Ok… let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Or rather, the rats.
Some important reminders and clarifications:
The rat line was only one take of many. Once I said it, I knew it was wrong. My teammates also steered me in a different direction. Think of it as a first draft -- a first draft that everyone sees. As you saw, the presentation Bobby and Giada saw had no mention of rats.
Some people think I said my mom ate rats. Ew, no! I meant that she had pet cats to eat the rats. I realize that’s only slightly better and still an offbase story, but worth a clarification all the same.
Ok, that being said, I totally own being off the mark in this presentation. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the challenge: pick a food outside your comfort zone, tell us why it’s outside your comfort zone, and then make a personal connection to it. ::head spins::
The fact that it was a burger was another challenge. I’m very familiar with burgers! I eat them, I make them, but I had to create some sort of distance so it was outside my comfort zone. Enter: a story about my mom not eating meat because resources were scarce. I wanted to talk about my mom’s humble childhood and how I grew up appreciating foods that celebrate abundance -- like a Hawaiian burger with two types of meat.
If you think that sounds like a lot to explain… yeah! And try doing it in one minute. I think I got too caught up in meeting the challenge requirements that I didn’t think about the most important thing -- describing the food in the most mouthwatering way.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the Mentor Challenge: create a dish in shades of yellow and then deliver a podcast describing that dish.
I was surprised to hear that our very first cook in the Food Network Star kitchen would be a team challenge. I really wanted to show my stuff. But I was really happy being paired with Adam. It can’t hurt to have a teammate who knows the ropes, plus has experience hosting TV shows and podcasts. It’s kind of the jackpot.
I think we worked together really well -- from dish conception to execution to podcasting. I’m glad we got yellow. I’m also glad we picked a curry -- even if it didn’t photograph that well. All in all, really happy with that challenge.
Now onto the Star Challenge...
Even though I felt really confident about our Star Challenge presentation, I thought the other team -- Amy, Harrison, Manny, Rebekah, and Samone -- did really well, too. They also transitioned from presentation to presentation, something that didn’t even occur to us.
But we were safe. And that meant I was safe.
Whew! Another whirlwind week in Food Network Star-land. What did you think?
PS: Last thing about rats and then I hope to put this to bed forever. For better or for worse, I have an affection for rats. Here’s my dog posing next to his rodent collection. I probably have a higher tolerance for rat talk than most :P.