way of describing food and bringing it to life. She has mastered the art of making your mouth water.

What does it take to be a great Food Network star?
Although good cooking is a vast part of being a Food Network star, the job requires many other attributes such as having a unique style in the kitchen, engaging audiences, and projecting a warm and charming personality.

Did you feel prepared for the types of challenges you endured on the show? Anything in particular you struggled with?
I felt as prepared as I possibly could be based on the fact that all of the challenges were a total surprise. You can’t really prepare for the unknown. Nevertheless, I am a chef, and a true chef knows how to react at a moment's notice to change plans and be creative. I feel I did my best in illustrating that. The hardest part from me was being away from my boyfriend, family, and friends. They are my true support system that I always turn to; but during this experience I only had myself to rely on. This experience surely made me a stronger person.

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 all about cooking with style—making the ordinary look and taste fabulous! So many people just throw their food on a plate and eat. I encourage and teach people how to dress things up with various textures, colors, and flare. A plate is a canvas to create tasteful art, and I bring bold flavors with a chic approach to food and entertaining. I’m all about the fabulous!

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?
I was excited to meet Alton Brown because his lives in my home city of Atlanta, Ga. I also was honored to meet Chef Morimoto. He is a culinary icon. Most of all, I was so stoked to meet Bobby Flay. I made it a personal challenge to wow his palate and earn his respect as a chef.

Apart from winning this competition, what goals do you have for the future?
I love entertaining and inspiring people. Whatever I do in the future will be along those lines. I am open to whatever opportunities come my way in or outside of the kitchen. Cooking is just one of my many talents, so I am excited to show the world all that I have to offer.


Thanks Jamika!

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At 6/09/2009 8:37 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

please oh please oh please, Jacob...

Please tell me that you didn't leave her interview until last, and a few days after the premiere, because you have some inside info on who the winner is.

Have we not had enough generic, interchangeable, African-American FN hosts lately? I still don't forgive Tuschman for literally turning Aaron McCargo Jr. into "Big Daddy" in the middle of a NFNS episode.

At 6/10/2009 9:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like she lost.

At 6/10/2009 10:43 AM , Blogger jacob said...

@ Mike Nope, I have no inside info. I just hadn't gotten Jamika's answers in time, before I needed to post my interview and ep. 1 review.

At 6/10/2009 6:04 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

Jacob, thank you for responding. I take you at your word... until she wins and I get all "Conspiracy Theory" on you! LOL

At 6/10/2009 8:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike your a racist and your comment is ridiculous !!!

At 6/11/2009 12:19 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

8:01 - I mention that I dislike the generic stereotype, and that Aaron Jr was turned into a caricature, therefore I MUST be racist?

Also, I'm annoyed that I feel the need to defend myself to someone that doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're". Looks like you win. Dummy.

At 6/11/2009 1:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow -- things get intense on the blog!

Christine ;)

At 6/11/2009 1:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will the 7 questions posts stop?
When will the 7 questions posts stop?
When will the 7 questions posts stop?
When will the 7 questions posts stop?
When will the 7 questions posts stop?
When will the 7 questions posts stop?
When will the 7 questions posts stop?

At 6/11/2009 2:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie will win because it has to be a female this time. I wish I was wrong because I like Jeffery and Teddy.

At 6/11/2009 8:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry folks- I am not racist. Aaron just does not have the command of the english language and Paula in that case. Get some bright people on FN PLEASE

At 6/11/2009 9:48 PM , Blogger ChristopherM said...

Mike, why do you have to qualify generic and interchangeable with African American? What does race have to do with it? I don't want any generic host on FN wasting space. It seems you're one of those people who think any person of color on FN is only there because of race rather than because some of us actually enjoy them (shout out to Sunny!).

At 6/12/2009 3:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 8:44. It hurts me to listen tp Aaron.

At 6/12/2009 3:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this girl Jamika won. It will be a female and she is the only decent one.

I like Jeffery, Teddy, and Michael though. Oh well.

At 6/13/2009 9:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike you said nothing wrong. it was clear what you meant. It was obvious Aaron was hand picked right from the start. I also thing that FN is pidgin-holing minorities. They've been called on this before. even on this very site.

It's these OTT PC twats (Hey Chris!) that are issue. Say anything about a minority and you are branded a raciest.

I notice Chris was quick to criticize when, I think, you made the comment that Deebie Lee looked like
Marget Cho but had nothing to say when someone said they thought that two white guys looked similar.

At 6/13/2009 5:30 PM , Blogger ChristopherM said...

It is rather telling that you have to be called out so much. Ever wonder why exactly it is that you bring up race so often? We're not the ones bringing it up. It is never "generic hosts who look and act alike." It is always the generic BLACK hosts. I think Big Daddy sucks just as much as anyone else on here, but it doesn't have a thing to do with his race, and it is pointless to even bring race up.

And you can call me PC all you want...it is the typical defense of someone who gets called out for spouting some racist bullshit.

At 6/13/2009 7:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we all agree that 'Big Daddy' sucks and that FN under represents minorities, or for that matter people with cooking skills why are we calling each other names?

Seems like we're on the same page...Can't we all just get along?

At 6/15/2009 12:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still left with a sour taste of Debbie throwing her teammates under the bus. When she dreamed up the angel food cake disaster and completely "stepped away" from it. Her lame "taking responsibility"
schoolgirl routine was totally unbelievable.

From a viewers point of view, she lacks character, creativity, and competence. She's a non-starter...oh well, on with the show...


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