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I’ve totally been wrapped up in The Next Food Network Star (NFNS) these last few weeks. (Who’s your fave?) While watching this season, I started wondering what was up with last season’s winner, Aaron McCargo Jr. Well, Big Daddy is in the house!
Yesterday I snagged Aaron for some water-cooler chat about his new season of Big Daddy’s House and the current season of NFNS.
SECRETARY CONFIDENTIAL: You’re about to hit your one-year anniversary here at Food Network. Looking back over the past year, is there anything you didn’t expect would be a part of the experience?
AARON: I can’t say there have been any real downs, but I will say that I didn’t understand the flow of everything at first, the demand of my time. I hope to speak to The Next Food Network Star winner at some point, and offer what I’ve learned through all my bumps and bruises, as well as share my high fives. But I can’t call this work–it’s so much fun.
SC: Have you been keeping up with this new season of NFNS?
A: Oh, yes! I’ll be honest with you, it’s kind of tough to watch. It’s so surreal for me. My wife sits there with the kids watching with me, I look over, and I catch her tearing up all over again. I always tell people, it’s night-and-day different from doing NFNS to Big Daddy’s House. On NFNS you don’t have a clue as to what you’re going to do, what the challenge will be, or whether you’re going to be sent home. You can never relax. At Big Daddy’s I can now relax and enjoy it.
SC: So, if you were competing this season, who do you think would be your biggest competition?
A: It’s not as much a cooking competition show this season, as it seems to be more a personality competition. Don’t get me wrong. These guys are definitely great chefs; I can’t take that away from them. But a lot of them have great personality. I think my biggest competition if I had been on this season would have been Jeffrey.
SC: So, having won NFNS last year and now having finished the third season of Big Daddy’s House, do you get the perk of knowing who the new winner will be?
A: Oh, no. I want to be just as excited as everyone else!
SC: Who do you watch on Food Network? If we checked out your DVR, what shows would be recorded?
A: Everyone has their different techniques, but I get a kick out of watching Guy [Fieri]! He really attracts me because I like the way he indulges in the food. I am a big eater, and so he just makes me want to jump into the screen and travel with him. So, maybe Guy should take me on the road? We’ll do Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Big Daddy? You never know.
SC: I like that! What are you bringing to the table for this new round of Big Daddy’s House episodes? Is there anything you’re particularly pumped up about for the season premiering on Sunday?
A: Well, I’m especially excited about the “Ultimate Sandwiches” episode, but I can’t really pick a favorite show or meal for this season. Every meal just exploded in my mouth.
SC: I hear that your youngest son, Justin, makes another appearance on one of the upcoming shows. What does he think about the whole experience?
A: He loves it. My father-in-law came in to be in an upcoming episode. And then Justin was there asking, “When are they going to put on my mic? I need to start cooking and talking with my Dad.” It’s really funny that he has taken ownership–that this is his new job too. I think I’m going to have to cut him a check. He is just running around acting like this is his normal gig, his 9 to 5.
SC: Food Network will have to put together a whole series around him. We could call it “Big Daddy’s Lil House.”
A: Ha-ha! That’s perfect!