Thursday, June 4
Why did you decide to apply to be on The Next Food Network Star?
It just really felt like the right step for me. I'm so over being stuck in a kitchen and needed to do something new in my culinary career. I love to entertain and love to make people smile!
Who are your chef / TV cooking star idols?
The FAB Morimoto. I love his fashion sense and he's an artist in the kitchen. I heart you Mori!
What does it take to be a great Food Network star?
Well first, I think you must have an expert knowledge of cooking and you must be entertaining. Patience is also important as I learned while filming the show.
Did you feel prepared for the types of challenges you endured on the show? Anything in particular you struggled with?
Well as you may know, I did not have a lot of time to prepare for the show, 2 days to be exact. I would have loved to have memorized some other recipes I have done for reference, but what can you do. I think the hardest thing for me was being in captivity. I am always doing things on impulse and that can be very difficult to do when your schedule is completely tied in with the filming. No phone, no car and no Cha-Cha heels!
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 "Global a go-go, from Bed-Stuy to Bangkok". Doing global cuisine with flare! Most people focus on one style or theme of cooking— I do it all, honey!
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 must say I think Morimoto again, was my favorite. He has changed the way I look at ingredients and the way I handle food. Meeting the very handsome Bobby Flay was also cool. He's an American icon when it comes to food. And last was Susie Fogelson. She makes being fab look easy. I know she may not be a "FN STAR," but she is one fierce momma and when I watched past seasons I always looked forward to seeing what she was going to wear. Wow, that’s girly of me!
Apart from winning this competition, what goals do you have for the future?
I think my main goal will be to travel and broaden my culinary knowledge. I would love to open a restaurant, have a family, write cookbooks, and take over the world—one plate at a time.
Good luck on the show, Michael!