Tuesday, June 2
Why did you decide to apply to be on The Next Food Network Star?
There are three things that I really love to do: cook, teach and entertain. So what better medium is there that could let me do all three then the Food Network? For years, my girlfriend has been bugging me, even daring me to audition for the show. Combine that with my experience on "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" made me realize, this is my chance.
Who are your chef / TV cooking star idols?
Ann Cashion, Thomas Keller, Tom Colicchio, RJ Cooper, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Symon and I must say after all this, definitely Bobby Flay.
What does it take to be a great Food Network star?
Personality that viewers can identify with, the ability to humanize your experiences and knowledge of food, strong culinary fundamentals, the ability to function on 2-3 hours of sleep a night, a love of sharing a 10X12 bedroom with 2 other grown adults while sleeping on bunkbeds.
Did you feel prepared for the types of challenges you endured on the show? Anything in particular you struggled with?
There was no way I was prepared! I might have tried to give that impression but heck no. There were so many obstacles from broken equipment and limited cooking space to cooking with people you have never met let alone shared a kitchen with. It was ridiculous!
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 teaching people to think like a chef rather then a cook. It's different because I feel Food Network has solidified its goal of teaching people about home cooking - they've perfected it. But it's time to branch out and show those viewers who have grown up for 16 years with the network and are pretty saavy in the kitchen how to take it to the next level.
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?
Morimoto - what's he really like in person? Alton Brown - is this guy that freaking smart?
Apart from winning this competition, what goals do you have for the future?
To open more restaurants and feed the amazing people of D.C., continue to work with kids, teaching them about the restaurant world through Brainfood, and to maximize all that I can accomplish through food. Simply put, living the dream.
Thanks to Teddy for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm not really a D.C. native, but I still gotta root for the local guy!